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Who's who in the Idols 8 Top 18

Written by TVSA Team from the blog News on 17 Jul 2012
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On Sunday night (15 July) the Idols judges chose their Top 18 and this week the 18 sing off for a spot in the Top 10.

The guys and girls will be performing seperately, resulting in two shows this weekend: the guys perform on Saturday (21 July) at 17h30 and the girls on Sunday (22 July), at the same time.

Voting lines for the guys will open as soon as the show starts on Saturday and close at 17h30 the following day - at the start of Sunday's show.

Voting lines for the girls will also be open for 24-hours, starting at the beginning of their show on Sunday and closing at 17h30 on Monday (22 July).

Viewers can vote via SMS, MXit or online. Voting details are available on the Idols website here: Idols Voting. If you have questions about the voting you can also e-mail: editor@mnet.co.za.

Both groups are currently in the process of filming their showdowns at the new Soweto Theatre. The boys filmed their show last night (Monday, 16 July) and the girls will be filming theirs on Thursday (19 July). TVSA blogger Tazteeq has been in the action gathering goss for us and will spill the inside scoop next week.

The results of the Top 18 shows will be announced on Sunday, 29 July in a 90-minute special that will also be filmed at Soweto Theatre.

If there are those in the line-up that you aren't familiar with yet, here's a blow-by-blow of everyone:
 

Candy Mosoma

Age: 29
From: Pretoria
Occupation: Performer
About: Candy (full name Candida) is from Erasmuskloof in Pretoria and is a seasoned theatre professional, having performed in hit productions such as Dreamgirls and touring to Taiwan in The Lion King. But “no matter what I’m auditioning for I’m always nervous,”
Candy said at her first Idols audition back in February.

Viewers have wondered about the slight American twang to Candy’s accent – a result of growing up in the States. “My parents moved us to Princeton, New Jersey, when I was three and we spent most of my formative years there,” she explains.

Candy says her musical influences are diverse, ranging from Nina Simone to John Legend to Tina Turner. “My diverse love for these icons allows me to create a wider diversity within myself as a performer,” she says.
Candy Mosoma 1

Chloe Kiley

Age: 24
From: Cape Town
Occupation: Performer
About:
Chloe, who sports a larger-than-life tattoo on her thigh, was born in London but grew up in the Mother City.

She spent the past four years studying Drama and Musical Theatre at the Waterfront Theatre School and playing keyboard and singing in her my band, Enmity.

“The first time I really started using my voice as a performance tool was when I discovered the magic that is Musical Theatre four years ago,” she says.
Chloe Kiley

Dominic Neill

Age: 20
From: Johannesburg
Occuptation: Entertainer
About: Dominic is from Honeydew and describes himself as an entertainer. “As clichéd as it sounds, it sums up who I am and what I believe in,” he explains.

“I’m definitely a people’s person and I enjoy meeting people and hearing their story and sharing mine.”

Dom’s mom is a former High Court prosecutor, “so academia was always a part of my life,” he says, but after only six months of studying towards B.Com degree in Management Science at the University of Stellenbosch in 2011, he knew academia wasn’t for him.

It was that experience and a chance encounter with a successful former Idol that persuaded Dom he was meant for a career as an entertainer. “I was fortunate enough to meet Graeme Watkins working at a restaurant last year and even more fortunately I've had the chance to get to know him as a musician and a friend,” Dom recounts.

“I would definitely have to say he has taught me what it takes to be not only a good musician, but the ultimate professional."
Dominic Neill

Dumi Masilela

Age: 24
From: Johannesburg
Occupation: Soccer Player and Singer
About: Dumi is already a soccer star, having played professionally for Supersport United and for Highlands Park, as well as a place in the national Under 21 and Under 23 teams.

“I don’t see why I can’t be a singing, soccer-playing celebrity,” the confident soccer star proclaimed at his first Idols audition in February.

Dumi started focusing on his music after breaking his leg in two places in a horrific car accident in 2008, which put a temporary halt to his football career. “Music has always been a great part of my life, since I was raised by parents who were also musicians,” he explains.

Dumi is very close to his parents, who celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary this year. “Home is always a place I want to visit regularly because my parents are the epitome of true love,” he says.

