Idols SA Season 16

Idols SA Season 16 took place in 2020 during the difficult times of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic that played a major role in the launch of the show being delayed.

Fans and viewers of Idols SA were accustomed to the show airing from mid July and concluding towards the end of November but that was not the case with season 16, instead the show started airing in August and concluded in mid December. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were also no audiences during the live shows on Sundays.

During season 16, South African legendary record label ‘Kalawa Jazmee’ was brought on board as the official label partner for Idols SA.

Main Article: Idols SA Signs A Deal With Kalawa Jazmee Records


Host: ProVerb

Judges: Unathi Nkayi, Somizi Mhlongo and Randall Abrahams

Winner: Zama Khumalo

Runner-up: Mr Music

Grand Finale Venue: The State Theatre, Pretoria

Original Network: Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161)

Original Release: Sunday 2 August – Sunday 13 December 2020


Idols SA Season 16 Judges, Randall Abrahams, Unathi Nkayi and Somizi Mhlongo
Left to Right: Season 16 Judges, Randall Abrahams, Unathi Nkayi and Somizi Mhlongo.

Auditions

The Idols SA season 16 auditions kicked off on Saturday 1 February 2020 in Cape Town and ended on Saturday 7 March 2020 in Johannesburg.

Audition dates and venues

CITYVENUEGUEST JUDGEDATE
Cape TownCentury City Conference CentreCassper NyovestSaturday 1 February 2020
PretoriaThe South African State TheatreDJ ZinhleSaturday 15 February 2020
DurbanSouthern Sun Elangeni & Maharani + North Beach AmphitheatreDr TumiSaturday 22 February 2020
JohannesburgCarnival CityBuhleSaturday 7 March 2020

Online Pop-Up Auditions

For the first time in the history of the show, Idols SA hopefuls were able to submit an Online Pop-Up Audition from anywhere in South Africa. Submissions were opened on the Idols SA official website on Tuesday 25 February at midnight for 48 hours only and closed on Thursday 27 February 2020.


Theatre Week

Group Stage

In a Theatre Week like no other due to a national lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Idols SA contestants only met their group partners moments before they performed. The pandemic necessitated social distancing, and therefore the contestants had to rehearse in isolation adding a new dimension to the competition but also levelling the playing field in a whole new way.

Main Article: Idols SA 2020 Theatre Week Group Stage Performances

Solo Performances (Top 31)

Solo performances are obviously the last stage of Theatre Week, this stage was the Top 31 contestants’ toughest auditions as they took on hit songs leaving it all on stage in a final bid to make the Top 16.

Main Article: Idols SA 2020 Theatre Week Solo Performances


Finalists

Top 16

The Season 16 Top 16 contestants were revealed on Sunday 13 September 2020, they consisted eight gentlemen and eight ladies.

Idols SA Season 16 Top 16 Contestants
Season 16 Top 16 contestants.
CONTESTANTAGEGENDERHOMETOWN
Be Mohutsioa25FemaleBloemfontein
Bongi Mntambo25FemaleWelkom
Brandon Dhludhlu22MaleBarberton
Dee Mayekane22FemaleNyanga
Ethan Norris25MaleTable View
Jerodine Madlala28FemaleKwamakhutha
Jooma Mize29MaleNelson Mandela Bay
Melanin Zwane21FemaleNewcastle
Mr Music21MaleRichard’s Bay
Ndoni Mseleku22FemaleNewlands West
Ntokozo Mvelase20FemaleKagiso
Qhawe Mahlangu23MaleKwaThema
Succedor Zitha22MaleWaterval Boven
Zahn-Reece Malgas23MaleVanderbijlpark
Zama Khumalo19FemaleEmalahleni
ZanoThando23MaleRustenburg

Main Article: Idols SA Season 16 Top 16 Contestants

The Top 16 contestants were then divided into two groups, Group A consisting of only male contestants and Group B consisting of only female contestants.

Group A (Males)

Group A (Males) performed on Sunday 20 September 2020.

Idols SA Season 16 Top 16 - Male Contestants
Male Contestants of Season 16 Top 16 on the Idols stage performing.

