SO IT’S official, Idols SA is going to be an annual affair.

Although the show will only hit our screens this weekend, the auditions started a few months ago and a lot of pre-production work has already happened behind the scenes. But we’ll have to wait until the final episode to see who will walk away with the prize this time.

The show comes at a time when the judges are making the news because of their own respective careers. Gareth Cliff, of course, returns as the satiric judge who always manages to play the “good cop”, even though he really doesn’t mean most of what he says.

Cliff, of course, has been making headlines because his deal with Comedy Central to broadcast his radio show has been put on hold because of poor ratings. Cliff may have been confident that the idea would work, but when it fell through he did confirm that it wasn’t the last we would see of him or his future plans for radio.

Comedy Central confirmed they would be working with Cliff on other projects due to be broadcast sometime soon.

While Cliff is in the career doldrums and trying to figure out how to expand his radio aspirations, fellow judge Unathi Msengana is at top of her game. She recently made headlines for being voice-cast in a Disney animated show called Doc McStuffins.

Msengana gave life through her voice to a character called Rita the Cheetah and we saw the episode she was featured in on June 16.

What about Randall Abrahams?

Well, expect more sulking. A colleague last wrote about Abrahams a few months back, blaming him for another year of not-so-memorable South African Music Awards. Aside from that, the man generally shies away from the public eye, only appearing when he needs to.

If we are going to judge from his new persona seen last season, then season 10 should be even more exciting. For the first time since its inception, Abrahams seemed to have livened up to the point that he smiled more often, goofed around and even sang while giving his opinion on some of performances.

“Your boy Proverb” returns as the host and co-producer, so expect some cool concepts from the talented presenter.

We caught up with the previous winner, Musa Sukwene (published yesterday in Tonight), and he was proud to talk about his new album.

He, too, was surprised at how fast time had flown by as it was this time last year that he stood in front of the judges and sang Maxwell’s Pretty Wings, much to Msengana’s delight.

Sukwene’s success makes you wonder why there is a bottleneck in terms of Idols SA contestants who come out of the show. A few seasons ago we met the likes of Sindi Nene whose voice is unmatched to date and compared to none other than Brenda Fassie.

Indeed, she released an album, but that went unnoticed and now no one really has an idea of what she is doing.

Still in the same class, it was great to see Gail Nkoane break into acting on Rockville, but there are fans who still want to see the feisty singer do wonders on the mic.

The same goes for Tshidi Tenyane who had a voice many compared to Aretha Franklin and Jennifer Hudson’s.

It is unclear what happens when the Idols SA curtain closes after a season ends, but the truth is someone, somewhere, is in limbo.

We are prepared to see the new class of aspirants wow us on Idols SA, but we haven’t forgotten last year’s phenoms who included Zoe Zana, Sonke Mazibuko and the ladies’ man, Brandon Ledwaba.


• Idols SA premieres on Sunday on M-Net and Mzansi Magic (DStv channels 101 and 161 respectively) at 5.30pm.