Idols SA Season 1

Idols SA season 1 took place in 2002, the winner was Heinz Winckler and the runner-up was Brendon October.

The show was hosted by Candy Litchfield, Matthew Stewardson, and Sami Sabiti.

The judges were Dave Thompson, Marcus Brewster, Penny Lebyane, and Randall Abrahams.

It was the first season of the South African reality interactive talent show, Idols South Africa, based on the British talent show Pop Idol.

It started as the second international spin-off of the original series just days after the first Idols season in Poland.

However, as it ended earlier the winner Heinz Winckler is the second Idol winner after the original Pop Idol Will Young.

In the beginning, the show was hosted by Matthew Stewardson and Candy Litchfield. However, halfway through the season Stewardson was axed and replaced by Sami Sabiti.

Soon after that Stewardson checked himself into a rehab center, the show saw a tragic incident when its official photographer, Steve Hilton-Barber suddenly died during the competition.

Idols SA Season 1 Summary

Hosts:Candy Litchfield, Matthew Stewardson, and Sami Sabiti
Judges:Dave Thompson, Marcus Brewster, Penny Lebyane, and Randall Abrahams
Photographer:Steve Hilton-Barber
Winner:Heinz Winckler
Runner-up:Brendon October
Grand Finale Venue:Vodaworld
Original Network:M-Net
Start Date:Sunday 10 March 2002
End Date:Monday 17 June 2002

Judges and Hosts

The Idols SA Season 1 judges were; Dave Thompson, Marcus Brewster, Penny Lebyane, and Randall Abrahams.

The hosts were Candy Litchfield, Matthew Stewardson, and Sami Sabiti.

Theatre Week

Simon Cowell, judge of the original series was guest judging during the theater round when the Top 50 contestants were chosen.

The Top 50 contestants were then split into 10 groups of 5 where the contestant who got the most votes would move on to the top 10.

Heat 1 (10 March 2002)

Brandon October“She’s the One” by Robbie WilliamsAdvanced
Rene Hunter“You’ve Got a Friend” by Carole KingEliminated
Liesl Penniken“One Moment in Time” by Whitney HoustonEliminated
Malcolm Manuel“I Turn to You” by Christina AguileraEliminated
Melanie Lowe“Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty SpringfieldSaved

Heat 2 (17 March 2002)

Lauren Matos“I Will Survive” by Gloria GaynorEliminated
Yoganathan Khandoo“We Are the World” by USA for AfricaEliminated
Kerry Hiles“Special Star” by Mango GrooveEliminated
Cindy Bester“How Do I Live” by LeAnn RimesAdvanced
Lushé Killian“Angel” by Sarah McLachlanEliminated

Heat 3 (24 March 2002)

Tarryn Lamb“It Must Have Been Love” by RoxetteEliminated
Cecelia Neer“The Greatest Love of All” by Whitney HoustonEliminated
Leanne Steenkamp“From a Distance” by Bette MidlerEliminated
Tasmia Begbie“I’m Outta Love” by AnastaciaEliminated
Nicole Billingham“Breathe” by Faith HillAdvanced

Heat 4 (31 March 2002)

Kim Milner“Just the Way You Are” by Billy JoelEliminated
Rian Swanepoel“When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy SledgeAdvanced
Duke Motlanthe“I Swear” by All-4-OneEliminated
Philadelphia Shayi“I Have Nothing” by Whitney HoustonEliminated
Elena Forbes“Saving All My Love for You” by Whitney HoustonEliminated

Heat 5 (7 April 2002)

David Fourie“This I Promise You” by NSYNCAdvanced
Laurene Chesling“Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill WithersEliminated
Buli Ngomane“Where Do Broken Hearts Go” by Whitney HoustonEliminated
Rebert Roodbol“I Love the Way You Love Me” by BoyzoneEliminated
Angelique Campher“Baby Can I Hold You” by Tracy ChapmanEliminated

Heat 6 (14 April 2002)

Nicola Warwick“Think Twice” by Celine DionEliminated
Bianca Le Grange“Bohemian Rhapsody” by QueenAdvanced
Francois Mulder“Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Andy WilliamsEliminated
Michelle Williamson“Un-Break My Heart” by Toni BraxtonEliminated
Vanessa Grebe“There You’ll Be” by Faith HillEliminated

Heat 7 (21 April 2002)

Ayanda Nhlangothi“(Something Inside) So Strong” by Labi SiffreAdvanced
Kim August“Woman in Love” by Barbra StreisandEliminated
Darren Green“Your Song” by Elton JohnEliminated
Lizé Nuttall“Again” by Janet JacksonEliminated
Karlien Husselman“Walking in Memphis” by CherEliminated

Heat 8 (28 April 2002)

Dalen Jooste“How Deep Is Your Love” by Bee GeesEliminated
Letoya Makhene“Declaration of Love” by Celine DionEliminated
Chad Saaiman“(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” by Bryan AdamsEliminated
Liana Van Zyl“I Will Love Again” by Lara FabianEliminated
Heinz Winckler“Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” by TrainAdvanced

Heat 9 (5 May 2002)

Zure Classen“Eternal Flame” by The BanglesEliminated
Nombulelo Mntaka“Moments Away” by Mango GrooveEliminated
Monique Steyn“Fields of Gold” by StingEliminated
Lyndle Kearns“All the Man That I Need” by Whitney HoustonAdvanced
Gugulethu Shezi“Over and Over” by Puff JohnsonEliminated

Heat 10 (12 May 2002)

Boitumelo Masemola“I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney HoustonEliminated
Lauren Laing“Hero” by Mariah CareyEliminated
Mallisan Scholtz“To Love You More” by Celine DionEliminated
Hybre Africa“All by Myself” by Celine DionEliminated
Ezra Lingeveldt“Get Over You” by Brian McKnightAdvanced


The initial plan was to have a Top 10 but because there was a voting error during the voting for the first group (Heat 1), Melanie Lowe who was a close second behind Brandon October was saved by the show producers making it a Top 11 instead.

