Idols SA Season 15 took place in 2019 and aired for four months every Sunday on Mzansi Magic (DStv Channel 161). The season was won by Luyolo Yiba and the runner-up was Sneziey Msomi.
Winner: Luyolo Yiba
Runner-up: Sneziey Msomi
Grand Finale Venue: Big Top Arena, Carnival City in Ekurhuleni
Original Network: Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161)
Original Release: Sunday 7 July – Sunday 17 November 2019
- 1 Auditions
- 2 Theatre Week
- 3 Finalists
- 4 Wooden Mic
- 5 Controversy
The auditions for Season 15 kicked off on Saturday 26 January 2019 and concluded on Saturday 2 March 2019.
Audition dates and venues
Season 15 auditions were held in the following cities;
|Pretoria||The State Theatre||Dr Rebecca Malope||Saturday 26 January 2019|
|Durban||North Beach Amphitheatre||Vusi Nova||Saturday 9 February 2019|
|Johannesburg||Ellis Park Arena||Lady Zamar||Saturday 16 February 2019|
|Cape Town||Century City Conference Centre||DJ Fresh||Saturday 2 March 2019|
Telkom Pop-Up Auditions:
|Bloemfontein||PACOFS (Performing Arts Centre of the Free State)||Saturday 2 February 2019|
|Polokwane||Meropa Casino & Entertainment World||Saturday 23 February 2019|
|Port Elizabeth||Dolphins Leap Conference & Events Centre||Saturday 23 February 2019|
There were 86 contestants battling it out for 32 coveted spots that were up for grabs, Theatre Week was fast turning into a theatre of dreams coming alive and some dreams shattering before hopefuls’ eyes.
The contestants had a playlist of 10 songs to choose from. This is what many could call a professional audition with a pianist accompanying the contestants for the first time in the history of Idols SA. Song choices stressed the candidates, and many of them weren’t sure if they had made the right song choice. Some had chosen songs they didn’t even know.
At the end of the first round of Theatre Week, 54 contestants saw their Idols SA dream and journey end. Tears and pain is what they had when they were sent back home having given it their best.
Main Article: Idols SA Season 15 Theatre Week Group Performances
Solo Performances (Top 32)
Season 15 Top 32 contestants had their Theatre Week Solo performances on Sunday 11 August 2019.
|Viggy Qwabe||“Noba Ngumama” by Nathi Mankayi||Advanced|
|Virginia Qwabe||“Lengoma” by Zahara||Advanced|
|Thula Mnisi||“No One Else Comes Close”||Eliminated|
|Jooma Mize||“Don’t Judge Me”||Eliminated|
|Sizwe Hlatshwayo||“Imali Yamalobolo”||Advanced|
|Mmangaliso Gumbi||“I Still Believe”||Advanced|
|Motheo Tshabangu||“I’ll Be There”||Eliminated|
|Luyolo Yiba||“Zanele” by Brian Temba||Advanced|
|Naledi Gwam||“No Tears Left To Cry”||Eliminated|
|Zia Fielies||“How Far I’ll Go”||Advanced|
|Micayla Oelofse||“Issues” by Julia Michaels||Advanced|
|Sneziey Msomi||“Through The Fire” by Chaka Khan||Advanced|
|Craig Jordaan||“Let’s Stay Together”||Advanced|
|Katara Maroro||“Mercy Mercy Me”||Eliminated|
|Thoriso Seodisha||“One Last Cry”||Eliminated|
|Innocentia Sibi||“Life Is Going On”||Advanced|
|Dinky Swartz||“For You”||Advanced|
|Snenhlanhla Khumalo||“Ngeke Ngikulahle”||Eliminated|
|Andy Keys||“One Love” by Bob Marley||Advanced|
|Gugulethu Gumede||“My Baby”||Eliminated|
|Sandy Bota||“I Remember”||Eliminated|
|Melanin||“Let Me Know”||Eliminated|
Main Article: Idols SA Season 15 Top 32 Contestants
17 contestants were selected for the next round instead of the traditional 16 to accommodate twins Viggy and Virginia Qwabe.
