Cape Town - Paxton Fielies came, she sang and she conquered.
At 17, not only is she youngest contestant yet on Idols SA, but now the Bishop Lavis superstar in the making is also the youngest winner yet of the reality show.
In another record-breaking move, Idols SA announced that just over 98 million votes were cast in total in Season 13 - and 30 million of those were in the past week.
Paxton, who has been described as a shy, socially awkward girl, has become an instant millionaire, the owner a brand-new Ford Focus, she gets a R50 000 fashion voucher from Truworths, R20 000 worth of musical instruments from Yamaha, and a recording deal.
On Sunday, her entire community came out to cheer her on to glory.
Bishop Lavis Sports Ground, in Lavis Drive, was packed with about 4000 people, who brought the house down when Paxton was announced the winner on the big screen.
Paxton’s mom and two other relatives were with her at Carnival City in Joburg after generous Daily Voice readers bought them plane tickets and paid for their accommodation.
Before she was announced winner, Paxton’s mom Chrystal said: “I am so amazed by how beautiful Paxton looks tonight, she looks so grown-up on that stage. But whatever happens, she remains my idol.”
Carnival City’s Big Top Arena was the spectacular setting for the final Top 2 showdown between Paxton and Mthokozisi Ndaba, 25, from Durban.
Also on stage were Season 12 winner Noma, judge Somizi and Heavy K, Kwesta, TLT, ChianoSky, and KidX, as well as Boom Shaka and TKZee.
Paxton looked stunning in a pink dress, and belted out Stand up for Love by Destiny’s Child. Mtho sang The Storm is Over by R. Kelly. They also performed a duet to a remix of Back To The Beach by Kyle Deutsch and Shekinah.
Both Paxton and Mtho received four yeses and a golden ticket at the auditions.
The Grade 11 pupil at Belhar High had the full backing of her family throughout the journey.
On Sunday night Paxton said she won’t neglect her schooling.
“I won’t be able to go to school as a normal person with all the gigs lined up, but I will (get my matric) via home schooling, or correspondence, or online, but I will do it,” she vowed.
“Idols was the perfect platform for me to grow, it has prepared me for the industry, and I’m open to learn. Each week was difficult, but my supporters are what drive me.”
A devastated Mtho asked to be excused from the post-show press conference “to compose himself”.
The Family Fun Day in Bishop Lavis was organised by community organisation Blac, with the help of the Department of Social Development.
Cape Flats diva Salome entertained the mense before Idols was shown on the big screen.
Resident Arlene Armenville, 30, wiped her tears of joy as she watched the announcement.
“I am so happy for Paxton. I was nervous and not sure if she was going to win, but I am crying because I am so happy for our girl."
Aunty Susan February, 67, also from Bishop Lavis, says she watched Paxton grow up.
“I was proud of her for just getting to the Idols competition. When she did so well, I knew she was going to win. Sy’s ons almal se kind (she is now everyone's child), now she is the nation’s child as well,” says Aunty Susan.
The Season 14 auditions kick off in Cape Town on 27 January at Canal Walk.