The 13th season of Idols will come to an end this Sunday in the live finale on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) with either Paxton Fielies or Mthokozisi Ndaba being crowned the winner.
The furore started after Paxton, who sang her debut single Demonstrate, was accused of plagiarism. A Twitter storm then erupted after @ultboysrepubIic slammed the upcoming star for not giving credit to the Korean pop group Rania who sang a similar version of the song in South Korea in 2015.
"The K-pop girl group Rania/BP Rania released a song on 5 November which was titled Demonstrate. Recently on the show SA Idols, the contestant Paxton performed a song titled Demonstrate which seen below is almost completely the same as the original performed RaNia," said @ultboysrepublic, whose account has now been made private.
"Not only is the song being performed without credit to the original artists who sang it or the writers/composers, it is also being sold without any kind of credit."
In a statement Gallo Record Company says "Paxton’s song rights were approved by the composer and their publisher" saying Paxton Fielies did nothing wrong.
"This version is in English and has different lyrics. It was presented to us as it has never been released in English before. All approvals are in place."
"It has come to attention that certain individuals on social media have accused Paxton of plagiarism and theft based on her debut Idols single Demonstrate. This is not theft. Paxton is the singer of the song only, she has not and does not claim to have written the song or to own the copyright."
"Very few people write their own songs when it comes to Idols," says Gallo Records.
"There is a difference between a composer or songwriter and a performer. Even big stars like Justin Bieber perform hits written for them by others. This does not mean they have stolen the song."
"Here are the facts: The song was presented to Gallo by the Publishers (Razor & Tie Music Pub. & Active Music Publishing) on behalf of their clients (Aimée Proal, Phil Bentley & Brian Kierulf who are the legitimate and original composers / songwriters of the song) for Idols consideration for the Top 3 as a single, since it was a perfect fit for Paxton, and had never been previously released as an English version. An English recorded version of the song did not exist."
"Gallo was unaware that any other previous version existed, in particular a version sung and released by a K-pop band in Korean, for the Korean market. In fact the written English demo version existed before any Korean version was adapted."
"Changes were done to the song and the English lyrics (by the original songwriter) for Paxton’s version."
"The K-pop version is also in fact not written by the band," says Gallo Record Company.
"They are also only the performers / singers of the song and as much as they say it's "their" song that only means they performed / sang a Korean version of it prior to Paxton’s English version and they did not write it either."
"It is written by the same composers and songwriters who presented the English version to Gallo and gave Gallo and Paxton their 100% approval and endorsement for Paxton to release."
"No rights infringement, no plagiarism, no theft. It is a talented young girl singing a song that was given to her to sing, presented to her label by the parties who wrote it, to release as her version in another language with lyrics reworked into English, with the approval of the publishers, songwriters and composers, who will also get paid, by earning royalty revenue from any commercial success."
"May we kindly request no further accusations or hate speech or slander directed at Paxton," says Gallo.
"Paxton is not on Twitter – there were a number of fake accounts that joined in the fray pretending to be Paxton, we have reported them and they have been suspended."