Idols Top 10… Uh, Make That Top 11

SA Idols is in full swing, and aside from my irritation with the judges and a bit of the whole thing feeling a bit too similar to itself, there is actually some good talent this year.

But local reality TV is facing it’s fair share of problems at the moment (with Big Brother Africa being put on hold due to the house burning down days before the planned launch). Now a glitch in the Idols system has forced the producers to announce we will get a Top 11 this year, not the usual Top 10. Here’s what they said in a press release today:

Idols 2014 finalist Ivan

Idols 2014 finalist Ivan

M-Net and Mzansi Magic have decided that eleven contestants, instead of the usual ten, will have the opportunity to become South Africa’s next Idol. The decision was made after the channels became aware of a communication error on the iTV application on DStv – the place where you go when you press “OK” on your decoder’s remote control.  

Due to a technical error which has been investigated and rectified, photographs of Vincent Verhoog and Ivan Roux (Idols SA Top 16 Group 1 performers) were inadvertently switched on the contestant information voting pages of the application. When you clicked on Vincent’s photograph Ivan’s voting details appeared, while Ivan’s photograph was linked to Vincent’s voting details.
Even though all the information on all the other communication platforms was correct, M-Net and the auditing company Deloitte & Touche ascertained this morning (3 September) that this error might have had an impact on how viewers voted and therefore the composition of the Top 10. Firstly, the votes placed the two contestants in the fourth and fifth position, which meant that one of them would have gone home, as only the four contestants from each group with the most votes from the public would make it to the Top 10. Secondly, the difference between their votes was less than 1%, which is exceptionally close in a competition such as Idols.  Consequently, it would only be fair to both contestants and their fans to allow both of them to proceed to the next round. While both Ivan and Vincent V will now definitely be in the Top 11, M-Net and Mzansi Magic will only announce the names of the remaining three contestants chosen by the voting public during the Idols SA Top 16 Results Show on Sunday 14 September.

The second group of Top 16 contestants will continue to perform this week Sunday (7 September) to earn their spot in what will now be the Idols SA Top 11 and, because this error will have no impact on their positions, the four of them with the most votes will join Vincent V and Ivan in the Top 11.

The remaining two contestants will be chosen by the judges from either one of the groups, as announced in last week’s show.


Yolisa Phahle, M-Net’s CEO: South Africa, says this decision illustrates M-Net’s commitment to being a responsible and transparent broadcaster. “The Idols contestants are all exceptionally talented and passionate about a possible career in the South African music industry and if there are any doubts or issues related to voting results we will work with Deloitte & Touche to do whatever it takes to ensure that no contestant is negatively impacted. Viewers should also take note that there have been no issues with our voting mechanisms or platforms. This was a communication error only and we will make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”

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