Idols SA Season 17

Idols SA Season 17 took place in 2021 during the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic just like the previous season, the winner was Berenike “Berry” Trytsman and the runner-up is Karabo Mathe.

The start date of season 17 was revealed on Monday 28 June 2021 by Mzansi Magic, the announcement was made on the official Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages of Idols SA.

Judge Somizi Mhlongo was present in all the first seven episodes of the season but then he and Mzansi Magic agreed that he takes a break away from the show so that he gets more time to solve his marital problems with his estranged husband, Mohale Motaung. Shortly before the live shows started with episode 8, it was decided that Somizi’s place at the judges panel be replaced by guest judges who were selected from South Africa’s pool of celebrities in the entertainment industry.

Season 17’s production is one of the best that we have ever seen on Idols SA, the set was always on point, the camera angles and movements were also tick.

Season Summary

Hosted by:ProVerb
Judges:Unathi Nkayi, Somizi Mhlongo and Randall Abrahams
Theme:Reuniting Mzansi
Winner:Berenike “Berry” Trytsman
Runner-up:Karabo Mathe
Original Network:Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161)
Start date:Sunday 11 July 2021
End date:Sunday 21 November 2021
Number of episodes:20
Sponsors:Old Mutual, Renault, Vodacom, Truworths, Darling & Yamaha


The Idols SA season 17 auditions were officially announced on Monday, January 25, 2021, and they kicked off on Friday, January 29, 2021, at 9 a.m.

Unlike the previous seasons, the season 17 auditions were entirely carried out online due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. The season 17 hopefuls had to follow a few steps in order to successfully audition, those steps can be found here.

READ: Idols SA Season 17 Online Auditions Frequently Asked Questions

The auditions were to officially end either on Sunday, February 14, 2021, or after the number of audition entries had reached 15,000.

By Friday, February 5, 2021, the number of people that had auditioned was 10,000. Three days later on Monday, February 8, 2021, that number increased to 12,000 auditions.

On Thursday, February 11, 2021, the number of auditions reached 14,000 and by the end of the next day on Friday, February 12, 2021, the Idols SA season 17 auditions were officially closed after reaching 15,000, the maximum number of audition entries.

From the 15,000 people who sent in audition video clips, hundreds of them successfully auditioned and were contacted by the Idols SA team. Four audition episodes were then recorded and aired on TV with the first one being broadcast on Sunday 11 July 2021.

EpisodeDateGuest JudgeGolden Tickets
1Sunday 11 July 2021Prince Kaybee20
2 Sunday 18 July 2021 Ntokozo Mbambo 31
3Sunday 25 July 2021Ringo Madlingozi24
4Sunday 1 August 2021Zwai Bala33

A total of 108 golden tickets were given out during the four auditions episodes.

Theatre Week

Filming the Theatre Week kicked off towards the end of March 2021.

Group Performances

A total of 39 contestants managed to reach the Group Performance stage of Theatre Week. These contestants were then divided into thirteen groups with each consisting of just three contestants.

Season 17’s group performances were aired in episode 5 which had been recorded and was broadcast on Sunday 8 August 2021.

Main Article: Watch The Idols SA Season 17 Theatre Week Group Performances

Solo Performances

For this season’s Solo Performance stage, we had the Top 30 contestants who were divided into two groups of 15, Groups 1 and 2.

Group 1

Solo performances of the first 15 contestants were aired in episode 6 on Sunday 15 August 2021.

