Karin Kortje (2005)
Karin was a frontrunner throughout her season of Idols SA, and went on to take the title with 65% of the final votes. The story of a girl from Cape Town who went from packing apples on a farm to winning the country’s biggest singing competition resonated with thousands of South Africans.
But several months after her win, Karin’s music career was overshadowed by the actions of her ex-boyfriend Cheslyn Williams. He was found guilty of the murder of Renate Kellerman, the owner of a guest house Karin had booked into. The former Idols winner opened up about the incident in an emotional Facebook post in 2016. “I will never get over that fatal night. I will never get over the fact that a part of me died with Renate Kellerman. I try so hard every day to make up for my wrong choices in life. I blamed myself… for allowing a person like [Chesly] into my life and heart. But most importantly into that family’s lives. It will forever haunt me,” she wrote.
Karin has managed to rise above her setbacks, and her career is back on track. She has filled up the Grand Arena in Grand West Casino with more than 5, 000 supporters who are eager to hear the angelic voice that earned her the title of best singer in 2005.