by Thinus Ferreira
Berry Trytsman (Berry Trytsman) (30), a 30-year old mother from Cape Town was announced as the winner of season 17 of Idols on Sunday night on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) with the reality singing competition that was renewed for an 18th season and with MultiChoice and M-Net that dumped the post-show media briefing for the winner after 19 years.
Berry Trytsman - who received more votes than runner-up Karabo Mathe after 12.5 million votes were cast the past week - closed out Sunday's live broadcast of the season 17 finale of Idols with a rendition of her new single "Ungowami".
The 17th season of Idols was Berry Trytsman's second attempt after she reached the Top 30 round of Idols during its 6th season in 2010 but then got eliminated.
The season 17 Idols finale took place at Urban Brew Studios on the same triangular stage where the Sunday live shows took place this season after the show moved to the Johannesburg studios of the production company from the Pretoria State Theatre.
"Overwhelmed. Like so, so, so grateful and so happy you have no idea," said Berry Trytsman in the closing seconds of the season 17 Idols finale after she was announced as the winner. She gets a recording contract from Kalawa Jazmee Records.
[SIC] Entertainment, with director and executive producer Gavin Wratten and co-producers Anneke de Ridder and ProVerb (Tebogo Thekisho) who is also the presenter, announced that Idols will return for an 18th season in 2022 and with online audition dates that will be announced for the South African version of the Fremantle format on the Idols website "soon".
M-Net and MultiChoice abruptly dumped the usual Idols post-finale media briefing that had taken place the past 19 years for all previous 16 seasons of Idols with national media that were not given the usual opportunity to collectively post questions to the winner and runner-up, the producers or M-Net's Mzansi Magic channel.
Besides losing out on the earned media from the usual Idols post-show press conference for the winner that has very little time to get a Christmas album out, M-Net and MultiChoice also took away media exposure from the sponsors Vodacom, Old Mutual, Truworths, Darling and Yamaha who were involved with the show this season.
Philly Khubheka told TVwithThinus in response to a media query that M-Net decided to axe the Idols press conference because media allegedly prefer one-on-one interviews.
Besides MultiChoice and M-Net axing the media briefing, Idols has been in a sharp viewership decline this season with ratings that precipitously fell this season by hundreds of thousands of viewers as DStv subscribers tuned out following a scandal with the judge Somizi Mhlongo who exited the show.
Mzansi Magic issued a press statement following the conclusion of the 17th season of Idols, with Nomsa Philiso, M-Net director for local entertainment channels, saying in a prepared statement: "Congratulations to both Berry and Karabo for making it this far in the competition".
"I am blown away by their talent and I can't wait to see what the future has in store for them as they join a long line of Idols winners who have since become celebrated stars. Idols has been making dreams come true since inception and as Mzansi Magic. We are proud to have given the contestants a platform to showcase their talent".
Nobody at M-Net bothered to proofread the press release.
ALSO READ: Mzansi Magic abruptly axes Idols winner media briefing for season 17 after 19 years as ratings plunge.