Khanyi's Strictly Exit A Reflection Of The Reality Of 'IT Girls' Power

Following Khanyi Mbau's elimination on Strictly Come Dancing, the judging and voting process of the show has come under scrutiny from social media and cynics in the media. The show received a lot of flack, even Khanyi seemed to throw some shade at the producers recently, BUT the truth is actually simple. It Girls just do not attract the numbers we think they do. 


While some contestants like Khanyi Mbau may always enjoy tremendous support on social media, sadly this does not always reflect in the voting numbers.

Here is the reality; stars like Boity, Khanyi, Bonang, Minnie and Amanda Du Pont just do not attract viewers or paying fans power. These stars are big on social media but the people who tout them on these platform are not willing to put in money behind them. 

Pearl Thusi enjoys some incredible ratings numbers because she is on SABC1. 

I love Bonang, as you all know by now, but the truth is that she has never been on a TV show that is on the top 10 of any channel. LIVE, even with Bonang, was never on the Top 10 of SABC1 shows, Top Billing is the lowest rated magazine show on the 4 main channels in South Africa, it attracts a mere 400 000 viewers per episode. 

Boity does not even sell magazines let alone have a tv ratings pull, atleast Khanyi and Bonang do boost sales when they are on the cover of a magazine. 


After Bonang made the Forbes list of the most influential celebrities in South Africa, William Seyama, who specializes in digital strategy development, content marketing and analytics did a research on our local celebrity influence based on their Twitter following. 

The results of the research were amazing. 
  • Only 30% of the people who follow our 5 most followed celebs in South Africa were engaging with them.  
  • 39% were inactive profiles. These are followers who open accounts, follow you and never use their accounts again. 
  • 30% are fake followers. See, when you get too many followers, Twitter also starts creating fake followers for you. You likely have that in your profile too. You can spot these profiles easily, they do not have followers or tweets, just a picture or sometimes it is just that egg thing on the profile pic. 

I wrote an in-depth article about this HERE 

Our media also plays a major role because they create stars. Unfortunately they do not that based on a person's numbers, hence you have people who do not attract big numbers being superstars today in South Africa.

Are these stars good at what they do? Some of them absolutely.

Numbers or not, anyone who has worked with Bonang or Boity will tell you that they deliver and are ardent professional. That is what keeps brands coming back to want to work with them. Plus they get that media attention afterall.  


As shocked as the Twitter and some tv viewers were that Boity was eliminated from Strictly Come Dancing in just the second episode and Khanyi did not reach the finale, I was not. Their fans will Tweet but hardly pay money to vote for them. And that is a fact.  

Bonang's Gumtree Charity online boutique was visited by close to 100 000 fashion fans and only R 13 000 was raised through the sale. This is the biggest star in South Africa and a formidable player in Africa as well. I expected a higher number than that. 

Khanyi seems to believe her own hype as well. When the show's production company Rapid Blue’s co-owner Kee-Leen Irvine sent what seemed like a heartfelt message to her on Twitter; 
“Missing @MbauReloaded. But she’ll be back in #StrictlySA finale showcasing her best dance. What was ur fave?”
Khanyi unexpectedly threw shade back at the show and  replied:
“I refuse to be part of a damage control episode. You know the truth.”
I am not privy to what goes on behind the scenes on that show, so I can not completely say there was no other issue that Khanyi could have been referring to. However based on the #BringBackKhanyi drama on social media, I can attest that just because someone is popular on Twitter it doesn't mean they will attract the same numbers on a TV show or in sales of a product. 

For the record: According to SABC3, the Strictly Come Dancing votes are totally accurate - they are audited throughout the show - the auditors sit next to the producers who tally the scores as they come in. 

The show boasts a highly credible panel of judges which include Tebogo Kgobokoe, Michael Wentink and Samantha Peo, whose professional dance experience spans over several decades combined and they have each collected accolades throughout their dancing career.


This is how the judging and voting process works on Strictly Come Dancing:
- The public is prompted to vote contestants to remain "in" the show instead of being "voted off" the show.
- The rules clearly state the closing time for valid votes and any votes (SMS'ES) received after the closing time do not count. All contestants are subjected to the same rule.
- Judges votes count for 50% and viewer votes count for another 50 %.
- The combined scores and viewer votes determine the couples’ points for the night.
- If two couples end up with the same number of points, the couple with the higher viewer votes escapes the dance-off.
- In the event of a dance off, the judges decide totally independently on who wins the dance-off and it's solely based on that specific performance only. No public votes are considered at this stage, as the voting lines are already closed. 9
No doubt, Khanyi was amazing on the show and deserved to go further but sometimes things are just as simple as they look. Conspiracy theories are exciting and create media attention but as boring as facts are sometimes, that is what is. 

If her only gripe is that she deserved to go further on the show based on the Twitter #BringBackKhanyi thing, then Khanyi needs to drop it, be the gracious woman she has morphed herself into of late, be a professional and show up for the finale reunion. 


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