Top 17 Contestants
Season 15 Top 17 contestants were revealed on Sunday 18 August 2019.
|Andy Keys||20||Male||Embalenhle, Secunda|
|Craig Jordaan||21||Male||Elsies River, Epping Forest|
|Dinky Kunene||22||Female||Ennerdale, Gauteng|
|Innocentia Sibi||30||Female||Khuma, Stilfontein|
|Louise Nicholls||29||Female||Strandfontein, Cape Town|
|Luyolo Yiba||24||Male||King Williams Town, Cape Town|
|Micayla Oelofse||18||Female||Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape|
|Mmangaliso Gumbi||24||Female||Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal|
|Viggy Qwabe||22||Female||KwaDukuza, KwaZulu-Natal|
|Virginia Qwabe||22||Female||KwaDukuza, KwaZulu-Natal|
|Xola Toto||21||Female||Cape Town|
|Zia Fielies||19||Female||Manenberg, Cape Town|
Main Article: Idols SA Season 15 Top 17 Contestants
The Top 17 contestants were then divided into two groups, A and B.
The Top 17 contestants of Group A performed on Sunday 25 August 2019.
Group Performance: Group A contestants performed “Fela In Versace” by AKA Ft. Kiddominant
|Sizwe Hlatshwayo||“Tigi” by Sands||Eliminated|
|Mmangaliso Gumbi||“Egoli” by Mlindo The Vocalist Ft. Sjava||Advanced|
|Louise Nicholls||“Without Me” by Halsey||Eliminated|
|Andy Keys||“Girls Like You” by Maroon 5 Ft. Cardi B||Eliminated|
|Virginia Qwabe||“Themba” by Kelly Khumalo||Advanced|
|Viggy Qwabe||“Mgodi” by Zahara||Advanced|
|Dinky Kunene||“Get You” by Daniel Caesar Ft. Kali Uchis||Advanced|
|Nolo Seodisha||“Talk” by Khalid||Advanced|
|Xola Toto||“Come With Me” by Black Coffee Ft. Mque||Eliminated|
The Top 17 contestants of Group B performed on Sunday 1 September 2019.
Group Performance: Group B contestants performed “Move For Me” by Cassper Nyovest Ft. Boskasie
|Sneziey Msomi||“Ewe Getsemane” by SbuNoah||Advanced|
|Nqobile Gumede||“Love Theory” by Kirk Franklin||Advanced|
|Luyolo Yiba||“Say You Won’t Let Go” by James Arthur||Advanced|
|Zia Fielies||“Better” by Khalid||Eliminated|
|Treasure Mngadi||“The Middle” by Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey||Eliminated|
|Craig Jordaan||“Dancing With A Stranger” by Sam Smith & Normani||Eliminated|
|Micayla Oelofse||“New Rules” by Dua Lipa||Advanced|
|Innocentia Sibi||“Scars To Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara||Advanced|
Season 15 Top 10 contestants were revealed on Sunday 8 September 2019.
Performers Of The Evening:
- Top 17 contestants and ProVerb performed “Respect” by Aretha Franklin
- LadySmith Black Mmabazo and judge Unathi performed “Halo Sana”
- Top 17 Group A performed “Giant” by Calvin Harris & Rag’n’Bone Man
- Top 17 Group B performed “Level Up” by Ciara
- Paxton and Tresor performed “Kiss The Haze”
- Syleena Johnson performed “Woman”
- Shado M performed “Inhliziyo Yami ithi Hey”
The Top 10 contestants then performed a week later on Sunday 15 September 2019.