Theme: “The Best Cover Songs”

Group Performance: Top 16 Group A (Males) performed “Love Never Felt So Good” Cover by Michael Jackson & Justin Timberlake

CONTESTANTSONGRESULT
Brandon Dhludhlu“Dancing On My Own” by Calum ScottAdvanced
Ethan Norris“Feeling Good” by Michael BubléEliminated
Jooma Mize“Always and Forever” by Luther VandrossAdvanced
Mr Music“All I Could Do Was Cry” by BeyoncéAdvanced
Qhawe Mahlangu“Try A Little Tenderness” by Chris BrownEliminated
Succedor Zitha“Emotion” by Destiny’s ChildAdvanced
Zahn-Reece“Superstar” by Luther VandrossEliminated
ZanoThando“I Got A Woman” by Elvis PresleyAdvanced

Group B (Females)

Group B (Females) performed on Sunday 27 September 2020.

Idols SA Season 16 Top 16 - Female Contestants
Female Contestants of Season 16 Top 16 on the Idols stage performing.

Theme: “The Best Cover Songs”

Group Performance: Top 16 Group B (Females) performed “Higher Love” Cover by Whitney Houston & Kygo

CONTESTANTSONGRESULT
Jerodine Madlala“Something He Can Feel” by En VogueEliminated
Melanin Zwane“True Colours” by Justin Timberlake & Anna KendrickEliminated
Bongi Mntambo“All The Man That I Need” by Whitney HoustonAdvanced
Ndoni Mseleku“Fast Car” by Jonas Blue Ft. DakotaAdvanced
Dee Mayekane“Rolling In The Deep” by AdeleEliminated
Be Mohutsioa“How Come You Don’t Call Me?” by Alicia KeysAdvanced
Ntokozo Mvelase“I’d Rather Go Blind” by Vusi NovaAdvanced
Zama Khumalo“Crazy” by Tori KellyAdvanced

Top 10

Season 16 Top 10 contestants were revealed on Sunday 4 October 2020.

Performers Of The Evening:

  • Lungisa Xhamela
  • Nosipho
  • Loyiso Gijana and Langa Mavuso performed: “Intliziyo
  • Rethabile Khumalo and Master KG performed “Ntyilo Ntyilo
  • Langa Mavuso
  • Master KG
  • Nomcebo
  • Manu WorldStar
  • Mr Luu
  • MSK
  • MFR Souls
  • Bontle Smith
  • Kamo Mphela
Idols SA Season 16 Top 10 Contestants
Season 16 Top 10 contestants.

The Top 10 contestants then performed a week later on Sunday 11 October 2020.

Theme: “Inspirational Songs”

CONTESTANTSONGRESULT
Brandon Dhludhlu“Oh Freedom” by The Golden Gospel SingersAdvanced
Ndoni Mseleku“Ungayeki” by Brenda MtamboAdvanced
ZanoThando“Superwoman” by Alicia KeysAdvanced
Zama Khumalo“A Change is Gonna Come” by Jennifer HudsonAdvanced
Mr Music“Iqhawe” by SjavaAdvanced
Be Mohutsioa“Make It Happen” by Mariah CareyAdvanced
Jooma Mize“River” by Leon BridgesAdvanced
Ntokozo Mvelase“Never Alone” by Tori KellyAdvanced
Succedor Zitha“Higher Ground” by Stevie WonderEliminated
Bongi Mntambo“Spirit” by BeyoncéAdvanced

Top 10 Prizes

The Top 10 contestants were rewarded with gifts by Idols SA sponsors, Truworths, Yamaha, Darling, Old Mutual and Samsung South Africa for simply making it into season 16’s Top 10.

Main Article: Season 16 Top 10 Contestants Rewarded With Gifts


Top 9

The Top 9 contestants of season 16 were revealed on Sunday 18 October 2020, each of them then performed live.

Idols SA Season 16 Top 9 Contestants
Season 16 Top 9 contestants.