Bulelani“247” by Mnqobi YazoAdvanced
Kevin Maduna“Stuck On You” by GiveonAdvanced
DudluKaDlamini“Risky” by ElaineEliminated
Lionel“Vuma Dlozi” by Big ZuluEliminated
Faith“Levitating” by Dua LipaEliminated
CeeJay“Pretend” by Langa MavusoEliminated
Karabo Mathe“Lala Ngoxolo” by Ami FakuAdvanced
Misty“Ready For You” by Black CoffeeAdvanced
Mic Nash“Never Gonna Forget” by Black CoffeeEliminated
Noluswazi“Love On Top” by BeyoncéEliminated
Monique Erens“Hypnotise” by RowleneAdvanced
Berry“Neverland” by ZendayaAdvanced
Sia Mzizi“Redbone” by Childish GambinoAdvanced
Siya Motloung“Sthandwa” by Blaq DiamondAdvanced
S’22kile“Brown Skin Girl” by BeyoncéAdvanced

Main Article: Idols SA Season 17 Top 30 Contestants

Group 2

Solo performances of the other 15 contestants were aired in episode 7 on Sunday 22 August 2021.

Ithana“Good Job” by Alicia KeysAdvanced
Tesmin-Robyn“Ncese” by LaSauceAdvanced
Sinovuyo“Mercy” by Shawn MendesAdvanced
Baby“Forever” by SitheloEliminated
Gugu“Higher and Higher” by Brenda FassieEliminated
Andiswa“Motivation” by NormaniAdvanced
Linathi“Do It” by Chloe x HalleEliminated
Phindile Morgets“Hamba” by Q TwinsEliminated
Sizzy“Anybody” by Burna BoyEliminated
Nqobie“Ilanga” by Sun El Musician, Ami Faku & SimmyAdvanced
Athule Konki“Molo” by Aubrey QwanaEliminated
Aveesono“One Dance” by DrakeEliminated
Daylin Sass“Save Your Tears” by The WeekndAdvanced
Kwanda“Own It” by StormzyEliminated
Zukisa M“Perfect Strangers” by Jonas BlueAdvanced

Main Article: Watch The Idols SA Season 17 Solo Performances


Top 16 Contestants

The Top 16 contestants were revealed in two episodes, first eight contestants were revealed in episode 6 on Sunday 15 August 2021, while the other eight were revealed a week later in episode 7 on Sunday 22 August 2021.

Idols SA 2021 (Season 17) Top 16 Contestants
Idols SA Season 17 Top 16 contestants pictured on Sunday 22 August 2021.

NOTE: Click on a contestant’s name to view his or her full profile

ContestantAge on EntryHometownPlace finished
Andiswa Zondi18Johannesburg
Berenike Trytsman “Berry”30Cape TownWinner
Mpumelelo Twala “Bulelani”18Heidelberg, Ratanda
Daylin Delryn Sass22Hanover Park, Cape Town
Anathi Conjwa “Ithana”22Cala, Eastern Cape
Karabo Mathe21Hebron
Kevin Maduna28Soweto (Boksburg)
Patience Tiisetso Makhene “Misty”30Vosloorus
Monique Erens24Cape Town
Nqobisile Linda “Nqobie”28Soweto
S’thuthukile Babalwa Langa “S’22kile”20Pietermaritzburg
Siyabonga Mzizi “Sia”20Tsakane
Sinovuyo Nomava Mbhele20Vosloorus
Siya Motloung21Katlehong
Tesmin-Robyn Khanye23Katlehong
Zukisa Joshua Mashiqa “Zukisa M”16Pietermaritzburg, KZN

Main Article: Idols SA Season 17 Top 16 Contestants

Idols SA 2021 Vocal coaches, supporting vocalists and band members
Idols SA Season 17 Vocal coaches, supporting vocalists and band members.

Live Shows

As the season entered the live show phase, the Top 16 contestants were split into two groups of eight, A and B.

Top 16 Group A

Group A contestants performed live in episode 8 on Sunday 29 August 2021.

Idols SA 2021 Season 17 Top 16 Group A Contestants
Season 17 Top 16 Group A contestants pose for a photo shortly before the live show kicked off.

