Cape Town – Mmangaliso Gumbi's journey on Idols SA has come to an end after she did not secure enough votes to make it to top 6.
The 24-year-old travelled more than 550km to audition in Johannesburg, where she got four nods from the judges.
The singer impressed the judges every week by showing off her versatility with her song choices.
We chatted to Mmagaliso about her journey, what she learned from the competition and found out what's next for the aspiring singer.
How much fun was it to kick off the show with Old Town Road with everyone?
That was my favourite group performance; it was such a fun song to sing. It is one of the biggest songs right now around the world. I had so much fun with that song, and I enjoyed every moment of it, and I was doing it with the other contestants who are great singers and amazing people.
Usually, you would wait until the end of the show to find out if you made it. Did you find some relief in the way they switched it up last night, announcing your elimination at the beginning?
I preferred, for the person who is going home they'd like to know immediately rather than wait it out. I liked that they announced the elimination in the beginning, and I could also enjoy the show for the first time. Usually, you can't enjoy the performances; this time I enjoyed the show knowing that my journey with Idols SA is over, but I still had the night to watch my fellow contestants. I liked my elimination because of that.
You have evolved on the show since your very first audition. Can you tell me more about how you have grown and gotten more comfortable with yourself through this process?
In the beginning, I did keep to myself a lot, even as a performer. I sang at church for the longest time, and there you are in your own world when you are on stage. With secular music, it is different because you must involve everyone. I think I have grown in terms of crowd interaction, knowing when to engage the audience and knowing when to be in my world as a performer and keeping that balance. That is my greatest point of growth within the competition. Musically I have learnt so much from the vocal coaches, to the band and from my fellow contestants. We do learn from each other on and off the stage.
The judges gave you good feedback throughout the show and wanted you to believe you are talented and special. How will you embrace that going forward?
I think I have always known that I am talented and that there is something special about me. Just having it validated on a bigger platform gave me the confidence that I didn't think I had initially. I will use it as a tool to push me forward and try my best to stay humble. I am very grateful that I got good feedback every week, and I hope I keep the confidence that I gained from being on it.
What is next for you? Will you pursue a music career?
Music is number one on my list right now, although I do want to finish school. For now, I want to use the momentum that I have gained to kick off my music career and continue with theatre work. I do love the world of theatre; I have done a few musicals before. I am excited about what the future holds for me. I do have long-term plans that don't involve music, but for now, music is my priority.
Tune in to Idols SA Sundays at 17:00 on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161).
Compiled by Leandra Engelbrecht.
(Photos supplied: Mzansi Magic)