Just call him Mr Popular
When Dave van Vuuren beat Mark Haze on Idols SA, it was the tightest finish on the show, a mere 0.98% of the votes separating them.
Khaya Mthethwa's win over Melissa Alison this season might be the biggest drubbing on the reality singing competition.
Figures released by M-Net yesterday suggest a chasm - and just how popular the 25-year-old Mthethwa was - at the end of the eighth season.
Mthethwa drew 80.20% of the almost 3million votes cast in the recent finale.
In hindsight, the fans responsible for the early hype surrounding him put their money where their mouths were.
A total of 9million votes were cast during the season, via MXit, SMS and the Idols website and mobi-site.
Already at the top-18 stage, Mthethwa was one of only two male hopefuls to garner double-digit percentages of the votes (the other was Simphiwe Gwegwe).
Week by week, as the contenders were whittled down, Mthethwa surged. Already, by the top five (where he competed against Allison, Tshidi Tenyane, Monde Msutwana and Gwegwe) he had the lion's share of the votes, with 40.41%.
Interestingly, Tenyane, who looked like almost certain for the final, had the second-highest number of votes of the top five.
But she surrendered her lead over Alison and Msutwana when she made controversial comments during the home-coming segment of the show, when the remaining contestants visited their former schools and neighbourhoods.
Pupils stormed Tenyane's car, making it difficult for her to get out, and she was heard telling them: "Okay, guys. I'm going to come out of the car, but don't jump on me, okay? I will literally fall."
Yesterday, Mthethwa was in meetings with Universal Music SA consultant Benjy Mudie, thrashing out the track list for his as yet untitled debut album.
The singer told his 61000 followers on Twitter: "Thank you SA just saw the audited results of @IdolsSA #Seaon8 votes from #Top18 to #Top2 & the ultimate win. It's been a humbling journey!"
Much has been made of the fact that race was still an issue eight seasons intoIdols SA.
New York Times reporter Lydia Polgreen wrote on Monday: "But in South Africa . not even a singing competition escapes examination under a powerful racial lens."
She said of previous seasons of Idols: "But, as with so many other aspects of this theoretically egalitarian country, the competition was long swayed by the nation's Achilles' heel: the deep imbalances in wealth that have made this one of the most unequal societies in the world."