Noma Khumalo won the 12th season of Idols SA on Sunday night. Picture: Cobus Bodenstein

Johannesburg - The fingers did the talking, making Noma Khumalo South Africa’s new Idol.

After seven years of not having a female winner in Idols SA, the winner from KwaZulu-Natal ended the male run in the 12th instalment of the show.

The songstress, who swopped chalk for a microphone, was speechless when host Proverb asked her how she felt about winning the competition.

The end of the season also marked the end of Gareth Cliff’s involvement as a judge. He is set to pursue his business interests.

In a tight race against fellow KwaZulu-Natal rival Thami Shobede, Khumalo was announced the ultimate Idol after a record vote that saw more than 83 million votes cast throughout Season 12.

Carnival City’s Big Top Arena reverberated with screams of excitement, loud applause and name chants as the live audience - and TV viewers - were treated to one sensational act after another.

There were pyrotechnics, a laser light show and some of the best live music.

The thrill-a-minute showcase got off to a dazzling start as the top 10 finalists reunited on stage, performing This Is What You Came For, originally by Calvin Harris and featuring Rihanna.

The fireworks continued as rapper AKA made an exclusive Idols debut with two new singles, all the while standing on top of a grand piano.

Romance was the order of the evening as the top two finalists performed Afro-soul love jams with local superstars.

Khumalo paired with Nathi for the track Nomakanjani, while Thami sang Sobabili with a pearl-draped Kelly Khumalo.

More entertainment came in the form of Season 11 winner Karabo Mogane; Idols judge Unathi, reunited with her kwaito collaborator Zola; the Top 10 again with Beyonce’s Flawless; as well as this year’s Wooden Mic winner Mbishop Shezi performing an operatic duet that had the crowd on their feet.

The last week of being Idols SA contestants was anything but relaxed for Khumalo and Shobede.

Two weeks ago, they recorded their singles, and last week shot the videos which were debuted on the show.

Before the result was announced, Khumalo and Shobede treated everyone to their last performances as contestants on stage.

Khumalo was sensational as she covered Mariah Carey’s Without You while Shobede brought the house down with Stevie Wonder’s Signed Sealed Delivered, both accompanied by the reigning winners of Clash of The Choirs.

After Khumalo was named the winner, she treated viewers and the audience to her single Want It to Feel Like It Did with You as confetti rained down.

WATCH: We talk to #IdolsSA winner Noma

With an album due to be released in December, we chatted to newly crowned Idols SA winner Noma Khumalo about what she has planned.

With an album due to be released in December, we chatted to newly crowned Idols SA winner Noma Khumalo about what she has planned.

kabelo.chabalal@inl.co.za

The Star