EXPOSED: Favouratism rocks #IdolsSA, judges ‘cheated’ in favour of Nandi Ndathane & Lerato Matsabu

Idols SA is back with season 18, and what used to be the most-loved singing competition is waning. The top 12 were chosen and announced during the Sunday evening show. Fans were outraged by some of the choices made by judges Somizi Mhlongo, Thembi Seete and Thabo “JR” Bogopa.

Nandi Ndathane and Lerato Matsabu will have to work harder than all the contestants when the live shows begin next week Sunday because they were the least favourites of this season. Viewers believe the two took spots they did not deserve and expressed this on social media platforms. The two Idols hopefuls found themselves on top of Twitter trending topics with fans expressing their disappointment in the judges.

In her audition, 21-year-old Ndathane revealed that she was the daughter of the late musician, Shaluza Max Mntambo, who performed with Somizi Mhlongo in Sarafina. The Johannesburg-based singer might have won the hearts of the judges, but the viewers wanted her gone because her singing skills did not impress them. For her last audition, she performed Juice by American singer Lizzo (Melissa Jefferson). The stage presence was there but vocally, she did not do well enough, however, the performance secured her the seventh spot in the top 12.

Bogopa said Ndathane had a fearless approach in her performances and added that it was obvious that she was raised in a musical family. Viewers swore that the “mess” would be fixed when the voting lines opened as they said the singer received a “Sarafina privilege” because of her father.

Matsabu made it through the next round during the auditions because Bogopa had to beg for her and convinced the other judges to give her a chance. Seete doubted her and asked if the 27-year-old would be able to pull through. Not only that, she and her duet partner, Zadwesh, were given another chance after giving Amanda Black and Anthony Hamilton’s Vuka a mild performance during the famously tough theatre week. In her final audition, the Johannesburg-based singer performed Inyembezi by amapiano star Buhle “Boohle” Manyathi, which shockingly earned her a spot in the top 12.

Giving his remarks, the Show Dem hitmaker said to Matsabu: “The first time I saw you, I had to convince these two judges here that you will be able to supersede the expectations, and go ahead and do great things. You managed to convince them.”

Viewers beg to differ, as they feel Matsabu made it through because she was the producer’s favourite.

One cannot help but wonder if these complaints will not have a negative impact on the already struggling season 18 viewership. Even though the show still trends on Sundays, it was reported that the rating had gone down from over a million to 744 000 views in July. While some could easily blame the low ratings on Mhlongo’s presence because of his allegations against his estranged husband, Mohale Motaung, it should also be noted that the numbers began dropping in season 17 when Mhlongo had taken a break from the show.

Even this season’s staged argument between Mhlongo and Seete did not do any trick to bring back lost viewers. Among other reasons for not watching, viewers revealed that they have outgrown the show; the judges lacked chemistry and that it needed more creativity, as it was no longer entertaining since all the seasons were pretty much the same.

With the live shows starting on August 28 at Pretoria’s Heartfelt Arena, we cannot wait to see how viewers will react.

– City press

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