‘THE SA’S Got Talent team had been asking me to join them as a judge as I usually take bookings way in advance. The timing as never right and I am glad that we finally found a time that’s mutually right,” said the legendary DJ Fresh.

Although he was not on the original team, Fresh has always been a fan of the show and has kept tabs on it from its inception.

“I have watched the shows from the start whenever I could so I am familiar with what I am getting myself into,” he said.

For him the biggest drawcard about this show is that it is open to people of almost any age and with any kind of talent.

“We are basically looking for anyone aged between 8 and 88. They can be talented in absolutely anything and not many shows out there can claim the same. That inclusiveness got me really interested to see what South Africa has as far as diverse talent is concerned,” explained Fresh.

While the musician is happy to sift through the contestants, he is clear on what he is looking for in those who want to win his vote.

“I think, for me, it won’t necessarily be about what you do on the stage, but the one thing that is common in all the disciplines of the arts is the passion that comes with them. Passion shows in your eyes, whether you are blowing a flute or dancing.

“That, and the energy that comes with the performance will show just how much work was put into the preparation of the given set. So it doesn’t really matter what you come to show us, it boils down to how you show it to us and how much work you put in before you came to the stage,” said the DJ.

As usual with shows like these, only one person can win, but for Fresh just being on the show should be enough for anyone to push their talent to another level.

“Sadly, production companies can only do so much. Their mandate is to make good TV and once they are done with that, that’s that. It’s not really up to them to decide what becomes of the contestant. The contestant, on the other hand, should use the opportunity they get from being on SA’s Got Talent to knock on other doors and establish themselves,” he said.

The one drawback that comes with SA’s Got Talent’s rule of allowing kids to audition is that some of them will opt to leave school to pursue their “dreams”.

In the US, most parents, thanks to the success of child stars like Michael Jackson and Macaulay Culkin, feel the need to push their children towards stardom, often with disastrous results.

“I am in two minds about that. I think where possible, kids should just be left to be kids. Look at what happened to Michael Jackson when he grew up. In some ways he was still a child and it was obviously as a result of his childhood having been robbed by his stardom.

“On the other hand, it is advisable to start early in the arts because your work ethic improves with age. So it all differs from one individual to the next.

“You have success stories of people like Usher who are still in the game and killing it, although they started out young,” explained Fresh.

• SA’s Got Talent premieres September 7 on e.tv at 6.05pm.