“After I had been in the bottom three for the third time, I knew I was not going to win, so I started preparing myself mentally to go home. I wasn’t focused on being the next Idols winner; I just wanted to get through each week and see how far I could get.”
Louw received the fewest number of votes last week, leaving Bongi Silinda, Vincent Bones and Lize Mynhardt in the top three.
Having auditioned for the competition five times, Louw went onto the 10th season of Idols to showcase his ability to perform.
“I can sing. But even more than that, I can perform,” he says.
Louw put on a show every week, singing hits such as Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Ariana Grande’s Problem and the Cranberries’ Zombie.
Idols judge Unathi Msengana said Louw was “a breath of fresh air”, while Gareth Cliff said Louw was among the few contestants who managed to surprise him every week. Even though public votes didn’t show it, Louw was increasingly gaining popularity with the judges and his fans on social media.
“If I had won Idols, I probably would have fainted,” he says.
“Winning would have been great, especially for the hundreds of people who were supporting me on social media.”
But social networks also carried a lot of criticism. Having lost more than 30kg since his Idols audition last year, Louw felt more confident as a performer, but his weight was still a big talking point.
“The harshest criticism that I’ve gotten on Idols has not been from the judges. It’s been from people on social media who attack me because of my weight. To them, it didn’t matter how much weight I’d lost – I was still big. But I always tried to ignore the negativity and focus on what I do best. Those who love me will love me for who I am,” he says.
“Idols has changed me physically and emotionally. The journey has made me strong and taught me to always stay true to myself.”
Despite all his ups and downs on the show, Louw says the only thing he regrets is wearing “the worst pair of red shorts at my first audition”.
“I gave my all with every performance. I wanted to leave a mark and be remembered not only for being on Idols but for being one of the people who really performed.”
Speaking on what he will be doing now that the show is over, Louw says: “I have absolutely no idea. For now, I’m going to go back home to Cape Town where I will figure out my next move.”