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We’ve reached the halfway mark on the show that is unearthing a music superstar from a select group of talented acts all under the age of 25 … and the pressure is on. This week, the contestants were tasked with challenges around brand ambassadorship. They had to dig deep into their creativity as they produced work that showcases their unique identities. Following in the footsteps of global music icons, the NXT LVL peeps took a stab at creating their own headphone design for Rocka. Everyone excelled and produced great work, but it was Zethe’s Afrocentric approach that floored the judges, bagging her the third small challenge win.

For the big challenge, the contestants had to create their own promo videos. The stakes were high as the winner would feature in the Vodacom NXT LVL advert and become the NXT LVL brand ambassador. Jesse’s preparation before heading into studio as well as the groundwork he’s laid down in building his brand as an artist prior to the show put him ahead of the pack. And with Riky Rick as his mentor he blazed past the competition and claimed the top position for the second time in a row. He also won over our feisty host Denise Zimba with his lyrics, which called her his “future wife”.

Vodacom stakeholders including Deidre Lodwig, Veli Mabena and Thami Silwana joined the judging panel and welcomed Jesse to the brand. Zethe followed in second place, a result that has clearly fuelled her fire to reach the number one spot in upcoming episodes. Thami’s struggle to bring his authenticity to the challenge in studio and in front of the camera sadly landed him at the bottom.

Theo’s personality continues to shine through, something Danny K says will “capture the hearts and minds of the country”. His mentor, DJ Zinhle, pointed out that his “shout outs” will be something he is known for – see them for yourself:

As we head into the second half of the competition, the leaderboard is as follows:

  1. Jesse
  2. Music 97
  3. Thami
  4. Theo
  5. Zethembiso

The intensity increases each week. In the next episode, things appear to get heated among the mentor when they can’t agree on how to fairly judge the contestants’ performances. We will also be treated to next level musical creations as some of the best in the local music scene get in on the action. Make sure you tune in to Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161) every Wednesday night at 21:30.

It’s not just the contestants who are learning vital skills from the mentors. We’re bringing you some sage advice that you can apply in your life to create a better future for yourself. Here’s Euphonik’s masterclass on wise investments:

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