For over a decade, the South African version of Idols has been one of the country’s biggest shows, always full of spice, scandal and above all, super singing. The show's forte is forging superstars from raw talent and it has consistently launched the boys and girls next door to the top of the pop charts.
From Season 1’s Heinz Winckler, to Brandon October, Elvis Blue and Lloyd Cele (who both won SAMAs in 2012) to Khaya Mthetwa (who walked away with his first SAMA for his debut album, Move), and last year's winner Karabo Mogane (who became the first person in Africa to lend his voice to a Disney theme song), many previous Idols contenders are carving out lucrative careers for themselves.
But the one staple in the Idols arsenal that never seems to relent is the show’s knack for getting people talking. From Randall Abrahams’ famously caustic tongue, Unathi Msengana’s river of tears, Gareth Cliff’s deadpan critique and Somizi Mhlongo’s effervescent personality and tongue twisting terminology - Idols is always the most watercooler chat-worthy spectacle on television.
Idols Season 12 arrives with plenty of extra flavour on Sunday 17 July and concludes with a spectacular finale in November.