Note: ages stated at the time of contest

ContestantAgeHometownVoted OffSpectacular Theme
Heinz Winckler24StellenboschWinnerGrand Finale
Brendon October25Johannesburg17 June 2002Grand Finale
Melanie Lowe26Vredehoek17 June 2002Grand Finale
Bianca Le Grange20Johannesburg10 June 2002Judge’s Choice
Ayanda Nhlangothi19Durban3 June 2002Proudly South African
Ezra Lingeveldt21Sea Point3 June 2002Proudly South African
Cindy Bester19East London27 May 2002My Idol
Lyndle Kearns17Rocklands27 May 2002My Idol
Rian Swanepoel20Hatfield20 May 2002Greatest Hits
Nicole Billingham23Ferndale20 May 2002Greatest Hits
David Fourie21Bloemfontein20 May 2002Greatest Hits

Idols SA Season 1 Top 11

Idols SA season 1 top 11 contestants performed live on Sunday 19 May 2002.

Theme: “Movie Magic”

Lyndle Kearns“Dancing Queen” by ABBASafe
Bianca Le Grange“Ben” by Michael JacksonSafe
Nicole Billingham“Take My Breath Away” by BerlinEliminated
Rian Swanepoel“Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” by Phil CollinsEliminated
Melanie Lowe“Little Bird” by Annie LennoxBottom five
Ayanda Nhlangothi“Kiss from a Rose” by SealSafe
David Fourie“Hungry Eyes” by Eric CarmenEliminated
Cindy Bester“If I Can’t Have You” by Yvonne EllimanBottom four
Heinz Winckler“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by AerosmithSafe
Brandon October“Let’s Stay Together” by Al GreenSafe
Ezra Lingeveldt“(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” by Otis ReddingSafe

Over 500,000 votes were cast for the Top 11 contestants before the lines closed

Idols SA Season 1 Top 8

The Idols SA season 1 top 8 contestants of season 1 performed live on Sunday 26 May 2002.

Theme: “My Own Idol”

Lyndle Kearns“Heaven’s What I Feel” by Gloria EstefanEliminated
Bianca Le Grange“Fantasy” by Earth, Wind & FireSafe
Melanie Lowe“Careless Whisper” by George MichaelSafe
Ayanda Nhlangothi“Black Velvet” by Alannah MylesSafe
Cindy Bester“Time After Time” by Cyndi LauperEliminated
Heinz Winckler“Higher” by CreedSafe
Brandon October“Hard to Say I’m Sorry” by ChicagoSafe
Ezra Lingeveldt“Rosanna” by TotoBottom three

Idols SA Season 1 Top 6

The Idols SA season 1 top 6 contestants performed live on Sunday 2 June 2002.

Theme: “Proudly South African”

Bianca Le Grange“Substitute” by CloutSafe
Melanie Lowe“Acid Rain” by Wendy OldfieldSafe
Ayanda Nhlangothi“Another Country” by Mango GrooveEliminated
Heinz Winckler“Shallow Waters” by Just JinjerSafe
Brandon October“Hurts So Bad” by Danny KBottom three
Ezra Lingeveldt“Starlight” by GrannysmithEliminated

Idols SA Season 1 Top 4 (Semi-final)

Season 1’s Top 4 contestants performed live on Sunday 9 June 2002 with each semi-finalist performing twice.

Theme: “Judges’ Choice”

ContestantFirst SongSecond SongResult
Bianca Le Grange“Superwoman” by Karyn White“I Don’t Want to Wait” by Paula ColeEliminated
Melanie Lowe“Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia“Shackles (Praise You)” by Mary MaryBottom two
Heinz Winckler“Every Breath You Take” by The Police“Soledad” by WestlifeSafe
Brandon October“Truly Madly Deeply” by Savage Garden“Escape” by Enrique IglesiasSafe

Idols SA Season 1 Top 3 (Grand Finale)

The Idols SA season 1 top 3 contestants (finalists) performed live for the public’s votes on Sunday 16 June 2002, the Grand Finale results were then revealed 24 hours later on Monday 17 June 2002.

ContestantFirst SongSecond SongThird SongResult
Melanie Lowe“Little Bird”“Acid Rain”“Every Single Thing”Third place
Heinz Winckler“Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)”“Soledad”“Once in a Lifetime”Winner
Brandon October“She’s the One”“Let’s Stay Together”“Once in a Lifetime”Runner-up

Season chronology:
Next ( Season 2 ) »


Idols SA Winners: Where Are They Now?

Idols SA Viewership

Idols SA Presenters From Season 1 To Date

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