Judge Gareth Cliff and Cape Town contestant Dean Joshua Thomas in tonight’s episode.

Idols judge Gareth Cliff may well be more comfortable with slapping down the aspirations of thousands who believe they’re good enough to become famous, but this week he comes in for some slapping himself – when a Cape Town hopeful gets in a shot to the DJ’s posterior.

The brave contestant, 20-year-old call centre agent Dean Joshua Thomas, will be featured during the Cape Town Idols auditions, to be aired on M-Net tonight.

He told Weekend Argus this week he had indeed got close enough to slap Cliff on the bum. As to why, he answered simply: “Because he’s hot.”

“I prayed no one would escort me from the building (GrandWest Casino). (But Cliff) took it well and even smiled at me. I grabbed the opportunity,” Thomas said.

The Gardens man had been desperate to have his picture taken with Cliff. So he handed his phone to fellow judge Unathi Msengana. After the picture was taken, he got in the slap to Cliff’s bum.

“I listen to his show and love his saying ‘It’s the weekend, baby’. His presence is breathtaking. When I got into the room I stopped and thought ‘That’s Gareth!’” Thomas explained. Although he’d never thought about it before, he now felt he’d “ticked something off my bucket list”.

“It was a spontaneous decision. I just thought ‘let’s do it’ at the time.”

Thomas entered the competition, just trying his luck. He admits that he’s never been told he has a good voice, but tried out with Rihanna’s S&M anyway.

So what did the judges think? “They were surprised. They did not expect it… but I can’t go wild,” he said, unable to reveal whether he got through until audiences find out during tonight’s show.

This region has produced four previous winners, and M-Net revealed that the panel unearthed 29 who will go through to the next phase at Sun City. Apparently viewers should expect to see cross-dressers and people in adult nappies tonight.

Meanwhile, third Idols judge Randall Abrahams was last week announced as managing director of Universal Music SA. He succeeds Harry Voerman, who is retiring.

In tonight’s episode, Abrahams battles a head cold and, according to M-Net, “was in no mood for nonsense and devised a way to deal with wannabe Idols whom he wanted to disappear from the room”.

He also gets a new name from the Cape Town contestants.

l Catch all the action at 5.30 tonight on M-Net (DStv channel 101) and Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 107). Updates and further information are available on the official Idols Facebook page at “Idols South Africa”, on Twitter @IdolsSA, and on the official Idols season 8 website at www.mnet.co.za/idols

Idols Extra will start screening Cape Town auditions footage from 7pm, and is available on DStv channel 199 and DStv Mobile.

[email protected]

Weekend Argus