Theme: “Lockdown Hits”

Guest Performer: Aubrey Qwana performed “Molo” and “uKiss

CONTESTANTSONGRESULT
Jooma Mize“Madoda Sabelani” by LoyisoAdvanced
Bongi Mntambo“Stand Up” by Cynthia ErivoAdvanced
ZanoThando“Price to Pay” by Miss Pru Ft. Blaq Diamond & Malome VectorAdvanced
Be Mohutsioa“Boo’d Up” by Ella MaiEliminated
Ntokozo Mvelase“Happiness” by Kelly KhumaloAdvanced
Brandon Dhludhlu“Sorry” by Justin BieberAdvanced
Ndoni Mseleku“Ndizele Wena” by Amanda BlackAdvanced
Zama Khumalo“Say So” by Doja CatAdvanced
Mr Music“Into Ingawe” by Sun-EL Musician & Ami FakuAdvanced

Top 8

Season 16 Top 8 contestants were revealed on revealed on Sunday 25 October 2020, after which each of them performed live.

Theme: “New Kids On The Block”

Guest Performers: Vigro Deep and Focalistic performed “Blue Monday

CONTESTANTSONGRESULT
Bongi Mntambo“Ngiyak’thanda” by Zandie KhumaloAdvanced
Mr Music“Ngempela” by Sjava & DJ Maphorisa Ft. HowardAdvanced
Zama Khumalo“Finally” by ThabsieAdvanced
Brandon Dhludhlu“Angsakwazi” by MusaAdvanced
Jooma Mize“Lady Lady” by MasegoEliminated
ZanoThando“NaLingi” by Manu WorldStarAdvanced
Ntokozo Mvelase“Focus” by H.E.R.Advanced
Ndoni Mseleku“Inyanga” by CiciAdvanced

Top 7

Season 16 Top 7 contestants were revealed on Sunday 1 November 2020, each of these contestants then performed live.

Idols SA Season 16 Top 7 Contestants
Season 16 Top 7 contestants.

Theme: “Showstopper”

Guest Performers: Mapara A Jazz, Ntosh Gazi and Calano performed “John Vuli Gate

CONTESTANTSONGRESULT
Zama Khumalo“This Is What You Came For” by Calvin Harris Ft. RihannaAdvanced
Mr Music“Woza My Love” by Blaq DiamondAdvanced
Ndoni Mseleku“Already” by Beyoncé Ft. Shatta Wale & Major LazerAdvanced
Bongi Mntambo“DéJà Vu” by Beyoncé Ft. Jay-ZEliminated
Brandon Dhludhlu“Circles” by Post MaloneAdvanced
ZanoThando“Loyal” by Chris Brown Ft. Lil Wayne & TygaAdvanced
Ntokozo Mvelase“Break My Heart” by Dua LipaAdvanced

Top 6

The Top 6 contestants were revealed on Sunday 8 November 2020, after which each of them performed two songs live.

Idols SA Season 16 Top 6 Contestants
Season 16 Top 6 contestants.

Theme: “Old School vs New School”

CONTESTANTFIRST SONGSECOND SONGRESULT
Ntokozo Mvelase“Upside Down” by Diana Ross“Long As I Live” by Toni BraxtonEliminated
Mr Music“Remember Me” by Lucky Dube“Ngaqonywa” by Aubrey QwanaAdvanced
ZanoThando“Mmatswale” by Caiphus Semenya“Mmatswale” by MalaikaAdvanced
Ndoni Mseleku“Khawuleza” by Hugh Masekela“Ungowami” by Ami FakuAdvanced
Brandon Dhludhlu“Sweet Lady” by Tyrese“Ubala” by Simmy Ft. Sun El-MusicianAdvanced
Zama Khumalo“Wedding Day” by Brenda Fassie“Everything I Wanted” by Billie EilishAdvanced

Top 5

Season 16 Top 5 contestants were revealed on Sunday 15 November 2020, each of them then performed two songs live.

Idols SA Season 16 Top 5 Contestants
Season 16 Top 5 contestants.

Themes:
“Mzansi’s Most Shazamed Hits”
“How It Should Have Been Done”

CONTESTANTFIRST SONGSECOND SONGRESULT
Ndoni Mseleku“Ndicel’ikiss” by Berita“Senzeni” by Mthandazo Gatya Ft. DJ Manzo SA & ComadoEliminated
Mr Music“Ndiyagodola” by Ringo Madlingozi“Emlanjeni” by SbahleAdvanced
Zama Khumalo“A Woman’s Worth” by Alicia Keys“Hamba Naye” by Cici Ft. MafikizoloAdvanced
Brandon Dhludhlu“7 Years” by Lukas Graham“Your Love” by AzanaAdvanced
ZanoThando“Lean On Me” by Bill Withers“Bella Ciao” by Tyler ICU & Nicole Elocin Ft. Kabza De Small & DJ MaphorisaAdvanced

Top 4

The season 16 Top 4 contestants were revealed on Sunday 22 November 2020 after which each of them performed live.