Theme: “Inspirational hits”
Guest Performer: Dr Tumi & the Top 10 contestants performed “Nothing Without You”
NOTE: All the performers were accompanied by the ‘Tshwane Gospel Choir’.
|Dinky Kunene||“One Wing” by Jordin Sparks||Advanced|
|Viggy Qwabe||“Phumelela” by Miss Pru Ft. Amanda Black, Emtee, Sjava, Saudi & Sindi||Advanced|
|Luyolo Yiba||“Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele||Advanced|
|Nqobile Gumede||“Can’t Give Up Now” by Mary Mary||Advanced|
|Sneziey Msomi||“Heal My Soul” by Tshwane Gospel Choir||Advanced|
|Virginia Qwabe||“Yebo Linamandla” by Benjamin Dube Ft. Nomakhuze Ndabula||Advanced|
|Nolo Seodisha||“Modimo Ke Lerato” by Joyous Celebration||Advanced|
|Innocentia Sibi||“Ave Maria” by Beyoncé||Eliminated|
|Mmangaliso Gumbi||“Ngangingazi” by Benjamin Dube Ft. Siyakha Khithaza||Advanced|
|Micayla Oelofse||“Rise Up” by Andra Day||Advanced|
The Top 10 contestants attended a Financial Management Masterclass courtesy of Old Mutual, the goal of this was to help the contestants with financial freedom and empowerment. The class took place at Old Mutual’s AMPD Studios in Newtown Johannesburg on Wednesday 18 September 2019.
The Top 9 contestants were revealed on Sunday 22 September 2019 and they also performed live on the same day.
Theme: “DJ Tira’s Playlist”
Guest Mentor & Performer: DJ Tira
|Virginia Qwabe||“Umsindo” by Durban’s Finest Ft. Professor||Advanced|
|Sneziey Msomi||“Pakisha” by Dladla Mshunqisi Ft. Distruction Boyz & DJ Tira||Advanced|
|Dinky Kunene||“No Rush (Remix)” by DJ Tira & Prince Bulo Ft. AKA & Okmalumkoolkat||Eliminated|
|Micayla Oelofse||“Best Part” by Daniel Caesar Ft. H.E.R.||Advanced|
|Nqobile Gumede||“Malokazi” by Mduduzi Ft. Berita||Advanced|
|Nolo Seodisha||“Jika” by AKA Ft. Yanga Chief||Advanced|
|Mmangaliso Gumbi||“A Couple Of Forevers” by Chrisette Michele||Advanced|
|Viggy Qwabe||“Amaxoki” by Distruction Boyz Ft. DJ Tira & Kdot||Advanced|
|Luyolo Yiba||“Abangani” by Sjava Ft. Saudi & Emtee||Advanced|
Season 15 Top 8 contestants were revealed on Sunday 29 September 2019 after which they performed live. This day was the perfect celebration of the LGBTQI+ community, especially since a day before (Saturday 28 September), Idols SA judge Somizi Mhlongo had finally tied the knot.
Theme: “Diva/Divo Showstoppers”
Group Performance: Top 8 Contestants and Mzansi Gay Choir performed “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga
– Holly Rey performed “Deeper”
– Mzansi Gay Choir featuring Thula Mnisi (this season’s Top 32 finalist)
|Sneziey Msomi||“Burn Out” by Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse||Advanced|
|Viggy Qwabe||“Chandelier” by Sia||Advanced|
|Luyolo Yiba||“Green Light” by John Legend Ft. André 3000||Advanced|
|Nqobile Gumede||“I’m Every Woman” by Whitney Houston||Eliminated|
|Nolo Seodisha||“Umkhaya Lo” by Musa||Advanced|
|Virginia Qwabe||“Titanium” by David Guetta Ft. Sia||Advanced|
|Micayla Oelofse||“Angifuni” by Paxton||Advanced|
|Mmangaliso Gumbi||“Lady Marmalade” by Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mýa, & Pink||Advanced|
The Top 8 contestants attended the Telkom South Africa Activation at the Mall of Africa on Friday 4 October 2019 and they were accompanied by the Idols SA presenter, ProVerb.
The Top 7 contestants were revealed on Sunday 6 October 2019, after which they performed live.
