Bright lights, screaming fans, the thrill of live television, rocking the stage with famous musicians, and a big-label recording contract. That’s what is awaiting South Africa’s next singing sensation, compliments of the country’s biggest talent competition, M-Net and Mzansi Magic’s Idols SA.
First, however, there’s an appointment with the show’s notorious judges and South Africa’s next Idol will have to start stretching those vocal chords with immediate effect. The doors to the audition rooms for Idols season 8 will swing open in February 2012.
Pierre Cloete, M-Net’s Channel Head, says last year’s Idols 7 proved again that it can catapult the careers of hard-working, previously unknown singers. “It’s exciting to know that we will unearth more talent at the upcoming auditions in February. Idols offers contestants an astronomic amount of airtime and publicity and, with the support of the public, they can have a bright future in the world of showbiz.”
Singers who believe they have what it takes to embark on a life in the limelight, will have an opportunity to wow the judges at the following audition cities:
- Johannesburg: Sandton Convention Centre – Saturday, 4 February
- Durban: Ushaka Marine World – Saturday, 11 February
- Cape Town: Grandwest Entertainment World – Saturday, 18 February
- Soweto: Walter Sisulu Square – Saturday, 25 February
“The Idols 7 simulcast on Mzansi Magic was an enormous success and introduced the show to a new audience,” says Lebone Maema, Channel Head: Mzansi Magic. “For the first time, DStv Compact viewers could witness how Idols turns dreams into reality and they passionately supported the show and their favourite performers. Mzansi Magic is a proud host of Idols 8 and we encourage our viewers to be part of the action right from the start by joining us at this season’s auditions across the country.”
South African citizens between the ages of 16 and 30 are eligible to enter Idols. Those younger than 18 have to be accompanied by a parent or guardian and all contestants will be asked to present their ID documents at the registration, which will take place on the day of auditioning.
Musical instruments will again be allowed in the audition room.
But how should you prepare for the audition and what will impress the judges?
Idols SA Executive Producer and Series Director, Gavin Wratten, from the show’s production company, Nevermachine Entertainment, shares some tips: “Choose an upbeat song; stand out from the crowd; if you use an instrument, make sure it’s tuned; let your personality shine through; and show the judges that you’re an original talent, who can confidently follow in the footsteps of previous Idols.”
Universal Music has already released the debut album of last year’s winner, 21-year-old Dave van Vuuren, who became South Africa’s seventh Idol in November 2011. Runner-up Mark Haze, whose first single has been topping the charts, was also signed to the prestigious record label, as was Top 5 soul singer Lefa Pike.
They are joining a long list of successful Idols contestants – from first winner Heinz Winckler to season five’s Elvis Blue, Lloyd Cele and Sindi Nene. Some Idols have even been snapped up by local soaps. The beautiful Gail Nkoane, who made it to the Top 10 of season 6, is currently a leading lady in M-Net’s popular soap, The Wild.
For more information about the Idols auditions, visit www.mnet.co.za.