Dreams are either realised or crushed on Idols. While the city auditions have already aired, there is a never-done-before bonus audition episode that will air on Sunday. Debashine Thangevelo caught up with one of the contestants as well as Idols executive producer Gavin Wratten to find out more…

MOST people will probably give up after three attempts, but not Ryan Peimer, a 25-year-old film director.

Not wanting to reveal too much for fear of violating his contract, which I can certainly respect, he says: “I fell in love with the show from the first season. And I have watched the British and American versions.

“I have always dreamt of being in the Top 10.”

And he has tried to bag that Golden Ticket since the second SA season, in which Anke Pietrangeli walked away as the winner.

“It is all about persistence,” he smiles.

Funnily enough, he was going to throw in the towel this year, but had a change of heart after seeking out a psychic’s advice.

“I went through a lot of rejection. There were times when I made it through the first preliminary round, then got out. Last year, they didn’t put me through to the TV judges’ part. I was so devastated. I said: ‘This is rubbish, it isn’t fair.’ I felt I was more than good enough to go through. I was fed up and wasn’t going to go this year. But I went to a psychic and picked up one of those angel cards that said: ‘Go for it.’ That inspired me to give it one last shot,” he explains.

By the way, Peimer is the guy behind The Parlotones’ It’s Magic music video, which bagged an SA Music Award last year.

With such tenacity and talent, Peimer certainly has enough passion to realise his Idols dream.


WITH thousands of hopefuls flocking to auditions, editing footage is a nightmarish task.

Executive producer Gavin Wratten agrees: “It can be quite a nightmare, yes. As one of our editors put it: ‘It’s like eating an elephant; you have to take one small bite at a time.’ To get through it all, we have a huge team of loggers and editors who start putting all the footage into categories, like good singers, bad singers, funny moments, etc. We then identify the best TV moments and begin stringing the storylines together.”

On this year’s strategy for Idols, he says: “We have a few new ideas for this season that will be revealed along the way, but with regards to the judging panel (Gareth Cliff, Unathi Msengana and Randall Abrahams), they have developed such a strong on-screen presence that we decided to let that develop this year without having guest judges, and it has really paid off. Rather than guest judges this year we plan to use many local artists to guide and mentor the contestants. We also have a few surprises with music directors.”

As for the additional director’s cut audition episode this Sunday, Wratten explains: “We always have so much footage and so many amazing stories that end up on the cutting room floor after the audition tour, that this season we decided to have a kind of director’s cut episode, that features all the never-before- seen footage from all the audition venues, edited together in one show.”

What can viewers expect of the contestants showcased? He offers: “This Sunday, the stories and auditions are from our audition tour, so you will see even more good and bad singers from Jozi, Soweto,Cape Town and Durban. From there all the golden ticket winners head to Sun City for the drama of theatre week, which begins the following Sunday.”

• Don’t miss Idols on M-Net (DStv channel 101) and Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 107) on Sunday at 5.30pm.