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Durbanite Nonhle Mhlongo shocked many fans on Sunday night after dropping out of the “Idols SA” race.The 29-year-old soulful songbird, who stole the show and became a fan-favourite with her renditions of “On and on”, “Creep” and “Empire State of Mind”, was shortlisted as one of the Top 16.Before she entered Idols she also worked as a part-time marketing assistant and worked for her church on the side.• 20-year-old Business Management student Nadia Herbst from Paarl has already won the title of Miss Teen Cape Town and Miss Teen Western Cape, and now she has a third title in her sights: South Africa’s new Idol! Angikanze ngilibone ikhono elifana naleli bakwethu!! you literally have to sing 3 songs (auditions, 1 group stage song, 1 solo song) to be in the top 16. • 17-year-old Nina Terblanche hails from Nelspruit, where she is a Grade 10 scholar who has Music as a school subject, and she also sings in the school choir and competes in Eisteddfods.• Jozi native Phila Madlingozi’s name may sound familiar, because at age 25 he has starred in drama series like “Intersexions” and “Mutual Friends”, and has posted many of his own music videos on You Tube.• 21-year-old Rhema Varrie was encouraged to go into music by his father, a Pastor, who spotted his potential at an early age. She is one of the main reasons I was going to watch Idols this season. But it gives me comfort that the contestants left behind are also very talented. I think this is the second time ever I'll enjoy Idols. And they go around claiming they are top 16 in the entire SA. He studied classical singing in school and since matriculating he’s been focusing on gospel and jazz in his hometown of Inanda, near Durban, where he lives with his mother and siblings.• Thami Shobede (27) hails from Mthubathuba but is currently based in Johannesburg, where he worked for Transnet before making it into the Top 16 of Idols SA 11. But towards the end, the show dramatically dropped a bombshell that Mhlongo was out and 22-year-old Amanda Antony will replace her.Top 16 are (in alphabetical order):• Amanda Antony (22) for whom Idols SA has been a true rollercoaster ride.In 2013 she famously made it to Sun City when Unathi gave her a Golden Ticket in PE after Algoa FM had spotted her great singing talent, but then she bombed out during Hell Week.
Rhema is currently a financial advisor who supports his extended family.• Ruan Grobbelaar (24) from Somerset West was studying software development at the University of Stellenbosch when he got his Golden Ticket at the Cape Town auditions in February.• Shenay O’Brien (25) is making history as the competition's first drag queen in the voting rounds. My heart was sore and sank after learning she had opted out of Idols. In my view, the girl in Picture no.1 is in the Top 5 already.
Prior to Idols, Shenay shared a home in Roodepoort with her creator, former Tshwane University of Technology drama student and performer Thiart Li.• Siphelele Ngcobo (24) from Durban has been making his living as a singer since 2012. But Nonhle was definitely going to give her a run for her money.
She hails from Creighton in the Southern Drakensberg and currently lives with her mom in Pietermaritzburg, where she is being home-schooled.• Dineo Moseki (21) who lives in Vryburg with her sisters and nieces and nephews, where she works as a full-time professional singer.
The pint-sized Dineo has been singing for all of her life, in school choirs and church choirs, and turned professional in 2012.• Elwira Standili (22) from Worcester gave up her Management Assistance studies once she won that coveted Golden Ticket at the Idols SA auditions in Cape Town this February.• 24-year-old Karabo Mogane from Nelspruit who studied Geoinformatics at the University of Stellenbosch before getting into the Idols SA Season 11 Top 16.• Loyiso Gijana from Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape is 16, the youngest singer in the competition.
Up until now he was a learner at Muir College in Uitenhage.• Lungisa Xhamela (24) from Langa in the Cape gave up his studies in medical bioscience at the University of the Western Cape to pursue his musical dreams full-time, for the sake of his two-year-old daughter.• Mmatema Moreni (23) from Limpopo qualified as a professional linguist who speaks four languages. she should focus on her intellectual talent, Ruan, Phila are there, so is Karabo, Rhema should grow up and stop being childish, didn't watch the 2 last shows but I think the faces that are there are talented enough to win it, good luck guys What a lame program..