Theme: “The Biggest Hits Of Today”

Guest Judge: Lady Du

Group Song: Group A Contestants performed “It Ain’t Me” by DJ Abux X Soulking Ft. Innocent Boetie

Andiswa“Midnight Sky” by Miley CyrusEliminated
Bulelani“Attention” by Charlie PuthAdvanced
Sinovuyo“Pick Up Your Feelings” by Jazmine SullivanEliminated
Nqobie“Hard Place” by H.E.R.Advanced
Sia Mzizi“Heartbreak Anniversary” by GiveonAdvanced
Tesmin-Robyn“Before I Let Go” by BeyoncéEliminated
Daylin Sass“Leave The Door Open” by Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk SonicAdvanced
Berry“You Say” by Lauren DaigleAdvanced

Top 16 Group B

Group B contestants performed in episode 9 on Sunday 5 September 2021.

Idols SA 2021 'Season 17' Top 16 Group B Contestants
Season 17 Top 16 Group B contestants pose for a photo on Sunday 5 September 2021.

Theme: “The Biggest Hits Of Today”

Guest Judge: Buhle Mda

Group Song: Group B Contestants performed “My Power” by Beyoncé

Siya“In Your Eyes” by The WeekndEliminated
Zukisa M“Distance” by YebbaEliminated
Misty“Dying For Your Love” by Snoh AalegraEliminated
Karabo Mathe“Stand Up For Something” by Andra Day Ft. CommonAdvanced
S’22kile“Meant To Be” by Bebe RexhaAdvanced
Monique Erens“I’ll Never Love Again” by Lady GagaAdvanced
Ithana“Forgive Me” by Chloe x HalleAdvanced
Kevin Maduna“Peaches” by Justin BieberAdvanced

Top 10

Season 17’s Top 10 contestants were revealed in episode 10 on Sunday 12 September 2021.

Performances Of The Evening:

  • Boohle and Busta 929 performed “Amawaza
  • Top 16 Group A performed “Siyathanda” by Cassper Nyovest Ft. Boohle and Abidoza
  • Big Zulu and Lwah Ndlunkulu performed “Umuzi eSandton
  • Top 16 Group B performed “SummerYoMuthi” by Blaq Diamond
  • Pabi Cooper, Busta929 and Reece Madlisa performed “Isphithiphithi
  • Mthandazo Gatya performed “Uzobizwa
  • Makhadzi and Prince Benza performed “Ghanama
Idols SA 2021 (Season 17) Top 10 Contestants
Season 17 Top 10 contestants pictured on Sunday 12 September 2021.

Main Article: Idols SA Season 17 Top 10 Contestants

Top 9

The Top 9 contestants performed live in episode 11 on Sunday 19 September 2021.

Theme: “Battle Of The DJs”

Guest Perfomers: Prince Kaybee, De Mthuda, DJ Cleo, DJ Sumbody & Sun-El Musician

Nqobie“Akanamali” by Sun-El Musician – Ft. Samthing SowetoAdvanced
Sia Mzizi“Emlanjeni” by De Mthuda & Sir Trill Ft. Da Muziqal ChefAdvanced
Berry“Choose To Be Happy” by DJ Cleo Ft. MmatemaAdvanced
Daylin Sass“Friend Zone” by Prince Kaybee Ft. ZiyonAdvanced
Karabo“Gcina Impilo Yam” by DJ Cleo Ft. Bucy RadebeAdvanced
S’22kile“Wamuhle” by De Mthuda Ft. Njelic & BoohleAdvanced
Monique“Charlotte” by Prince Kaybee Ft. Lady ZamarEliminated
Kevin“Piki Piki” by DJ Sumbody Ft. Cassper Nyovest & KaylowAdvanced
Bulelani“Iyamemeza” by DJ Sumbody Ft. Drip Gogo & The LowkeysAdvanced
Ithana“Ubomi Abumanga” by Sun-El Musician Ft. MsakiWithdrew

NOTE: Ithana did not perform on Sunday 19 September 2021 because she withdrew from the competition leaving only nine contestants on the show, this automatically made it a Top 9.

READ: Here is why Ithana withdrew from Idols SA Season 17

Top 8

The Top 8 contestants were revealed in episode 12 on Sunday 26 September 2021, they also performed live on this same date.