For the next couple of months home visits will be few and far between, though, as the aspiring singing, soccer-playing celebrity settles into the Idols house.
Dumi Masilela

Jean Huisman

Age: 20
From: Port Elizabeth
Occupation: Student
About: 20-year-old Jean only started seriously thinking about music when he went to Stellenbosch University to study Social Dynamics and he participated in his res’s annual concert, “Simonstock”.

“People started telling me I could sing, so I started taking it seriously,” he says. “When I entered Idols I was still not an experienced singer, and I’ve been working very hard to get myself up to scratch so that I might have a chance of keeping up with the amazing talent of this season.” But he’s ready for the challenge.

“There’s always beauty to be found in life and no matter how difficult things may get, there will always be a time when life rewards you for pushing through the challenges it sets out for you,” he says.
Jean Huisman

Khaya Mthethwa

Age: 25
From: Durban
Occupation: Singer
About: Despite his talent, Khaya’s singing career got off to a bumpy start. “At school we were all forced to audition for the school choir, so from there my teachers would ask me to sing and I never really wanted to!” Khaya recalls.

Fortunately for Idols both of Khaya’s parents are pastors, so he pretty much had to sing in church. “That is where I fell in love with music and I decided that this is what I wanted to do…”

Khaya’s parents started their church in the family living room, he recalls, so he grew up sharing his home with strangers as his parents took people in – experience that will come in handy in the Idols house.

“Sharing and caring was the name of the game,” says Khaya, and it also gave him a wonderful role model to look up to. “I look up my father, he is my hero,” Khaya says. “He taught me to be the man I am today.”
Khaya Mthethwa

Maryke Buffel

Age: 22
From: Paarl
Occupation: Singer
About: Maryke was travelling the world last year and performing at glamorous hotspots as a singer, but she left it all behind to enter Idols.

“I have been travelling around Europe, meaning Malaga, Mallorca, Menorca, Barcelona, etc, doing tribute shows for different companies with different groups,” she explains. “But I always knew it was temporary so this was my year to enter Idols and be an original artist instead of doing tribute shows.”

Maryke says she’s been singing from around the early age of five, “but the actual moment when I realized that I want to keep doing this was in 2000 when Destiny’s Child had a hit single with ‘Independent Woman’,” she says.

“I was amazed by their vocal ability. I knew this is my path of choice - being able to entertain people and perform on the biggest stages in the world…”
Maryke Buffel

Matthew Sampson

Age: 21
From: Cape Town
Occupation: Musician
About: Matthew considers making the Top 18 a long-overdue bit of good luck in his life. “I was born with a hole in my heart and I have a huge scar on my back from the operation to fix it,” he told the team at the Idols auditions back in February.

“Then, when I was six, I broke my leg – at Madiba’s house! I’m friends with Madiba’s grandson, Mbuso, and I was at his birthday party and he was given a little pee-wee motorcycle and I drove it into a wall!” he laughs.

“Then, when I was living in the States, I broke my nose playing American football! Since then I’ve broken my nose, like four other times as well…”

But Matt says all those obstacles in his life were easy to overcome, “because you just need to be positive and realise that everything comes from a place of love”, he says.

As the son of producer Cedric Sampson, Matt grew up in the music business. “I have five siblings so it’s a big family, all extremely talented at what they do, so I was always inspired!” he says.
Matthew Sampson

Melissa Alison

Age: 23
From: Port Elizabeth
Occupation: Musician
About: Making it to the Top 18 is Melissa's second shot at TV fame - in 2008 she also made the Top 12 in the M-Net competition High School Musical: Spotlight South Africa, which was a great preparation for Idols.

“I did the High School Musical TV show as well as the live show for three years,” she explains, “and in between I have worked with Danny K and Loyiso as well as the Bala Brothers.”

Melissa’s brother is also a musician and coming from a musical family, she says music was always her destiny. “I started singing in day care from the age of five!” she says.

“I also sang in church and at school socials. So it all came naturally to me – it’s been my destiny from the word Go!”
Melissa Alison

Monde Msutwana

Age: 30
From: Witbank
Occupation: Marketing Assistant and Radio Presenter
About: Monde started singing at an early age, around age six or seven, he says, “but only I took it seriously after I passed my Grade 12 and didn’t know what to study, and so I went to a music school.”

