Thursday, October 24, 2019

The Qwabe twins’ tumultuous Idols exit: Mzansi Magic publicist threatened, police called after family's ugly backstage fighting.

The truth behind the tumultuous exit of the Qwabe twins from the 15th season of Idols is that the sister's family allegedly created chaos behind-the-scenes on Sunday with their disruptive behaviour that was hidden from viewers, with Mzansi Magic that was forced to call in the police after a Mzansi Magic publicist was threatened who feared for his life.

It happened as Virginia Qwabe was informed that she was eliminated after getting the least number of votes, with her sister Viggy who then decided to quit.

While the rest of the eliminated Top 10 contestants usually return for a group performance during the season finale, the Qwabe twins and their belongings were removed on Sunday night from the Idols residence where the Top 10 stay and neither will be seen again in the show on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) or during the live finale set for 17 November.

Idols as a South African version of the Fremantle format show, is executive produced by Gavin Wratten and Tebogo Thekisho (ProVerb) who is also the presenter, and as a result of the in-show brouhaha will have no elimination at the end of this coming Sunday's Top 4 episode.

While M-Net and the [SIC] Entertainment produced show created an impression that the Qwabe twins and their family parted amicably after Sunday's Top 5 episode at the South African State Theatre in Pretoria, some of the backstage tumult hidden from viewers at home became very visible to the shocked in-theatre audience.

The usual press conference following an episode of Idols on Sunday night was abruptly cancelled because of the behind-the-scenes chaos.

Mzansi Magic in a statement on Monday said that "After lengthy discussions, Viggy who still remained in the Idols competition after Sunday's elimination has decided to exit the competition" and that "The Qwabe twins, their family, production company and channel met after the show tonight to formalise Viggy’s decision".

Philly Kubheka, the head of publicity for M-Net's local entertainment channels, in a statement denied rumours of bullying of and between the remaining Idols contestants, saying that "there was no bullying or any physical altercations among the contestants in the house."

In the latest scandal to engulf Idols, there was however a chaotic showdown behind-the-scenes of the show on Sunday between the Qwabe family and Mzansi Magic, with one of the show's publicists who was allegedly threatened by the rage-filled Qwabe sisters' brothers.

The aggressive behaviour ramped up to such an extent that M-Net was forced to call the police to the show to intervene when the family became disruptive.

In-theatre audience members on Sunday witnessed how the Qwabe family abruptly got up from their seats and left the theatre while Viggy was singing.

The group, allegedly including the Qwabe sisters' brothers, cousins and father Lawrence Qwabe, demanded to see the voting results outside the auditorium, and also demanded Viggy's removal from the show while it was still broadcasting live, with some family members who then allegedly attacked one of the Mzansi Magic publicists.

That was when the South African police service was called in and arrived at the show to intervene.

The family members alleged that vote rigging was responsible for Virginia's elimination from the show, since the one Idols judge Somizi Mhlongo predicted that one of the Qwabe twins would be leaving the show on Sunday.

"It was so bad I was scared for my life!" said the Mzansi Magic publicist.

TVwithThinus was unable to reach the Qwabe family for comment. Mzansi Magic was asked if it's possible to speak to the Qwabes and Mzansi Magic responded and said "The Qwabes are not available for interviews as we currently don’t have access to them".

Mzansi Magic was asked for comment about the Qwabe family fighting backstage, attacking a show publicist and the police called to the show to intervene.

"The Qwabe family and some of the fans were aggressive and demanded to have the twins during a live broadcast," Irvin Pooe, a Mzansi Magic publicist for Idols told TVwithThinus.

"The police had to be called as they threatened violence and this is a public event and we have to ensure everyone is safe. The twins' brothers and some of the cousins also tried attacking me. This was witnessed by some of the guests at the show hence they posted the information on social media."

About Somizi Mhlongo who said one of the twins would be eliminated on Sunday which came true, Philly Kubheka says Mzansi Magic "is satisfied as to the credibility of the Idols season 15 voting process which is independently audited by Deloitte & Touche".

"Whilst the judges can provide predictions and commentary on the show, they can in no way influence or alter the outcomes of the public vote. Mzansi Magic is also satisfied that the show is run in a manner that respects our talent and crew and that no bullying is tolerated."