Idols – No idle contest

2013-11-24 14:00

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In the past the show was criticised for favouring white contestants

With just hours to go to the Idols SA finale, the last two men standing are vying for votes by doing what they do best – singing.

Yesterday, the two finalists – Brenden Ledwaba (19) and Musa Sukwene (26) – performed for fans in Gauteng at Cradlestone Mall in Mogale City and at Cresta Shopping Centre in Randburg.

Cape Town fans can catch the two heart-throbs live and score autographs at the Canal Walk Shopping Centre at 11am today.

The show’s winner will be announced at the Moreleta Park Church auditorium in Pretoria on Tuesday, with industry stalwarts including AKA, The Parlotones, Mi Casa and Khuli Chana joining the contestants on stage.

Voting lines will stay open until 10pm tomorrow.

Idols SA, once criticised for “favouring white contestants”, was won by a black contestant, Khaya Mthethwa, from Durban, for the first time last year.

Glamorous Metro FM breakfast host Unathi Msengana – who joined the Idols SA judging panel in 2011 – has been credited with luring more black viewers, and consequently voters, to the show.

But the show’s producers insist that race is irrelevant in their quest to unearth new talent before thousands of TV viewers.

“We do believe that the Idols audience does not vote according to race, but in terms of talent. Each contestant is only as good as his or her latest performance,” said M-Net spokesperson Lani Lombard.

Meanwhile, the parents of the top two are battling to calm their beating hearts. They’re holding thumbs and saying prayers at their respective family homes in Graskop and Witbank.

In Graskop, members of the Christ For Life church are praying for Ledwaba, a sound engineering student.

His father, Phineas, who is a pastor at the church, said they piled into the family car every week to travel the 371km from Mpumalanga to Joburg to support their son.

Phineas recalled: “Brenden started singing at weddings and functions when he was 10. We drive every week as a family from Graskop to see him.”

In Witbank, Sukwene’s mother Khselena, an English and Zulu teacher at the local correctional services branch, revealed that apart from singing, Sukwene enjoys playing chess.

“It all started at the age of 10 when Musa and his brother started to sing at church. He also loved athletics and chess at school,” she said.

Sukwene dropped out of school in Grade 11, after which he studied music and dabbled in his dad’s construction business.

The show bade a sad farewell to Sonke Mazibuko (21) from Soweto this week.

Big Concerts’ chief executive, Attie van Wyk, described the top three Idols contestants as “stunning”.

He added that while Idols offered an invaluable platform, artist management skills in the country were lacking, hence many former winners were no longer in the spotlight.

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