Theme: “”

Guest Judge: Dineo Ranaka

Guest Performer: Lloyiso performed “Seasons

Karabo“When I See U” by FantasiaAdvanced
Nqobie“Uthando” by Soa Mattrix & Soulful G Ft. Shaun 101Advanced
S’22kile“Xola Moya Wam” by Nomcebo Zikode Ft. Master KGAdvanced
Sia Mzizi“Dream About You” by LloyisoAdvanced
Daylin Sass“Yummy” by Justin BieberAdvanced
Bulelani“Uyeke” by Heavy K Ft. Natalia MabasoEliminated
Berry“Blinding Lights” by The WeekndAdvanced
Kevin“Case” by TeniAdvanced

Top 7

The Top 7 contestants were revealed in episode 13 on Sunday 3 October 2021, they also performed live on this same date.

Theme: “Mzansi Greats”

Guest Judge and Performer: Zahara

Guest Performance: Zahara performed “Izolo

Karabo“Paradise Road” by Joy
Daylin Sass“Take your Love” by Steve Kekana
Berry“I’d Like” by Freshlyground
Kevin“Nguwe” by Malaika
Sia Mzizi“Sondela” by Ringo Madlingozi
S’22Kile“No No No Senor” by Brenda Fassie
Nqobie“I Love Music” by Lebo Mathosa

NOTE: The judges decided to cancel this week’s elimination, therefore no contestant was booted from the show. Instead, the Top 7 performed again the following week in episode 14 on Sunday 10 October 2021.

Theme: “Showstopper”

Guest Judge: Thembi Seete

Group Performance: The Top 7 performed “Osama” by Zakes Bantwini Ft. Kasango

Guest Performance: Young Stunna, Mellow and Sleazy and Felo Le Tee wowed the audience with their banging performance of “Bopha”

ContestantFirst SongResult
S’22Kile“Dance For You” by BeyoncéAdvanced
Sia Mzizi“John Wick” by De Mthuda Ft. Sir Trill & Da Muziqal ChefEliminated
Karabo“Respect” by Aretha FranklinAdvanced
Daylin Sass“LaLaLa” by Black Coffee Ft. UsherAdvanced
Berry“Something’s Got A Hold On Me” by Christina AguileraAdvanced
Nqobie“Dance Like We’re Making Love” by CiaraAdvanced
Kevin“We Dance Again” by Black Coffee Ft. Nakhane ToureAdvanced

Top 6

The Top 6 contestants were revealed in episode 15 on Sunday 17 October 2021, they also performed live on this same date.

“Oskido’s Playlist”
“The Song Book of Max Martin”

Guest Judge: Oskido

ContestantFirst SongSecond SongResult
Berry“Power” by Amanda Black“Dark Horse” by Katy PerryAdvanced
Kevin“Ubomi Abumanga” by Sun-El Musician Ft. Msaki“It’s My Life” by Bon JoviAdvanced
Nqobie“Feelings” by Zonke“Please Don’t Leave Me” by PinkAdvanced
S’22Kile“Ntyilo Ntyilo” by Rethabile Khumalo Ft. Master KG“Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” by AdeleEliminated
Karabo“Ngeke Balunge” by Mafikizolo“Perfect” by PinkAdvanced
Daylin Sass“Something Inside So Strong” by Lira“Pillowtalk” by ZaynAdvanced

Top 5

The Top 5 contestants were revealed in episode 16 on Sunday 24 October 2021, they also performed live on this same date.


Guest Judge and Performer: Khaya Dladla

ContestantFirst SongSecond SongResult
Karabo“Thandwa Ndim” by Amanda Black“River Deep Mountain High” by Tina TurnerAdvanced
Daylin Sass“Fairytale” by Liquideep“Whataya Want From Me” by Adam LambertEliminated
S’22kile“Easy To Love” by Bucie Ft. Heavy K“Love On The Brain” by RihannaAdvanced
Berry“Happy” by Craig Lucas“The Edge of Glory” by Lady GagaAdvanced
Kevin“Mnike” by Afrotraction“As” by the late George Michael & Mary J. BligeAdvanced

Top 4

The Top 4 contestants were revealed in episode 17 on Sunday 31 October 2021, they also performed live on this same date.