Theme: “Love Hits”
Guest Performer: Ihashi Elimhlophe performed “Nkiya Nkiya” and “AmaWaza Waza”
|Luyolo Yiba||“I Love You” by Thami||Advanced|
|Micayla Oelofse||“Run To You” by Whitney Houston||Advanced|
|Mmangaliso Gumbi||“Be Without You” by Mary J. Blige||Eliminated|
|Nolo Seodisha||“Close The Door” by Teddy Pendergrass||Advanced|
|Sneziey Msomi||“Have You Ever?” by Brandy||Advanced|
|Viggy Qwabe||“S’thandwa Sami” by Thee Legacy||Advanced|
|Virginia Qwabe||“Yim’ Okthandayo” by Linda Ft. Zanda Zakuza||Advanced|
Season 15 Top 6 contestants were revealed on Sunday 13 October 2019, they then performed on the live Idols SA stage.
Group Performance: Top 7 Contestants performed “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X Ft. Billy Ray Cyrus
Guest Performers: Kaygee DaKing and Bizizi performed “Kokota Piano”
|Luyolo Yiba||“Dance Till You Drop” by Naak MusiQ||Advanced|
|Virginia Qwabe||“Khona” by Mafikizolo Ft. Uhuru||Eliminated|
|Viggy Qwabe||“Hamba” by Zanda Zakuza Ft. Bongo Beats||Advanced|
|Sneziey Msomi||“Proud Mary” by Ike & Tina Turner||Advanced|
|Nolo Seodisha||“Speed Of Sound” by Da Capo Ft. Tresor||Advanced|
|Micayla Oelofse||“Worth It” by Fifth Harmony Ft. Kid Ink||Advanced|
The Top 5 contestants were revealed on Sunday 20 October 2019 after which they lit up the Idols SA stage for two performances each.
– “Cover Songs”
– “Timbaland’s Songbook”
|CONTESTANT||FIRST SONG||SECOND SONG||RESULT|
|Micayla Oelofse||“Lights” by Ellie Goulding||“Until the End of Time” by Justin Timberlake||Advanced|
|Nolo Seodisha||“Buza” by Letta Mbulu||“What Goes Around… Comes Around” by Justin Timberlake||Advanced|
|Sneziey Msomi||“Black Sheep” by Gin Wigmore||“Drunk in Love” by Beyoncé Ft. Jay-Z||Advanced|
|Luyolo Yiba||“Learn to Love Again” by Lawson||“Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake||Advanced|
|Viggy Qwabe||“Sinazo” by Amanda Black||“Apologize” by Timbaland Ft. OneRepublic||Withdrew|
NOTE: As a result of Viggy’s withdrawal from the competition, all voting lines were closed for the next round and there was no contestant eliminated in the next episode.
Season 15 Top 4 contestants performed live on Sunday 27 October 2019.
– “My Fam’s High School Hits”
– “My High School Hits”
Guest Performers: Prince Kaybee and Indlovukazi performed “Gugulethu”
|CONTESTANT||FIRST SONG||SECOND SONG||RESULT|
|Nolo Seodisha||“Let’s Groove” by Earth, Wind & Fire||“The Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars||Eliminated|
|Micayla Oelofse||“It Must Have Been Love” by Roxette||“Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande||Advanced|
|Luyolo Yiba||“Nightshift” by Commodores||“OMG” by Usher Ft. Will.i.am||Advanced|
|Sneziey Msomi||“Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu” by Brenda Fassie||“Superman” by Black Coffee Ft. Bucie||Advanced|
Top 4 Debut Singles
The Top 4 contestants spent hours in studio at Gallo Records sharing beats, lyrics, back tracks and laying down vocals for their brand new debut singles over and above the usual rehearsals and technical run-throughs for their next live performances. Gallo Records gave us a sneak peek to what happened inside the contestants’ recording sessions.
