Pretoria – Things are heating up in the race to become the next South African Idol.
On Sunday the top 17 was whittled down to the top 10 after Mzansi had their say. Over the past two weeks, over 20 million votes were cast.
Before things got down to the nitty-gritty host ProVerb and the top 17 opened the show with a rendition of Aretha Franklin's song, Respect, in honour of the #AmINext movement – which was started earlier this week in protest of gender-based violence.
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During a press conference, acting head of Mzansi Magic Shirley Adonisi said that it is important for the channel to mimic what the audience is going through.
"We have that responsibility to bring across the message that 'we see you, we hear you' and also communicate the message further on our platform too. The Idols brand is also a powerful platform. It was a no-brainer for us from channel to support this," said Shirley.
While the audience waited with baited breath at the State Theatre for the outcome they were treated to a stellar line-up of performances including Idols SA judge Unathi and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, season 13 winner Paxton and Tresor, Shado M, and R&B superstar Syleena Johnson.
The first five contestants to make it into the top 10 were Virginia Qwabe, Viggy Qwabe, Nolo Seodisha, Mmangaliso Gumbi, and Dinky Kunene.
From group two, Nqobile Gumede, Sneziey Msomi, Micayla Oelofse and Luyolo Yiba received the most votes securing their spot.
With only one place left the wild card battle was between Xola Toto and Innocentia Sibi. With the highest votes, Innocentia - the oldest contestant in the competition – completed the top 10.
A HISTORY MAKING TOP 10
This is the first time in the history of the show that the top 10 is a woman strong group – there are only two male contestants who have made it thus far.
Producer Gavin Wratten said that it is very interesting as it always seems to them that people tend to vote for the guys.
"Cleary people vote on talent, and there are ten very talented singers here."
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM THE TOP 10
30-year-old teacher Innocentia wants to inspire people and show people that they should just love themselves.
Gospel singer Sneizey said she will be bringing "the God that has never been there on Idols."
Returning contestants Nqobile and Dinky want to inspire people to strive for more and to never give up on their dreams.
Mmangaliso - who travelled 550km to audition in Johannesburg – wants to bring her best to every challenge and performance that lays ahead of her in the competition.
Luyolo and Nolo – the two male contestants – want to stay true to themselves and bring originality to the competition.
Twins Viggy and Virginia want "to heal souls" through their singing while Micayla wants to encourage more white people to enter Idols SA.
Tune in to Idols SA Sundays at 17:00 on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161).
Compiled by Leandra Engelbrecht.
(Photos supplied: Mzansi Magic)