ProVerb exclusively reveals what to expect in #IdolsSA season 18 without Unathi & Randall (VIDEO)

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Following an interrupted two years due to the pandemic, South Africa’s biggest talent show, Idols SA season 18 premieres on Sunday, 17 July.

The show will be returning to Mzansi Magic for what DStv promises will be its most exciting season yet.

Idols SA will also be returning under a new theme; “singing a different tune”.


This season features a long-awaited brand new panel of judges in the form of longtime fan favourite, triple threat and pop culture icon, Thembi Seete, as well as rapper and producer extraordinaire, JR Bogopa.

They will be joining multitalented choreographer and TV star, Somizi Mhlongo, who returns to the judging panel after an unceremonious exit during the height of the scandal surrounding his marriage.

Idols SA presenter and co-executive producer ProVerb, real name Tebogo Thekisho, cannot wait for the much-anticipated premiere of the revamped Idols SA, which premieres on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) on Sunday evening.

"I cannot wait for the premiere of the season, so viewers can see for themselves – but, in my humble opinion, we have injected a whole new energy by having different judges. They bring different dynamics," he says.

In January, Mzansi Magic unexpectedly announced that Randall Abrahams and Unathi Nkayi would not be judges for the upcoming season of the show. A month later, it was announced that rapper JR and actor and singer Thembi Seete would join flamboyant media personality Somizi Mhlongo on the judging panel.

With the non-renewal of Abrahams and Nkayi's contracts, Mzansi Magic said it was "taking a fresh approach to the judging panel to retain audiences and stay competitive in the Sunday night time slot".

Speaking briefly about the axing of the two former judges, ProVerb said he was not part of the decision: "I'm not in a position to speak about how they [the channel] arrived at that decision."

However, the Midday Link Up with LKG and ProVerb says viewers are "in for a treat" this season.

"There is a whole new sort of energy, a whole new perspective because of the new judging panel," he says excitedly.

"JR is an accomplished producer and rapper, and he's been in the business for years. He's also very smart, an astute business person, and all of these different influences come through in his commentary because he's thinking about the bigger picture."

He adds: "Thembi Seete goes without saying – from her experience as a member of Boom Shaka to being a seasoned actress, and a massive personality now. She's got all these things that she's bringing to the table. It really influences her ability to judge because she knows how to identify potential star power qualities, and she’s very fashionable."

"Their judging differs somewhat from the previous judging panel," he said.

The Blessed & Highly Favoured maker adds that the lifting of Covid-19-related restrictions came "in good time".

"We can now have a live audience, which means we can finally go back to as big as we were doing it from a production view."

ProVerb said the more than 15 000 entrants were from all corners of the country.

"Now that we've gone online with the audition phase, we've reached corners that we weren't able to reach before, so the pool of talent is much wider."

“This year, Mzansi Magic welcomes on board Standard Bank as a new headline sponsor in a season that will bring our viewers showstopping performances,” added DStv.

“Idols SA is back! As much as it is about the music, it is also about the people: we are proud to unearth new and emerging talent, and our viewers form emotional connections with the singers as we follow along their journey from audition stage to making a career from their passion.

“We are excited to see who season 18 brings us,” said Director of Local Entertainment Channels at M-Net, Shirley Adonisi, in a statement.

Lindy Lou Alexander, Head of Brand and Marketing Consumer and High Net Worth at Standard Bank Group said, “True to our values at Standard Bank, we want to give South Africans the tools and support they need to achieve their dreams and aspirations, and this sponsorship helps us do just that”.

“It’s all about taking the first steps to building your dreams and believing that it can be a reality. We’re really excited to be part of the journey, all the best to the those fighting to make their dreams a reality,” Alexander added.

Idols SA has not yet revealed what this year’s prizes will be, but that will be communicated in due course. Idols SA season 18 begins on Sunday, 17 July, on Mzansi Magic (DStv Channel 161) at 5.30pm.

There will also be an Idols SA pop-up channel on DStv Channel 198 for your viewing pleasure.


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