Luyolo Yiba and Micayla Oelofse laid down vocals for their debut singles on Monday 28 October 2019, where as Nolo Seodisha and Sneziey Msomi were in studio on Tuesday 29 October 2019.
It is only the debut singles for the Top 3 contestants that were premiered on Sunday 10 November 2019.
Sneziey Msomi’s debut single is titled “Kungumusa”.
Micayla Oelofse’s debut single is titled: “Tragic”
Luyolo Yiba’s debut single is titled: “Sunshine Through The Rain”
The Top 3 contestants were revealed on Sunday 3 November 2019, they then performed live on this same day.
– “South Africa’s Greatest”
– “How It Should Have Been Done”
Guest Performer: Blaq Diamond performed “Ibhanoyi”
- Micayla Oelofse & Luyolo Yiba performed “Almost Is Never Enough” by Ariana Grande & Nathan Sykes
- Nolo Seodisha & Sneziey Msomi performed “When I First Saw You” by Jamie Foxx & Beyoncé
|CONTESTANT||FIRST SONG||SECOND SONG||RESULT|
|Luyolo Yiba||“Photograph” by Ed Sheeran||“Inkanyezi” by Mondli Ngcobo||Advanced|
|Sneziey Msomi||“Save Me” by Thembisile||“Bhutiza” by Mobi Dixon Ft. Nichume||Advanced|
|Micayla Oelofse||“Fallin’” by Alicia Keys||“Suited” by Shekhinah||Eliminated|
Top 3 New York Trip
After the Top 3 reveal live show, the season 15 Top 3 contestants jetted off to New York for a three day trip and they were accompanied by Idols SA presenter ProVerb.
Main Article: Idols SA Season 15 Top 3 Contestants’ New York Trip
The Top 2 contestants were revealed on Sunday 10 November 2019 after each of the Top 3 contestants had performed their brand new single. The Top 2 then performed two more songs each.
– “My Theatre Week Song”
– “Favourite Song Of The Season”
Guest Performers: Semi Tee, Milano and Kamu Dee performed “Labantwana AmaUber”
|CONTESTANT||NEW SINGLE||THEATRE WEEK SONG||SONG OF THE SEASON||RESULT|
|Sneziey Msomi||“Kungumusa”||“Through the Fire” by Chaka Khan||“Pakisha” by Dladla Mshunqisi Ft. Distruction Boyz & DJ Tira||Runner-up|
|Luyolo Yiba||“Sunshine Through The Rain”||“Zanele” by Brian Temba||“Abangani” by Sjava Ft. Saudi & Emtee||Winner|
Idols SA Season 15 Grand Finale took place on Sunday 17 November 2019 at the Big Top Arena, Carnival City in Ekurhuleni.
- Luyolo Yiba (accompanied by the Mzansi Gay Choir) performed “Green Light” by John Legend Ft. André 3000
- Sneziey Msomi (accompanied by the Mzansi Gay Choir) performed “Burn Out” by Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse
- Luyolo Yiba & Sneziey Msomi (duet) performed “You Are The Reason” by Calum Scott & Leona Lewis
- Top 10 Contestants performed “Preach” by John Legend
- Luyolo Yiba performed “Sunshine Through The Rain”
– DJ Zinhle, Mvzzle and Rethabile performed “Umlilo”
– Samthing Soweto, DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small performed “Akulaleki”
– DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small and Nokwazi performed “Vula Vala”
– Boity performed “Wuz Dat” and “Bakae”
– Vusi Nova and Idols SA Contestants performed “Asiphelelanga”
– Sho Madjozi performed “John Cena”
– Yanga performed “Promised Land”
Winner and Runner-up Announcement
In a tightly-contested competition, Luyolo Yiba was announced the winner of Idols SA season 15, with Sneziey Msomi the runner-up.
Luyolo Yiba became an instant millionaire, with R1 Million in cash and a Ford Fiesta, among other prizes from Idols SA sponsors, Telkom, Ford, Old Mutual, Truworths and Yamaha.
