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All hail Paxton, millionaire at 17

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When Paxton Fielies first walked into the Audition Room of the Grand West Casino in Cape Town in early February 2017, it was hard for anyone to ignore her. Not because she was brash, boisterous or colourful like many who had congregated at the venue. Not at all. Paxton was shy and unassuming and possessed a disarming smile that was sweet as candy, a definite standout in an industry where stars-in-waiting demand attention in loud and proud fashion.

After introducing herself to Idols SA judging panel – Somizi, Randall, Unathi and guest judge Donald, Paxton finally did what she had come to do; sing – and boy did she sing! The result of that very first meeting, was Donald standing on his feet, tears in his eyes, while Somizi went one better – sat in a chair and rocked our little star like a baby.

With a Golden Ticket firmly in-hand, it was time to jet off to Theatre Week at The Wild Coast Sun to go head-to-head with amazing singers we had met in various audition stops across the country. With each rigorous elimination round, Paxton made sure to stand head and shoulders above the rest and quickly made friends and fans alike. Her trio vs trio performance in particular, was nothing short of a revelation.

Despite pulling off consistent performances day after day, there was one thing that continued to be a thorn in Paxton’s side – her confidence, or lack thereof. This became even more evident during an incredibly emotional Top 16 announcement where she broke down during a one-on-one with our judges. “I don’t really believe in myself. I don’t think I’m good enough. ”. It didn’t matter what she thought though, because she was headed to our BIG live stage. And with a lot of introspection and work, Paxton quickly blossomed into a brand new girl, exactly what she needed to be for public vote.

With her talented Season 13 Top 2 counterpart Mthokozisi’s “Masithandane” hitting number one on the digital music charts as soon as it was unveiled on our stage, #Paxnation were left shaken, but not stirred. Instead, her army got to work and vote, vote, voted for their princess, taking full advantage of the extended voting deadline. The result? A record-shattering voting period that catapulted their beloved to the top and earned her a hard-earned victory over Mthokozisi.