After two-million votes and just over a mere 1 000 separating the winner from the runner-up, 26-year-old Musa Sukwene was announced as the winner of Idols SA season nine on Tuesday.
Sukwene from eMalahleni in Mpumalanga and 19-year-old Brenden Ledwaba from Graskop, also in Mpumalanga, were neck-and-neck at the Moreleta Church in Pretoria.
"We have never experienced such a close race before on Idols SA," commented Lani Lombard, M-Net's head of publicity and special projects. "It's testament to the calibre of the contestants as well as the passion of the fans. It's fantastic to be able to provide such a phenomenal platform for untapped local singing talent."
Sukwene, who has been described as a gentle giant, had to take a few moments after the announcement to take it all in.
"It was about time that I got a break in the music industry. I was very surprised when they called my name. I really didn't expect to win. I am not sure how this happened." said Sukwene who performed in restaurants prior to the competition.
As the winner, Sukwene received a prize package worth over R1-million, including a recording contract from Universal Music South Africa.
Universal said that they would release a four-track EP from the winner in time for Christmas, which would be available exclusively for Samsung customers to download and keep from the Kleek music app.
Both singers have released new singles with music videos – Ledwaba's song is called Fingerprints and Sukwene's single is I Still Feel It.
It was also announced during the show that there would be a 10th season of Idols SA in 2014.
Auditions for the 10th season:
Johannesburg – Carnival City: February 15
Durban – Playhouse Theatre: February 22
Cape Town – GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World: March 7
Pretoria – State Theatre: March 22