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EXCLUSIVE: Arno Carstens suffers first blow as one of his acts, MJ Scholtz, is eliminated on @The_XFactorSA

Buhle Mbonambi 

Princess Mekoa reacts after she finds out that she was safe and her close friend and team member, MJ Scholtz was the first person eliminated from the show. With them is host, Andile Ncube.
PIC: Rajesh Jantilal for The X-Factor SA/SABC1/Rapid Blue
MJ Scholtz from Klerksdorp was the first act eliminated last night at the first live show of SABC 1's The X-Factor South Africa. His mentor, Arno Carstens, took it hard.  "This is so stupid. I want to cry," he told the Sunday Tribune immediately after the show. "I really don't understand how this works and why people didn't vote for MJ. I just have no words right now." 

However, MJ took his elimination from the show, like a pro. "It's part of life I guess. I'm happy that my good friend, Princess (Mekoa) made it through to the next round. As sad it is that I have to go, I couldn't have lost to a more talented person. She deserves this and I'm proud of her."

Arno Carstens comforting MJ Scholtz at the press room.
PIC: Rajesh Jantilal for The X-Factor SA/SABC1/Rapid Blue

He does have hopes that he will have a successful career. "I'm not going back home to cry. I'm going back home and I'm going to do all that I can to make sure that I pursue my passion, my dream. It's sad that I left the show first because I know it was going to give me a boost in my career. But it has happened and I'm okay with it."
Carstens agreed with him. "He has the potential to have a successful music career. Yes, he has a voice that is very niche, but with the right people working with him, he can be our next big star."

The Olive Convention Centre was filled with supporters, with almost every seat filled. Some came as far away as Johannesburg. Most the performances were a hit with both the judges and the audience, with viewers at home excitingly tweeting about the show. The favourites are KZN based contestants, Avodah, Iziqhaza and Bubbles, who had their supporters screaming out their names and waving placards. 

The X-Factor is hosted by Andile Ncube, with Carstens, Zonke Dikana and DJ Oskido being the mentors.

This article first appeared in the Sunday Tribune issue of 26 October 2014

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