Runner-up, Sneziey Msomi didn’t go empty handed, she received over R180,000 worth of prizes.
The Idols SA season 15 Wooden Mic winner was Beatrice from Cape Town, during the auditions she tried her best to sing the 2010 World Cup anthem by Shakira, Waka Waka.
Viggy Qwabe withdrew from the competition on Sunday 20 October 2019 after her twin sister Virginia Qwabe failed to make it into the Top 5, Mzansi Magic confirmed this in a statement on the official Idols SA website that read;
From the beginning of their idols SA journey, the twins, Viggy and Virginia have always said they are in this together. After lengthy discussions, Viggy who still remained in the Idols competition post Sunday night’s elimination has decided to exit the competition. We would like to wish both Viggy Qwabe and Virginia Qwabe all the best in their careers as they are both extremely talented. The Qwabe twins, their family, production company and channel met after the show tonight to formalise Viggy’s decision.
And as a result of Viggy’s withdrawal, all voting lines were closed for the next round and there was no contestant eliminated in the next episode that took place on Sunday 27 October 2019.
But behind the scenes, the situation had been much more worse, shocking, dangerous and crazy than we could have imagined. It was revealed that the Qwabe family, filled with anger, waged a big fight and attacked Mzansi Magic crew.
Below is a summary of what happened behind the scenes on the night of Sunday 20 October 2019;
When Virginia Qwabe was announced as the contestant that was eliminated from the competition, the Qwabe family immediately left their seats and exited the auditorium. The family also wanted Viggy Qwabe who was actually still in the competiton to get off the show immediately, while it was still live on air.
The Qwabe family then got so aggressive and attacked a member of the Mzansi Magic publicity team which led to the police being called in before the situation worsened.
“It was so bad I was scared for my life,“ – these are the words of the person who was attacked.
He was busy outside and they targeted him because he was from Mzansi Magic, thankfully he wasn’t hurt but it’s clear it was a terrifying, abusive incident.
The person who was attacked narrated to the Idolssa.net Team that the Qwabe family said things like: “I’ll just make one call and that’ll be the end of you,“ – the Qwabe family included the twins’ brothers, cousins and their father Lawrence Qwabe, who eventually tried to calm things down after he realised that the situation was getting out of control, and of course he had to calm things down because by then, they had been surrounded by police.
As for why the Qwabe family reacted as they did, they claimed that Idols SA rigged Virginia’s elimination because judge Somizi Mhlongo had made a prediction that one of the twins would be eliminated this week.
And this is obviously what Viggy was referring to in her Facebook where she said: “We were both aware that we both won’t win and one of us would leave but not in the way it was done yesterday. I cannot stay when that has happened to my sister.“
The Qwabe twins then picked up all their belongings from the Idols SA house on Sunday night (apparently this was filled with aggressive behaviour too) and were excommunicated from the series.
The Idolssa.net Team asked to speak to Viggy but Mzansi Magic told us that the twins are not available for interviews.
Mzansi Magic also told us that the social media accounts claiming the twins were bullied behind-the-scenes are fake accounts and that this isn’t true. Idols SA then released the below statement about this issue:
“Mzansi Magic, is satisfied as to the credibility of the Idols SA Season 15 voting process. The vote count and ranking on contestants were independently computed by Deloitte and Touche and confirmed against the vote results determined by M-Net. While the judges provide predictions and commentary on the show, they can in no way alter the computation and outcomes of the public vote. Mzansi Magic is also satisfied that the show is managed in a manner that respects our talent and crew and that no bullying is tolerated.” Philly Kubheka HOD PR & Publicity, Local Entertainment Channels.
But that was not all, the Qwabe twins did not attend the Grand Finale on Sunday 17 November 2019 because only Virginia was invited and not Viggy. This is because the Idols SA policy is that anyone eliminated from the Top 10 gets invited back for the Grand Finale but Viggy was not because she deliberately withdrew from the competition. So in solidarity with her twin sister, Virginia decided to turn down the invitation.