This is the sixth time South Africans could try their luck in Idols. In 2002 when the show was first aired here South Africa became the second country after Poland to import this singing reality series that originated in Britain.
As the latest season draws to a close we look at what happened to previous winners and the judges’ takes on SA’s past and present Idols.
South Africa’s first Idols winner is now a successful singer. Judge Mara Louw says, “So far only one Idols contestant has achieved real success – and that’s Heinz.”
Fans who hoped Anke would follow in Heinz’s footsteps were sorely disappointed. She has since virtually disappeared from the music scene.
The apple packer of Grabouw was one of the most controversial Idols winners. She disappeared from the music scene after then-boyfriend Cheslin Williams was charged with the murder. These days Karin sings mostly in churches.
“Karin’s major personal issues affected her career – a real pity as she possesses a wonderful voice,” judge Randall Abrahams says.
Her debut album, Just Gonna Be Me, made Jody an overnight pop sensation. She’s working on her second album.
Sasha-Lee launched her self-titled debut album early this year and sales are nearing the 20 000 mark. These days she spends a lot of time in England, where she’s recording her second album.
Jason’s debut album, On the Run, has sold more than 20 000 and he opened for American Idols winner Kelly Clarkson on her SA tour.
“Jason has done very well so far,” Mara says.
ELVIS BLUE and L’LOYD CELE
Jan Hoogendyk, or Elvis Blue, attracted attention at his first audition. In the semifinal 30-year-old Elvis sang You Belong to Me, which he would have performed at his sister’s wedding that night had he not been part of Idols.
L’loyd entered Idols to give Levi, his one-year-old son, a better future. After being seriously injured in gang violence he became involved with his church, where he discovered his musical talent.
“These two Idols are strong because of their individuality and sincerity,” Randall says. “Each of them tries to focus on his best musical choices and remain true to himself.”