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19.10.14

We chatted to @The_XFactorSA's Top Nine Acts at @FairmontZimbali



The top nine acts of The X-Factor South Africa were announced yesterday. Buhle Mbonambi spoke to some of the favourites

Arno Carstens, Zonke Dikana, Oskido and Andile Ncube PIC: Bongani Mbatha

After weeks of searching, the judges of SABC 1’s The X-Factor South Africa have finally chosen the best acts.
Judges Oskido, Zonke and Arno Carstens revealed the acts at a cocktail party at Zimbali Fairmont Hotel on Friday.
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” said Zonke, mentor to the Over 24s group, from which Gavin Edwards, Wanda Ngubeni and Eliezer Hilmer were chosen. 
“Choosing who to take to the live shows was one of the most difficult decisions I had to make, since I had such a strong group of singers.”
Zonke with her top 3 acts for the live shows- Wanda Ngubeni, Gavin Edwards and Eliezer Hilmer PIC: Bongani Mbatha
The Over 24s are believed to be the strongest contestants on the show. Unsurprisingly, they agree. 
“The winner will come from one of us,” Edwards said.
“We are strong singers, and we have age on our side, compared with the other contestants, so really the competition is between the three of us,” Ngubeni added. 
Asked what we could expect on Saturday when the live shows begin at the Olive Convention Centre in Durban, Hilmer  said: “Expect a show. We will blow everyone away. We are all very different, and there’s a reason Zonke chose us over the others – we have the ‘X-factor’, and we will prove it.”

Oskido and his groups- Iziqhaza, Avoda and Four PIC: Bongani Mbatha
Oskido mentored the groups, which consisted of Four, Avoda and Iziqhaza. 
Four – Jethro Tait, Steven Lewis and David Januari – are the most popular of the three groups. This is  because they already look like superstars, something that could give them an edge over their fellow contestants. 
“It’s great that the ladies love us, and if that gives us the edge over the other groups, we don’t mind. We’ll take it and run with it,” Lewis said.

The Under 24s, to be mentored by rocker Arno Carstens, include MJ Schulz, Bubbles Mnomiya and Princess Mekoa.  Already close friends, they acknowledge they will have to do a great job each week to impress the viewers at home.  “There’s some amazing talent on the show, and we can’t wait to blow them away,” Schulz said. 

Arno's angels: Bubbles Mnomiya, MJ Schulz and Princess Mekoa PIC: Bongani Mbatha
Mnomiya agreed, saying: “We have made a pinky promise that each week we will perform our socks off so we don’t go home. I can’t dance, but I will make sure that I learn my steps so I can do my friends, parents and MJ and Princess proud.”
Mekoa believes they have qualities that will stand them in good stead. 
“We have stage presence, and are spunky and cool.”

The other two acts chosen were Avoda (a group of six girls) and Iziqhaza (a group of two) 

The X-Factor South Africa will be shown live on SABC 1 from Saturday, 25 October, at 5.30pm. The show will be filmed from the Olive Convention Centre in Durban, and will be hosted by Andile Ncube.

This article first appeared in the issue of 19 October 2014 on the Sunday Tribune. 

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