“Judges’ Choice”
“SAMA Winners”

Guest Judge and Performer: Kelly Khumalo

Guest Performance: Kelly Khumalo performed “Awazi Lutho”

Group Performance: Top 5 Contestants performed “Viva The Legend” by Zonke

ContestantFirst SongSecond SongResult
S’22Kile“Diamonds” by Rihanna“Sonini” by Sun-El Musician Ft. Sammy & Leto KamauAdvanced
Kevin“Banyana” by DJ Maphorisa & Tyler ICU“These Streets” by Mi CasaEliminated
Karabo“And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” by Jennifer Hudson“Black President” by Brenda FassieAdvanced
Berry“No Tears Left To Cry” by Ariana Grande“Hold Your Kite” by GoldFish & SoranaAdvanced

NOTE: 8 Million votes were cast over the week.

Top 3

The Top 3 contestants were revealed in episode 18 on Sunday 7 November 2021, they also performed live on this same date.

– “A Cover”
– “A Trending Tune”
– “A Duet With An Established Artist”

Guest Judge and Performer: Judith Sephuma

– Berry and Ayanda Ntanzi :Basuk
– Karabo and Lebo Sekgobela :Hallelujah Mdumiseni
– Kevin and Dumi Mkokstad :Ukuhlala Kuye
– S’22kile and Hlengiwe Mhlaba :uMhlekazi

ContestantFirst SongSecond SongResult
Berry“Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers“Easy On Me” by AdeleAdvanced
Karabo“Gold” by Beverly Knight“Phakade Lami” by Nomfundo Moh Ft. ShaShaAdvanced
S’22Kile“Mna Nawe” by Amanda Black“Woman” by Doja CatEliminated

Top 2

The Top 2 contestants were revealed in episode 19 on Sunday 14 November 2021, they also performed live on this same date.

– “New Singles”
– “Song of the Season (Showstopper)”
– “Audition Song”

Guest Judge and Performer: Msaki

Guest Performance: Msaki performed “Fetch Your Life”

Group Performance: Top 10 (eliminated contestants, excluding Ithana) performed “Messiah” by Blaq Diamond & Dumi Mkokstad

S’22Kile performed her new single, “Falling” before she was eliminated

ContestantFirst Song (New Single)Second SongThird SongResult
Karabo“Hosanna”“Ngidinge” by CiCi“Respect” by Aretha FranklinRunner-up
Berry“Ungowami”“Never Enough” by Loren Allred“Something’s Got a Hold On Me” by Etta JamesWinner

Grand Finale

The Idols SA season 17 Grand Finale took place on Sunday 21 November 2021, this was episode 20 of the season.

Guest Performers:

  • Busta 929 and Mzu M performed “Mmapula
  • Musa Keys and Nobantu Vilakazi performed “Vula Mlomo
  • Zama Khumalo performed “Is’thunzi
  • Mafikizolo performed “Mamezala
  • Oskido, Ndoni and Meez performed “Emakhaya


  • Top 10 Contestants (excluding Ithana) performed “A Million Dreams” by The Greatest Showman Cast
  • Karabo (backed by Mzansi Gay Choir) performed “River Deep Mountain High” by Tina Turner
  • Berry (backed by Mzansi Gay Choir) performed : “Edge Of Glory” by Lady Gaga
  • Top 10 (eliminated contestants, excluding Ithana) performed “Banomoya” by Prince Kaybee Ft. Busiswa & TNS
  • Top 2 Duet: Berry and Karabo performed “Never Break” by John Legend
  • Winner’s Song (Closing Performance) : Berry performed “Ungowami

Season chronology:
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