Idols SA Season 16 Top 4 Contestants
Season 16 Top 4 contestants.

Themes:
“My Kalawa Cover”
“Backed By The Mzansi Gay Choir”

Guest Performers: Soa Mattrix and Soulful G performed “uThando

NOTE: The Top 4 Performance show was dubbed by many people on social media as Showstopper 2.0.

CONTESTANTMY KALAWA COVERBACKED BY THE MZANSI GAY CHOIRRESULT
ZanoThando“Via Orlando” by DJ Vetkuk vs Mahoota Ft. Dr Malinga“Angelina” by Caiphus SemenyaEliminated
Mr Music“Emlanjeni” by Mafikizolo“Stimela Sase Zola” by Mbongeni NgemaAdvanced
Zama Khumalo“Thobela” by Boom Shaka“Sweet Dreams” by BeyoncéAdvanced
Brandon Dhludhlu“Indlovu” by DJ Zinhle Ft. Loyiso“Toosie Slide” by DrakeAdvanced

Top 3

Season 16 Top 3 contestants were revealed on Sunday 29 November 2020, but this was after each Top 4 contestant had performed a gospel duet with one of the four invited Gospel giants. The Top 3 contestants then went ahead and performed two more songs.

Idols SA Season 16 Top 3 Contestants
Season 16 Top 3 contestants.

Themes:
“Gospel Duets”
“My Idol”
“Amapiano Hits”

Guest Performers: Mduduzi Ncube and Big Zulu performed “Isiginci

Duets:
ZanoThando and Dr Rebecca Malope performed “Ngegazi Lemvana
Brandon Dhludhlu and Bishop Benjamin Dube performed “Elshadai Adonai
Zama Khumalo and Ntokozo Mbambo performed “In The Shadow
Mr Music and Dr Tumi performed “uDumo

CONTESTANTFIRST SONGSECOND SONGRESULT
Brandon Dhludhlu“Adorn” by Miguel“Why Ngikufela” by Kabza De Small Ft. Sha Sha & DJ MaphorisaEliminated
Zama Khumalo“Empini” by Kelly Khumalo“Nia Lo” by Kabza De Small Ft. Nia PearlAdvanced
Mr Music“One and Only” by Adele“Tikoloshi” by Soweto’s Finest Ft. KayGee DaKing & BiziziAdvanced

Top 3 Debut Singles

The Top 3 contestants, Mr Music, Zama and Brandon were in studio at Kalawa Jazmee Records in Johannesburg on Monday 30 November 2020 to lay down vocals for their debut singles.

In the studio, the Top 3 contestants were in the hands of a formidable arsenal of young producers under the guidance of legendary Kalawa Jazmee directors in Mandla “Spikiri” Mofokeng, a genius in composition and scoring, and Bruce Sebitlo a mixing and mastering guru.

DJ Oskido whose real name is Oscar Bonginkosi Mdlongwa, a co-founder of Kalawa Jazmee Records shared studio session photos of the Top 3 contestants.

Brandon Dhludhlu in studio working on his debut single titled “Uhambe”.

Brandon Dhludhlu recording his debut single 'Uhambe'
Brandon Dhludhlu in studio to record his debut single “Uhambe”.

Zama Khumalo in studio working on her debut single titled “Ndizobizwa”.

Zama Khumalo recording her debut single 'Ndizobizwa'
Zama Khumalo in studio to record her debut single “Ndizobizwa”.

Mr Music in studio working on his debut single titled “Ngikhethe Kahle”.

Mr Music recording his debut single 'Ngikhethe Kahle'
Mr Music in studio to recording his debut single “Ngikhethe Kahle”.

Top 2

The Season 16 Top 2 contestants were revealed on Sunday 6 December 2020, but this was after each Top 3 contestant had performed their brand new debut single. Each Top 2 contestant then went ahead and performed two more songs.

