When we watch American Idol or The X-Factor we do not question what the judges say because the assumption is that because they are in the business they should know what they are talking about.
If, say, LA Reid (when he was with The X-Factor) was to critique a wannabe singer, they would hang on to his every word because he is the man who ran LA Face records with Babyface and they signed some of the most prominent R&B singers, from Toni Braxton to P!nk. So if Reid says it’s not a good performance, you listen.
Locally, Khaya Mthethwa had an opportunity to conduct a choir in last year’s inaugural Clash of the Choirs and he did a great job. Given that he has a background with Joyous Celebration, it was a walk in the park for him, to the point that he went on to triumph in the competition.
Now the Idols SA winner hosts the TV show Gospel Alive, another great move because, hey, the guy comes from a deeply Christian background and is the son of a pastor.
So granted, he can throw a couple of Bible verses here and there off the top of his head so he will be okay if, say, Rebecca Malope or CeCe Winans were to drop by unexpectedly on his show.
That said, you can’t expect to see Sizwe Dlomo on Clash of the Choirs or Gospel Alive because we don’t know him in those genres and unless he has a hidden talent, that move would be destined to fail.
So it boggles many people’s minds how this year’s Miss South Africa judging panel comprises a house DJ, a radio personality and a magazine editor. DJ Black Coffee (pictured), who is a genius on the decks, was nominated to sit on the judges’ panel and tell the Miss South Africa contestants what’s right or wrong with them.
We all know he is good at what he does, and that’s music, but what we don’t know is how that’s linked to Miss South Africa. Should the ladies have to dance to one of his songs as a task he would know something about that, but not about fashion and modelling. That is way out of his depth.
He is married to the beautiful and stylish Mbali Mlotshwa who is well known for her fashion sense. She even has a mild modelling career and could come up with far better assessments than her hubby.
The other questionable election is that of Anele Mdoda who we all know from radio. When she was a judge on Clash of the Choirs last year, the decision was shocking, but in hindsight she proved to have constructive criticisms.
It became apparent that her radio experience has given her a good ear for music. When she got the Dream School South Africa gig on M-Net it too made sense because she is passionate about giving back to communities.
She is headlining an up- coming Comedy Central show as a comedienne and that’s fine because she can be witty and comes up with one-liners that will keep you chuckling for a while, but Miss South Africa is a bit out of her reach.
We don’t know her in that world so it is going to be uncomfortable listening to someone without a fashion background commenting about trends and models.
I would have chosen your Bonangs, Minnies, or Gail Mabalanes because they have that air about them that exudes that fashion world. And I would not put them on Clash of the Choirs or Dream School South Africa because that’s not their forte.
As for magazine editor Pnina Fenster, her line of work deals with models, styling, fashion and photoshoots so we’ll give her a pass.
You be the judge as this trio is coming to your screens in The Road to Miss South Africa, a Mzansi Magic show that will show events leading to the Miss South Africa finale.
• Road to Miss South Africa, Mzansi Magic, Sunday at 5.30pm.