But he also studied Communications Management and got a job as a Marketing Assistant at a record company, to learn the music business from the inside, and he also moonlights as a standby presenter at Radio Platinum.

Monde says that when he has spare time, he tends to sleep it away because of his busy schedule.

Monde lists some of his musical heroes as Bobby McFerrin, Anthony Hamilton, R Kelly, Kenny “Babyface” Edmunds and Quincy Jones – “in an encompassing way, all athletes who strive to do their best in everything they do,” he says.
Monde Msutwana

Nosipho Mngomezulu

Age: 22
From: Brakpan
Occupation: Farmer
About: Nosipho dreams of the bright lights in the big city, but she’s a farm girl at heart. “My parents have a farm which is a business on its own because we plant mielies, which is made into petrol,” she says, “and we also have sheep, cows, pigs, chickens and goats which we sell to butchers for meat.”

But Nosipho won’t find the transition to TV fame too difficult. “I can adapt to different circumstances but I can still be true to myself,” she says.

“To cut a long story short I am fun to be around. And the rest you have to find out for yourself!”
Nosipho Mngomezulu

Obakeng Ramaboa

Age: 26
From: Munsieville
Occupation: Singer
About: Before making it to the Top 18, Obakeng spent his entire life in the small village of Munsieville, where he lives with his mom, stepdad and two siblings, who are still in school.

At 21, Obakeng became a father which, he says, made it difficult for him to follow his musical dreams, “because now I had a mouth to feed”, making a living as a backing vocalist, selling songs and doing studio sessions for other artists.

“I tried going the ‘safe’ route with my career choices and even thought about doing music part-time,” he admits, “but the songs in my heart and the musician in me always made sure I come back home. I have always known I wanted to sing. Nothing else on earth is as fulfilling to me.”

Obakeng honours his parents for encouraging him not to give up. “They have this ‘never say die’ attitude,” he says. “They always found a way to make it work in very difficult situations.”
Obakeng Ramaboa

Shekhinah Donnell

Age: 17
From: Durban
Occupation: Student
About: Shekhinah from Durban was particularly nervous to face the Idols Judges this year, fearing that she let them down last year when she flaked out at Sun City.

“I can’t even explain to you how apologetic I’m feeling,” she assured Randall Abrahams in Auditions.

“This year I’m doing it all the way,” she promised. And so far she has kept her promise – “You’re already going to be a household name and it’s only been a couple of episodes!” a gushing Gareth Cliff praised her during this year’s Hell Week at Sun City.
Shekhinah Donnell

Sihle Ndaba

Age: 23
From: Ermelo
Occupation: Performer
About: Sihle (full name Siphesihle) already has a lot of stage experience to help her compete in Idols having studied Musical Theatre at the Tshwane University of Technology, and last year she toured to Singapore in the cast of “The Lion King”.

“Everybody in my family sings and we used to sing church hymns together, so I've always loved singing,” she says, “but it was in high school that I starting looking into taking it up as a profession. I joined the school band and as they say, the rest is history!”
Sihle Ndaba

Simphiwe Gwegwe

Age: 23
From: Port Nolloth
Occupation: Performer
About: It took guts and determination for  Simphiwe just to get to audition for Idols.

He took a bus from Port Nolloth in the Northern Cape to Johannesburg for the Sandton auditions but arrived too late, so he had to find accommodation for a week and make his way to Durban a week later for the second rounds of auditions. But it was all worth it when he became the only performer from the Northern Cape to make it to the Top 18.

Simphiwe reckons he inherited that quality of determination from his mother. “My mother is a single parent and she raised us all by herself,” he says.

“Me and my family are very close and my mom is my best friend. She’s a community activist, so the house is always full of people, and she also has three choirs, so there’s always some activity taking place in the household, whether it’s people coming to visit or something to do with music.” So a love of music has always been ingrained in Simphiwe.
Simphiwe Gwegwe

Thabisa Mhoakulwana

Age: 28
From: Port Elizabeth
Occupation: Singer
About: Thabisa seemed to be destined for stardom at an early age, when a neighbour started calling her “Brenda Fassie” because she was so loud.

She also knows a thing or two about being a role model already, having toured schools in the Port St Johns area with her band, “motivating kids not to give up on the dreams and teachers to be interested in their kids talents and skills”, she recalls.

