Group image of Idols Season 13 Top 16 contestants on a cliff overlooking the ocean

Paxton Fielies (16) is the youngest contestant on Idols SA this season, and was the first to receive a Golden Ticket during auditions in Cape Town. The teen is a Grade 11 pupil and has the full backing of her family and school when it comes to pursuing her musical dream. Her impressive voice bowled over the judges when she auditioned to Tori Kelly’s Confetti, and she has not disappointed the judges since.

Christo Daniels (21) first tried his luck at the Johannesburg auditions, but did not make it past the preliminary rounds. When a chance presented itself through Telkom, in his hometown of Port Elizabeth a few weeks later, he grabbed it and made it count. The second year Business Management student says music is the love that he can’t escape, and Idols is the stepping stone that he needs.

Phindile “Phindy” Dube (19), was one of the talented few who received a full panel of yesses from the judges. The lass from Amanzimtoti is a cover artist and hopes to make her audition city Durban – and the entire KZN – proud.

Mthokozisi Ndaba (25), has had a long road to the Idols stage. Shortly after a successful audition in Durban, he was shot during a mugging. A true township guy from KwaMashu, his true grit saw him make it through to the Top 16. Now he’s ready to fight for the public vote.

Gabi Du Plessis (16) is the second youngest contestant and hails from Kenilworth, Cape Town, where she auditioned. Her effervescent personality and self-confidence have seen her charm the judges, who praise her for being a “great performer” who will go far with the right kind of guidance.  

Minenhle “Minnie” Ntuli (22), had guest judge Phat Joe hiding under the table at the Durban auditions after he recognised her as the student activist who had taken him to task before. The final year Law student at UKZN is from New Germany and counts Sibongile Khumalo and Lira among singers who inspire her.

Nomthandazo “Tee” Xaba (18), studies Drama at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). When auditioning in her home city, this teen from Durban said she aspires to be a triple threat as a singer, actress and dancer.

Basetsana Kolwane (19), is a ballad belter to be reckoned with. The youngster auditioned in Joburg, where she confessed that her father was not keen on her juggling her studies as a second year HR student at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) with Idols. When giving his yes, Randall said it’s time her dad hears what she is capable of.

Botlhale Phora (21), hails from Pretoria, but auditioned in Johannesburg. The full-time musician plays gigs for a living, and the highlight of his career so far has been sharing a stage with Lira at the State Theatre. This is his first shot at Idols and he’s going for gold.

Gugulethu “Gugu” Zulu (24) is a triple threat – she’s an actress, singer and songwriter. She lives in Honeydew, Johannesburg, and was shooting a musical film when she auditioned in Johannesburg. She studied acting at Howard College, UKZN, and says her mom is her biggest fan.

Blessed Mlangeni (23), is an education student from Nelspruit in Mpumalanga and auditioned in Pretoria. She was a member of JR’s winning choir in Clash of the Choirs (Mzansi Magic), and she’s seriously taking Unathi advice to not hold back, as her Theatre Week performances proved.

Thokozile Ndimande (27), auditioned in Pretoria and has been honing her skills as a back-up singer for Afro-soul singer Maleh and former Idols winner Karabo. This is the third time the Soshanguve singer has entered Idols, and she’s hoping three will be her lucky number.

Thapelo Esau (20), fell off during Theatre Week in Season 12 after she lost her voice. But the aspirant singer from Vosloorus in the east of Johannesburg, pushed through when the same thing threatened to happen again this season. Her determination, from the time she auditioned in Pretoria, has seen her make the Top 16.

Lindokuhle “Lindo” Sithole (21), has won the judges over with his voice and charisma. From Centurion, Pretoria, he’s more determined than ever to go all the way to the top after crashing out during Theatre Week in Season 12.

Nokuthula “Hadassah” Makhoba (23), describes herself as a “full-time musician and part-time everything else: writer, author, playwright, poet and theatre practitioner”. This creative from Eloffsdal, Pretoria, auditioned in her home city, but was so nervous she almost turned back. Now she’s glad she didn’t.

Faith Msibi (25) first auditioned with her two sisters in Season 12. This time, her Pretoria audition was just herself and her confidence. The Witbank daughter of a pastor says she’s got her nerves in check this time and is ready to fight for her place in the spotlight.

Next Sunday, the Top 16 will take to the stage for the first live show.

Idols SA season 13 is broadcast on Mzansi Magic, DStv Channel 161 on Sundays and will now broadcast at 17:00 during the live shows.