During Saturday night’s grand finale, broadcast live on SABC1 from KwaZulu-Natal, the group was voted the most electrifying new act in the country, beating out fellow finalists Eliezer and Iziqhaza to be crowned SA’s first ever, X Factor winner.
Commenting on their win, “It means the world to us! We have been working very hard towards this moment… We are excited for the future and this is only the beginning!!!”said FOUR.
They walk away with the grand prize, worth R750 000 – including a Sony Music recording and management contract, R300 000 in cash and their very own personal sound studio. Also in the bag is an album launch in partnership with Vodacom, R50 000 worth of wardrobe and styling, a tablet, a smartphone and data.
This, of course, is in addition to having the honour of being the first South African winner in the prestigious international X Factor singing competition franchise.
Eliezer, Four and Iziqhaza headed into the final round knowing that their fate lay in the hands of the viewing public. The three judges – Arno Carstens, Oskido and Toya Delazy (standing in for Zonke) – could root for their favourites, but had no direct influence on who would win. It was entirely down to SMS votes from fans.
It was a bumper show, including out-of-this-world guest performances by Ladysmith Black Mambazo and DJ Merlon featuring Mondli Ngcobo. But ultimately, after several weeks of jubilation, tears and frayed nerves, not to mention stellar performances, it was down to the moment of truth: each of the three acts had to sing to win.
Head of PR: SABC TV Channels, Zandile Nkoyeni, “the X Factor South Africa has showcased incredibly talent in the past weeks and we are proud to add yet another first for to Mzansi’s music industry.”
Opening with a killer group performance of Katy Perry’s Roar to get the creativejuices flowing, the three finalists went on to sing what the judges felt were their best songs of the competition, as chosen by their mentors. Four performed Uhuru’s Y Tjukutja, Eliezer gave heart and soul to Marvin Gaye’s Got to Give It Up and Iziqhaza tackled Busiswa’sNgoku.
Soon thereafter, voting lines were temporarily frozen after viewers had frantically SMSed their support for their favourite acts to give them a shot at the X Factor SA title. You could have cut the atmosphere with a knife before host Andile Ncube announced that the first act to be eliminated – with the least number of votes so far – was Iziqhaza.
The lines were then re-opened, the frenzied voting resumed and the top two – FOUR and Eliezer – went on to slam-dunk songs that had proved popular favourites during the competition. These powerhouse performances were followed by the much-anticipated unveiling of the new, original songs that they had been working on – and that would be their first commercial single with Sony should they emerge the winner.
Excitement was mounting as the top two performed – but there could only be one X Factor SA winner.
And scoring the most votes from an adoring public was FOUR – whose new single (along with all the other tracks performed during the competition) can be downloaded from iTunes. Everyone agreed – their road to fame had certainly not been easy, but a worthy winner had ultimately been crowned!
The X Factor South Africa is brought to viewers by SABC 1 in partnership with theKwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Tourism and Vodacom. The show is produced by Rapid Blue.
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