Tonight (Sunday, 6 April) South African television audiences voted spaza shop owner Mandla Hlatshwayo the winner of the R 1 million grand prize as the 63 day reality super series BIG BROTHER MZANSI SECRETS drew to a stunning close with a highly emotional two hour Finale that began at 18:00, exclusive to Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161). Capping off a memorable season of high stakes live 24/7 entertainment, Biggie went all out to ensure that when the curtain came down, it did so sensationally!
Having started on Sunday, 2 February with 18 participants, at the end 6 Housemates remained in the game, all of whom had no idea the game was about to come to a thrilling end. But for Iris, Kat, Loko, Mandla, MK and Sol, today was destined to be a day like no other.
The Finale kicked off with host Lungile Radu standing centre-stage flanked on both sides by Housemates and Chambermates who had begun the journey together, but had exited it at various times during the past nine weeks. Looking ‘oh so glam’, standing shoulder to shoulder were Jenayne, Paris, Nku, Mbali, Vanessa, Kgosi, Lola, Jase, Mzamo, Thando, Poolie and Lexi as Biggie kicked off the final chapter of his Secrets game! As Khuli Chana set the studio alight with the blazing track Hape le Hape, few could have known just what an exciting evening lay ahead.
First up was a look back at the last two months, which had brought with them the nerve-wracking Friday night games, the Monday morning battles for individual immunity and the always dramatic nominations and evictions! Then there were the tasks, and a trip down memory lane fittingly summarised the fun and creativity of the Housemates as they took on themed weeks. From dancing to sports, art to social awareness, travel toendurance, and including a week of Pirates, the tasks showcased the Housemates in fine form! Or course, the Statue Task could not be forgotten as it delivered some of the biggest laughs and most tear-jerking moments of the show.
With romance, friendships, feuds and conspiracy all having featured in this season, there was no way that the Finale would not look back on these epic encounters, and Biggie didn’t disappoint stitching together key moments in a specially packaged insert that showed them all, even the strikes the Housemates earned for not following the rules! Big Brother didn’t forget to also pay tribute to last week’s evictees and showed Lexi and Poolie in Soweto, from where they sent their shout-outs to fans, after recounting their highlights in the show.
But tonight was always going to be about the Final 6 and with the vote results delivered to Lungile by the auditing firm of SizweNtsalubaGobodo, the unsuspecting remaining Housemateswere back in the spotlight as Biggie instructed Iris and Kat to make their way to the Vault and await further information. He followed up by sending Mandla, MK, Loko and Sol to the Party Room and then things got really interesting!
Once in the Vault, Iris and Kat were faced with a screen and a buzzer. The task ahead was simple and, without revealing that today was the last day of the show, Biggie explainedwhat was to happen. With the screen counting up to an undisclosed amount ofmoney in a short amount of undisclosed time, Kat and Iris were faced with an enticing choice. The first person to hit the buzzer, would win the amount on the screen, but would have to leave immediately. As the screen began counting up, and the tension mounted, it was Kat who buzzed out of the game taking home a whopping R 100 562. Making her way onto stage, a bubbly Kitty Kat, who was delighted with her newly increased bank balance, confessed that her multiple ‘romances’ were all part of her strategy. She also soon discovered that the game was about to come to an end as evictions began!
First evicted was ‘Sol of The House’, who bounced out of the party room and onto the stage where he received a warm welcome from the studio audience. The radio DJ said he wasn’t disappointed that he was voted out, that he was very happy to be part of the Final 6, that he would miss his fellow Housemates and he had enjoyed his time in Suite 501. He then headed over to join Kat on the couch, where his exuberant greeting definitely seem to irritate Kat.
Next out was the debonair MK, who was surprised but was adamant that he was not lost for words. Talkative as ever, he described his stay in the Big Brother house as magnificent, confessed that he’d lost a bet with Sol about when the show would end and then said that he would do the show over and over again. He did also say that he would notmiss the dirty dishes in the house, before charmingly doing a shout out to ‘the lovely Lola’.
Third to be evicted was the gorgeous Loko, who left the Party Room after Lungile called out her name. Having won a trip for two worth R 50 000 earlier in the game, Loko’s entrance onstage brought the formerly evicted Housemates to their feet as they applauded her. Within seconds she was firmly ensconced in Poolie’s arms for a sweet, albeit brief reunion. Chatting about her stay, she was down-to-earth as ever doing a quick shout out to her sisters who were in the audience. She refrained from commenting on the future of her relationship with Poolie though, diplomatically maintaining her silence.
With just moments left in the game, as Dr Malinga belted out Via Orlando on stage, Mandla and Iris were sent back to the Main House. In classic Mandla style, he promptly stripped thinking that the official activities of the night were over. Iris then headed into the house to update him on Kat’s win in the Buzzer Game. Gathered in the lounge Mandla and Iris were soon informed by Lungile that they were the final two Housemates in the game, and that in a few moments, one of them would be named the winner of BIG BROTHER MZANSI SECRETS.
The elated twosome made their way onto the stage, amidst fireworks, to meet Lungile and their cheering fans. Onstage, they were surprised by a special personal message from Biggie himself. Big Brother commended Mandla on his humility, his positive attitude, his sense of humour and his dazzling smile while also referencing the love/hate Mandlexirelationship, an appropriate touch given that Mandla had singled out the Capetonian for a kiss on stage. Biggie’s message to Iris was equally special. He called her journey to the Finale inspirational and applauded her on her courage, her spirit and her generous personality, saying her true charactershone through whenever an opportunity presented itself.
But when it was all said and done, including dance performances from Tembisa Revolution and Vintage Crew, it was time for the moment that had been 63 days in the making…the announcement of just who had won BIG BROTHER MZANSI SECRETS. One moment of quiet descended as Lungile first revealed that the runner-up would win R 150 000 while the winner would take home R 1 million. He then slowly opened the envelope but as soon as he announced that Mandla had scooped the big prize, the Jozi studio erupted as fans and former Housemates treated the Kasi King to a roaring standing ovation!
Produced for Mzansi Magic by Endemol SA, BIG BROTHER MZANSI SECRETS enjoyed huge popularity with over 4 million votes cast in the final week, 850 000 unique browsers visiting the show’s official website (www.bigbrothermzansi.tv), logging an impressive 20 million page impressions. In total, 1.3 million messages were sent to the show’s on-screen strapline, with almost one million videos viewed from the official site. Having also gained 97 000 Twitter followers and 160 000 Facebook Likes, BIG BROTHER MZANSI SECRETS was undoubtedly a 2014 TV hit!