It’s a bittersweet goodbye for Cape Town-based winners, and former hosts of the popular reality singing show Idols SA, a show that has been a Sunday night companion and dream come true for many South Africans for 19 years.
As the country gears up for the final goodbye of Idols SA, which begins its final season this evening, Cape Town- based former hosts and winners reminisce on their unique journeys on the show that kept South Africans on the edge of their seats, and share about a few projects lined up.
Cape-based TV and radio personality Liezel Van der Westhuizen, who hosted Idols SA in seasons 5 and 6 (2009-2010), said she felt sad that Idols SA is coming to an end.
“Just thinking about how the show launched so many artists’ singing careers and what it did for people who watched the show, you would most likely get a video shared of the wooden mic or a moment of the live show. It’s really sad to see a show so big come to an end,” she said.
Van der Westhuizen reminisced with a smile at the day she received the call to host Idols SA.
“I actually didn’t think I’d get it. I was sick when I went to audition. I barely had a voice. My agent (at the time) gave me a call and told me I got the job. I didn’t believe it. I told him to stop bluffing. When I realised that it was indeed true, I remember screaming in the office. I was working in PR at the time. I cannot begin to tell you what Idols did for my career. To this day, I’m still stopped by people who were fans of the show. I get booked regularly for MC gigs, too,” she said.
Van der Westhuizen said she is working on a few television projects presently and refused to share if she would be making an appearance in the final season.
Season 13 winner Paxton Fielies from Bishop Lavis said the ending of Idols SA is a bittersweet feeling.
“The show has changed so many people’s lives. I’m just so grateful to have been a part of their journey. This will be the best season yet.”
“One of my friends decided to audition and I went as moral support. I was definitely not planning on this. Literally decided on an audition song the night before. I ended up making it in, and the rest was history.
“I sang a song by Tori Kelly called “Confetti”. I was extremely anxious but prayed before I went in, and that definitely helped to calm my nerves and get me in the right head space. My biggest highlight would have to be celebrating my crown birthday on the show, it was the top 10 episode, and we had balloons backstage to celebrate,” she said.
She said the show gave her a huge platform, and she decided that she would use it for good and motivate young people.
Fielies has been working on her second project and is excited about her new music coming soon.
Another Cape Town winner, Berry Trytsman, said she also had mixed emotions about Idols ending.
“I feel like this was always something that young singers could use as a platform to develop their talent and career. I auditioned because I knew it was my last chance due to the age cut-off of 30. I knew I would regret not trying one last time.
“My audition song was ”never enough“ from the greatest showman. I was so nervous that I could throw up. My biggest Idols highlight besides winning? Singing and performing with such an amazing cast and team. The show certainly launched my career. It took me to another level,” she said.
Trytsman said she has been working on new music with her husband and creative team as an independent artist. She hints that her new single will be released next month.
“I would love to appear on the final season. However, that is news I do not have yet. I am currently working on a new single release, soon to be followed by a full album release. I left the label Kalawa at the end of 2022 to become an independent artist and write music with my husband in our studio,” she said.