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
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
- 1 Auditions
- 2 Theatre Week
- 3 Finalists
- 4 Wooden Mic
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
|Cape Town||Century City Conference Centre||Cassper Nyovest||Saturday 1 February 2020|
|Pretoria||The South African State Theatre||DJ Zinhle||Saturday 15 February 2020|
|Durban||Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani + North Beach Amphitheatre||Dr Tumi||Saturday 22 February 2020|
|Johannesburg||Carnival City||Buhle||Saturday 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.
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
The Season 16 Top 16 contestants were revealed on Sunday 13 September 2020, they consisted eight gentlemen and eight ladies.
|Ethan Norris||25||Male||Table View|
|Jooma Mize||29||Male||Nelson Mandela Bay|
|Mr Music||21||Male||Richard’s Bay|
|Ndoni Mseleku||22||Female||Newlands West|
|Succedor Zitha||22||Male||Waterval Boven|
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.
Theme: “The Best Cover Songs”
Group Performance: Top 16 Group A (Males) performed “Love Never Felt So Good” Cover by Michael Jackson & Justin Timberlake
|Brandon Dhludhlu||“Dancing On My Own” by Calum Scott||Advanced|
|Ethan Norris||“Feeling Good” by Michael Bublé||Eliminated|
|Jooma Mize||“Always and Forever” by Luther Vandross||Advanced|
|Mr Music||“All I Could Do Was Cry” by Beyoncé||Advanced|
|Qhawe Mahlangu||“Try A Little Tenderness” by Chris Brown||Eliminated|
|Succedor Zitha||“Emotion” by Destiny’s Child||Advanced|
|Zahn-Reece||“Superstar” by Luther Vandross||Eliminated|
|ZanoThando||“I Got A Woman” by Elvis Presley||Advanced|
Group B (Females)
Group B (Females) performed on Sunday 27 September 2020.
Theme: “The Best Cover Songs”
Group Performance: Top 16 Group B (Females) performed “Higher Love” Cover by Whitney Houston & Kygo
|Jerodine Madlala||“Something He Can Feel” by En Vogue||Eliminated|
|Melanin Zwane||“True Colours” by Justin Timberlake & Anna Kendrick||Eliminated|
|Bongi Mntambo||“All The Man That I Need” by Whitney Houston||Advanced|
|Ndoni Mseleku||“Fast Car” by Jonas Blue Ft. Dakota||Advanced|
|Dee Mayekane||“Rolling In The Deep” by Adele||Eliminated|
|Be Mohutsioa||“How Come You Don’t Call Me?” by Alicia Keys||Advanced|
|Ntokozo Mvelase||“I’d Rather Go Blind” by Vusi Nova||Advanced|
|Zama Khumalo||“Crazy” by Tori Kelly||Advanced|
Season 16 Top 10 contestants were revealed on Sunday 4 October 2020.
Performers Of The Evening:
- Lungisa Xhamela
- Loyiso Gijana and Langa Mavuso performed: “Intliziyo”
- Rethabile Khumalo and Master KG performed “Ntyilo Ntyilo”
- Langa Mavuso
- Master KG
- Manu WorldStar
- Mr Luu
- MFR Souls
- Bontle Smith
- Kamo Mphela
The Top 10 contestants then performed a week later on Sunday 11 October 2020.
Theme: “Inspirational Songs”
|Brandon Dhludhlu||“Oh Freedom” by The Golden Gospel Singers||Advanced|
|Ndoni Mseleku||“Ungayeki” by Brenda Mtambo||Advanced|
|ZanoThando||“Superwoman” by Alicia Keys||Advanced|
|Zama Khumalo||“A Change is Gonna Come” by Jennifer Hudson||Advanced|
|Mr Music||“Iqhawe” by Sjava||Advanced|
|Be Mohutsioa||“Make It Happen” by Mariah Carey||Advanced|
|Jooma Mize||“River” by Leon Bridges||Advanced|
|Ntokozo Mvelase||“Never Alone” by Tori Kelly||Advanced|
|Succedor Zitha||“Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder||Eliminated|
|Bongi Mntambo||“Spirit” by Beyoncé||Advanced|
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
The Top 9 contestants of season 16 were revealed on Sunday 18 October 2020, each of them then performed live.
Theme: “Lockdown Hits”
Guest Performer: Aubrey Qwana performed “Molo” and “uKiss”
|Jooma Mize||“Madoda Sabelani” by Loyiso||Advanced|
|Bongi Mntambo||“Stand Up” by Cynthia Erivo||Advanced|
|ZanoThando||“Price to Pay” by Miss Pru Ft. Blaq Diamond & Malome Vector||Advanced|
|Be Mohutsioa||“Boo’d Up” by Ella Mai||Eliminated|
|Ntokozo Mvelase||“Happiness” by Kelly Khumalo||Advanced|
|Brandon Dhludhlu||“Sorry” by Justin Bieber||Advanced|
|Ndoni Mseleku||“Ndizele Wena” by Amanda Black||Advanced|
|Zama Khumalo||“Say So” by Doja Cat||Advanced|
|Mr Music||“Into Ingawe” by Sun-EL Musician & Ami Faku||Advanced|
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”
|Bongi Mntambo||“Ngiyak’thanda” by Zandie Khumalo||Advanced|
|Mr Music||“Ngempela” by Sjava & DJ Maphorisa Ft. Howard||Advanced|
|Zama Khumalo||“Finally” by Thabsie||Advanced|
|Brandon Dhludhlu||“Angsakwazi” by Musa||Advanced|
|Jooma Mize||“Lady Lady” by Masego||Eliminated|
|ZanoThando||“NaLingi” by Manu WorldStar||Advanced|
|Ntokozo Mvelase||“Focus” by H.E.R.||Advanced|
|Ndoni Mseleku||“Inyanga” by Cici||Advanced|
Season 16 Top 7 contestants were revealed on Sunday 1 November 2020, each of these contestants then performed live.