Idols SA Season 16 Top 2 Contestants
Season 16 Top 2 contestants, Mr Music and Zama Khumalo.

Themes:
“Favourite Audition Song”
“Song Of The Season”
“Brand New Singles”

Guest performers:
Makhadzi performed “Murahu
Moonchild Sanelly performed “Bashiri

CONTESTANTNEW SINGLEFAVOURITE AUDITION SONGSONG OF THE SEASONRESULT
Mr Music“Ngikhethe Kahle”“Ngam’thanda Umuntu” by Linda“Into Ingawe” by Sun-EL Musician & Ami FakuRunner-up
Zama Khumalo“Ndizobizwa”“Without You” by Mariah Carey“A Change is Gonna Come” by Jennifer HudsonWinner
Brandon Dhludhlu“Uhambe”N/AN/A

Grand Finale

The Idols SA season 16 Grand Finale took place on Sunday 13 December 2020.

Performances

  • Top 10 Contestants performed “Warrior” by Paloma Faith
  • Mr Music and Zama Khumalo performed “Letting Go” by Thami Shobede Ft. Brenda Mtambo
  • Zama Khumalo (backed by the Mzansi Gay Choir) performed “Sweet Dreams” by Beyoncé
  • Mr Music (backed by the Mzansi Gay Choir) performed “Stimela Sase Zola” by Mbongeni Ngema
  • Zama Khumalo performed “Ndizobizwa
Idols SA Season 16 Grand Finale Mr Music and Zama Khumalo performing “Letting Go” by Thami Shobede Ft. Brenda Mtambo
Grand Finale: Mr Music and Zama Khumalo performing their duet (Letting Go” by Thami Shobede Ft. Brenda Mtambo).

Guest Performers:

  • Master KG and Nomcebo Zikode performed “Xola Moya Wam”
  • Reece Madlisa and Zuma performed “YJazziDisciples (Zlele)”
  • Ami Faku performed “Ungowam”
  • Busiswa and Kamo Mphela performed “SBWL”
  • Cassper Nyovest and Busiswa performed “Nokuthula”
  • DJ Zinhle and Loyiso performed “Indlovu”
  • Luyolo Yiba
  • Vusi Nova and judge Somizi performed “Ntandane”
  • Mzansi Gay Choir
  • Mbefu Njengempisi (Season 16 Wooden Mic winner) And Somizi Mhlongo
Idols SA Season 16 Grand Finale, Mbefu Njengempisi (Wooden Mic winner) and Somizi Mhlongo performing
Grand Finale: Mbefu Njengempisi (Season 16 Wooden Mic winner) and judge Somizi Mhlongo performing.

Winner and Runner-up Announcement

Zama Khumalo was announced as the winner of Idols SA season 16 with Mr Music obviously being the runner-up, more than 20 million votes were cast over the Grand Finale week.

Zama cried tears of joy as ProVerb announced that she had just sang her way to becoming the 16th winner of the Idols SA competition. The Witbank-born winner took the leap to audition after encouragement from her loved ones. Despite her shy demeanour, she made it clear that she had the stage presence and star power to reach the top with some of her performances bringing tears to judge Unathi Nkayi and praises from Somizi Mhlongo.

Zama Khumalo being announced as Idols SA Season 16 winner
Grand Finale: Zama Khumalo sheds tears of joy after ProVerb announced her as the Idols SA Season 16 winner.
Zama Khumalo crying after being announced as Idols SA Season 16 winner
Grand Finale: Zama Khumalo shedding tears of joy after being announced as the Season 16 winner. (This photo was taken as she prepared to perform the closing song of the season)
Idols SA Season 16 Grand Finale, Zama Khumalo and Kalawa Jazmee CEO Oskido
Season 16 winner, Zama Khumalo and Kalawa Jazmee CEO Oskido after the Grand Finale.

Wooden Mic

Mbefu Njengempisi was announced as the Idols SA season 16 wooden mic winner during the Grand Finale show on Sunday 13 December 2020 after receiving the most Wooden Mic votes from South Africa.

Idols SA Season 16 Wooden Mic winner, Mbevu Njengempisi
Mbevu Njengempisi – Season 16 Wooden Mic winner.

Season chronology:
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