SA’s Got Talent returns

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IOL Kee-Leen

Munya Vomo

One of the county’s most popular shows, SA’s Got Talent, is back for another season. While other shows look for a winner in just one discipline, the beauty of SA’s Got Talent is that anyone with any talent can give it a shot.

Tonight caught up with the show’s executive producer, Kee-Leen Irvine, to learn what to expect this season.

“We are excited to be back on another search for the next South African sensation. The past seasons have showed us that indeed South Africa has the best entertainment out there,” said Irvine.

“Pre-auditions are under way and we are holding our Joburg leg this Saturday and Sunday. We are looking forward to uncovering rare talent that has not been seen before and, hopefully, changing some lives.”

So far the auditions have gone exceptionally well, with Cape Town again rising to the occasion.

“We have been all over the country, but if I had to choose one act I would go with Cape Town. Their auditions were really good and I know they are going to give some stiff competition,” she said.

This does not come as a surprise because Cape Town has had finalists and a winner, James Bhemgee, in the past so they own a bit of a stake in the competition.

“Last year, of the Top 18 acts, 10 were from Cape Town. So I think they are looking at repeating that, which will be exciting,” said Irvine.

Unlike other talent shows, SA’s Got Talent is probably the only one in which contestants of all ages can compete. So far the youngest was seven years old while the oldest was 81.

“I love the fact that an eight-year-old can compete against an 88-year-old. It makes for good entertainment,” said an enthusiastic Irvine.

Among her hopes for this season, Irvine would prefer more variety.

“I just wish we had a wide array of talent on the show. In the past finals we have had a male pole dancer, a magician, a juggler, a ventriloquist and a rhythmic gymnast. We are hoping to get more of that,” she said.

This probably comes from the realisation that although SA’s Got Talent encourages contestants with various talents, in most cases singers enter, making the show yet another singing competition. While Irvine and her team cannot control the influx of vocalists entering the show, she pointed out that it took extraordinary singers to get the judges’ attention.

“When it comes to singers we are looking for those who really impress. If you come in there singing very well while standing on top of a rolling barrel, then the judges are more likely to give you the nod,” she explained.

While she would not discuss details of the judging panel or the host, Irvine confirmed that the format of one host and three judges remains as is. More details will follow. Looking into the R250 000 prize money, Irvine said winners usually received more than just the money.

“SA’s Got Talent gives you a lot of opportunities long after the competition is over. Look at Botlhale who has done her poetry for the presidential inauguration and other corporates. She was actually nominated as the Legacy of Hope Youth Ambassador which saw her fly to New York to perform her poetry at The Legacy of Hope Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Hospital Campaign launch. There is much more that can be won after the show is gone,” said Irvine.

SA’s Got Talent premieres on September 7 on e.tv.


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