Idols SA: Time for the grand finale

2014-11-23 15:00

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From the day he auditioned for season 10 of music reality show Idols, Vincent Bones has been the viewers’ favourite.

Tonight, the final votes will determine whether the 30-year-old former street kid will be the next South African Idol.

He plans to give his performance everything he’s got, singing in honour of his mother, Ella, who died of breast cancer when he was 12 years old.

“I’m doing this for my mother and for my family. I would have loved my mother to see me on stage,” he said this week.

Contributing to Bones’ popularity is his triumphant history: the nation loves a winner.

He was only 12 when he began living on the streets of Sunnyside, Pretoria, after running away from his family home in Eldorado Park. He’d lost hope and given up on life after his mother died, and then his uncle Derick died a short time later.

“It was a bit too much for me. I couldn’t handle the unbearable pain of losing two people close to me,” he said.

His family had no idea where he was. For two years, he survived on leftovers he fished out of rubbish bins.

But he did not turn to drugs or crime.

“I would only indulge in alcohol whenever it was available. But the elders [on the streets] used to protect us, the young ones, from doing all the wrong things.”

Bones’ life turned around when he was sent to Boys Town in Randfontein, west of Joburg.

“Boys Town changed my life. That’s where I discovered my singing talent,” said the musical director at Eagle Christian Centre in Pietermaritzburg.

Bones went back home in 2000 to reunite with his grandfather and his younger brother, Steven, now 20.

“My grandfather is 72 and he’s a bit stubborn. I’ll have to ask him if he’ll be coming to the finale tonight.”

Asked this week if he believes he’ll win, he said: “At this point, I’m relying on people’s votes. I’m at peace with whatever people decide.

“Let the votes speak.” Bones has already received plenty of attention.

“All of a sudden girls throw themselves at me,” said the diminutive, married father-of-one.

He tells of one audience member who waved a placard at a recent live Sunday show which read: “Would you please marry me Vincent?”

Although he may be the favourite to win, Bones said he has always known his fiercest competitor has been fellow finalist and professional backup singer Bongi Silinda (24).

The woman from Nelspruit is amazed she has got this far – especially after she reached only number 31 in 2010. She also failed one audition this year and had to try again.

“The competition is tough, but Bones and I are still good friends – there’s no beef,” she said.

“Musically, I have learnt a lot from him.” Idols judge Unathi Msengana declined to reveal which contestant she thinks will win.

“This year the numbers are showing that people are voting. The number has got bigger and bigger.

“Also, there is variety of talent. For the first time, we’ve had many vocalists who can also play instruments,” she said.

The show’s viewership figures had increased by 17% this season, she said

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