“We also performed on the streets in town as our charity to the public to give them good music and vibes.” It was a hard life at times – “sleeping on my friends stoop out in the freezing weather is a memory I can’t seem to forget,” she admits.

She credits her late grandfather with giving her the strength to endure. “He was my hero, and still is in many ways,” she says. “He just taught me endurance, respect and instilled that sense of independence before I knew what that meant.”
Thabisa Mhoakulwana

Treasure Mushwana

Age: 21
From: Roodepoort
Occupation: Musician
About: Treasure is absolutely focused on realising his dream of becoming a successful musician.

When his mom expressed her doubts about the wisdom of him auditioning for Idols, Treasure moved in with friends who would support him in his quest. “Not having my mom’s support was rather devastating,” Treasure admits and he says leaving home to pursue his dreams was the hardest thing he’s ever had to do.

Treasure studies music at JHB Central College and even in his spare time, he says, he is a musician.
Treasure Mushwana

Tshidi Tenyane

Age: 28
From: Thokoza
Occupation: Jewelry Designer and Musician
About: Competing in Idols might be a bit of a rest for Tshidi. Before Idols she worked as a freelance jewelry designer, did the admin at her sister’s daycare centre, did some TV presenting, tutored her nieces and held down a full-time job working in her church’s music department. And now she’s hoping to add full-time musician to that list…

Thsidi says that the singing bug first bit her when she performed in a school concert at age 13. “Everyone was cheering for me and I remember very well that I never wanted that feeling to ever go away!” she laughs.
Tshidi Tenyane

Actors in this post: Dumi Masilela, Khaya Mthethwa, Sihle Ndaba



11 Comments

zandilez
17 Jul 2012 14:50

Thabisa Mhoakulwana what is she doing on the top 18 she messed up adele song.... i want to poke her eyes with that safetey pin on her hair

Tashi
17 Jul 2012 15:25

I was shocked and VERY disappointed that Sama didn't make it. It's too ridiculous that she didn't - 'spesh when the judges put through Jean who can't sing in tune!!

Surely, surely the number 1 requirement for making the Top 18 should be that a contestant should at least sing in tune and yet he was totally out of tune in that final audition of his. Same thing with Simphiwe - he wasn't as bad but also very dogdy.

Yet the two of them got through instead of Sama - it makes no sense - the judges didn't even give her a reason as to why they weren't choosing her. Overall they gave way too few reasons for their choices I thought.

tizoz
17 Jul 2012 15:52

Thabisa Mhoalulwana
Treasure Mushwana
Monde Msutwana

All these people above did not even deserve a top 32

Shekinah (lawd knows I couldnt stand this child but now she gives me goosebumps)
Khaya (No doubt he is super talented but he can easily loose the show if he lets it get into his head)
Simphiwe (He is likeable and aslo very talented, just need to up his game though)
Nosipho & Tshidi (these are my Diva's I love these girls for taking this thing seriously and giving it all they have)

These are the best people out of the whole 18.

Luanda
17 Jul 2012 16:23

Khaya and Dumi are my favourite shame

RainPrincess
17 Jul 2012 23:35

Tashi I think it's because the propotion of girls to guys should be equal

Cande
18 Jul 2012 14:30

Dumi is my favorite! Team DUMI!!!

Tshd21
18 Jul 2012 17:07

#TeamShekhinah!#

lolo25
19 Jul 2012 13:56

Team Khaya

satu
20 Jul 2012 01:55

khaya wa fisa ntwana eo ,otla ba gotetsa and dominic and matthew they dont deserve  to be there its unfair for sama and philip next time guys never give up.

Mathaz
20 Jul 2012 13:07

Oh boy I cant stand Monde, watch him being the first guy to leave.  He really does not desrve to be Top 18, him and Obakeng.  

Taz, how did Khaya fare, i can't wait for Saturday, just give me a clue please?

maddie
20 Jul 2012 17:36

what happened 2 Rethabile, eish i hated Randall when he commented about her age

Dumi is just too arrogant 4 my liking

Khaya is my fave.

That gal who sang Thandiswa Mazwai's song at the audition and sang Lady Gaga's Poker Face is very melodical, she deserves 2 be in the top 18


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