Guest Performers: Mapara A Jazz, Ntosh Gazi and Calano performed “John Vuli Gate”
|Zama Khumalo||“This Is What You Came For” by Calvin Harris Ft. Rihanna||Advanced|
|Mr Music||“Woza My Love” by Blaq Diamond||Advanced|
|Ndoni Mseleku||“Already” by Beyoncé Ft. Shatta Wale & Major Lazer||Advanced|
|Bongi Mntambo||“DéJà Vu” by Beyoncé Ft. Jay-Z||Eliminated|
|Brandon Dhludhlu||“Circles” by Post Malone||Advanced|
|ZanoThando||“Loyal” by Chris Brown Ft. Lil Wayne & Tyga||Advanced|
|Ntokozo Mvelase||“Break My Heart” by Dua Lipa||Advanced|
The Top 6 contestants were revealed on Sunday 8 November 2020, after which each of them performed two songs live.
Theme: “Old School vs New School”
|CONTESTANT||FIRST SONG||SECOND SONG||RESULT|
|Ntokozo Mvelase||“Upside Down” by Diana Ross||“Long As I Live” by Toni Braxton||Eliminated|
|Mr Music||“Remember Me” by Lucky Dube||“Ngaqonywa” by Aubrey Qwana||Advanced|
|ZanoThando||“Mmatswale” by Caiphus Semenya||“Mmatswale” by Malaika||Advanced|
|Ndoni Mseleku||“Khawuleza” by Hugh Masekela||“Ungowami” by Ami Faku||Advanced|
|Brandon Dhludhlu||“Sweet Lady” by Tyrese||“Ubala” by Simmy Ft. Sun El-Musician||Advanced|
|Zama Khumalo||“Wedding Day” by Brenda Fassie||“Everything I Wanted” by Billie Eilish||Advanced|
Season 16 Top 5 contestants were revealed on Sunday 15 November 2020, each of them then performed two songs live.
– “Mzansi’s Most Shazamed Hits”
– “How It Should Have Been Done”
|CONTESTANT||FIRST SONG||SECOND SONG||RESULT|
|Ndoni Mseleku||“Ndicel’ikiss” by Berita||“Senzeni” by Mthandazo Gatya Ft. DJ Manzo SA & Comado||Eliminated|
|Mr Music||“Ndiyagodola” by Ringo Madlingozi||“Emlanjeni” by Sbahle||Advanced|
|Zama Khumalo||“A Woman’s Worth” by Alicia Keys||“Hamba Naye” by Cici Ft. Mafikizolo||Advanced|
|Brandon Dhludhlu||“7 Years” by Lukas Graham||“Your Love” by Azana||Advanced|
|ZanoThando||“Lean On Me” by Bill Withers||“Bella Ciao” by Tyler ICU & Nicole Elocin Ft. Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa||Advanced|
The season 16 Top 4 contestants were revealed on Sunday 22 November 2020 after which each of them performed live.
– “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’.
|CONTESTANT||MY KALAWA COVER||BACKED BY THE MZANSI GAY CHOIR||RESULT|
|ZanoThando||“Via Orlando” by DJ Vetkuk vs Mahoota Ft. Dr Malinga||“Angelina” by Caiphus Semenya||Eliminated|
|Mr Music||“Emlanjeni” by Mafikizolo||“Stimela Sase Zola” by Mbongeni Ngema||Advanced|
|Zama Khumalo||“Thobela” by Boom Shaka||“Sweet Dreams” by Beyoncé||Advanced|
|Brandon Dhludhlu||“Indlovu” by DJ Zinhle Ft. Loyiso||“Toosie Slide” by Drake||Advanced|
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.
– “Gospel Duets”
– “My Idol”
– “Amapiano Hits”
Guest Performers: Mduduzi Ncube and Big Zulu performed “Isiginci”
– 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”
|CONTESTANT||FIRST SONG||SECOND SONG||RESULT|
|Brandon Dhludhlu||“Adorn” by Miguel||“Why Ngikufela” by Kabza De Small Ft. Sha Sha & DJ Maphorisa||Eliminated|
|Zama Khumalo||“Empini” by Kelly Khumalo||“Nia Lo” by Kabza De Small Ft. Nia Pearl||Advanced|
|Mr Music||“One and Only” by Adele||“Tikoloshi” by Soweto’s Finest Ft. KayGee DaKing & Bizizi||Advanced|
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”.
Zama Khumalo in studio working on her debut single titled “Ndizobizwa”.
Mr Music in studio working on his debut single titled “Ngikhethe Kahle”.
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.
– “Favourite Audition Song”
– “Song Of The Season”
– “Brand New Singles”
– Makhadzi performed “Murahu”
– Moonchild Sanelly performed “Bashiri”
|CONTESTANT||NEW SINGLE||FAVOURITE AUDITION SONG||SONG OF THE SEASON||RESULT|
|Mr Music||“Ngikhethe Kahle”||“Ngam’thanda Umuntu” by Linda||“Into Ingawe” by Sun-EL Musician & Ami Faku||Runner-up|
|Zama Khumalo||“Ndizobizwa”||“Without You” by Mariah Carey||“A Change is Gonna Come” by Jennifer Hudson||Winner|
The Idols SA season 16 Grand Finale took place on Sunday 13 December 2020.
- 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”
- 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
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.
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.