Only three contestants remain as Season 11’s Idols SA competition heats up. Only one of the three; Karabo Mogane (24) from Mbombela, Mpumalanga; Rhema Varrie (21) from Alberton, Gauteng; and the only woman Mmatema Moremi (23) from Moletlane, Limpopo, can become a winner. But being second or third best doesn’t mean you can’t be a star. We tracked down five of some of the country’s most well-known Idols SA runner ups from past seasons to find out what they have been up to since leaving the show.
Lloyd from Kwa Mashu in Durban was the the popular runner-up in Season 7 (2010). His success continued long after the show ended. He has released three albums, one of which won him Best Pop Album at the SAMAs in 2012 for his album titled One. This year he won Best R&B Single at the Metro FM awards for the song “Ndiyakudinga Mtakwethu”. Lloyd has also written a book The Dream of an Idol. He also loves presenting, and last year he presented his own show on Vuma FM called The Lloyd CELE Show. In 2016, he will be releasing his fourth album.
You’ll remember Bongiwe Silinda as the bubbly girl from Mpumalanga who was given a second chance to audition by the judges in Season 10 (2014). Since leaving the show, Bongiwe has been performing regularly at Afro Lounge Kitchen Bar in Pretoria. She currently has a new single out called “Chasing My Dreams” and she is also in the studio working on her album. She said: “My plan is to travel the world making music so that I can also do some collaborations with international artists.”
Season 9 runner-up (2013) Brenden Ledwaba will forever be remembered as the young man with a soulful voice from Graskop, Mpumalanga. He stole South Africa’s hearts from day one when he sang Miguel’s “Adorn” at his audition. Even Randall Abrahams, the judge who gives the least praise on the show, was smitten: “He makes young girls imagine they were women and old women imagine they were young girls,” he said. Since Idols, Brenden has been making beats, producing music and writing his own songs.
The Gugulethu-born singer became famous following her appearance on Season 2 back in 2003. Since the show, she’s shared the stage with international artists like Beyoncé, Westlife, Josh Groban and Michael Bolton. She also took on acting, appearing in various productions like The Mysteries, which was staged in Paris, as well as The Magic Flute, which toured in the UK, Japan, Ireland, Singapore, Tokyo, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Poseletso is currently based in the UK, where she works on theatre productions on the West End, London’s entertainment district, and performing in the Lion King.
In 2012 Rihanna’s “Where Have You Been?” took Melissa Allison from being known as Season 8’s “pretty girl with a nice voice” to “hot damn, she’s good.” The 26-year-old from Port Elizabeth had toured the country and Asia for three years with the stage show High School Musical Live before auditioning for Idols. After the show life was a rollercoaster for Melissa as she tried to make it on her own. She’s struggled to find the right people to work with as well as financial backing to make it as an independent artist. In 2013, she landed a role on etv’s Scandal. She then formed the corporate singing group Shoowop Shop with singers Tamara Dey and Mariechan Luiters (of Jamali). Melissa has a new single out called “Feel” and her plan is to keep releasing a few singles, which will be followed by an EP and then an album.
Images supplied by artists
Follow me on Twitter: @BabalwaBubblezQ