SABC1 has grabbed the opportunity for a local version of the format reality singing competition The X-Factor and will bring The X-Factor South Africa to South African viewers.
The X-Factor SA will be produced by production company Rapid Blue licensing the format from FremantleMedia Ltd. and SimcoLtd.
SABC1 is furiously rejigging and reorganising the public broadcaster's channel schedule for the next few months and plans to put The X-Factor SA on television as soon as possible - given that the 2014 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament starts in June and with SABC1 having to juggle various broadcasting commitments.
The X-Factor South Africa comes with the words "u X ongazolveki"; it not clear yet whether the first South African season will be in English and whether the words have been added to distinguish it as a South African version.
Songstress Lira is likely one of the judges, although the judges and host are not yet confirmed. Multiple sources close to the broadcaster and show tell TV with Thinus that absolutely "no talent has been signed" and that no contracts exist with anybody.
Auditions for The X-Factor SA will start on 7 June in seven cities but SABC1 tells TV with Thinus that the TV channel has secured the show and will start it "this year as soon as possible".
The winner will get R300 000 and a Sony Music recording contract. Auditions will take place in Durban, Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Polokwane, Johannesburg, Nelspruit and Pietermaritzburg.
People will have to sing two songs at the auditions. No bands are allowed, and groups must be two or more singers.
Rapid Blue which has already very successfully produced versions of The X-Factor for Ghana and Nigeria is is already producing another format talent show, SA's Got Talent for e.tv which will most likely be on air at the same time as The X-Factor SA.
The next season of Idols on M-Net and Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) will also be on the air at the same time, creating a duel between three reality talent shows competing for viewers' attention.
The show is a huge coup for SABC1 which has the opportunity to steal some of the limelight and upper LSM viewership from rival TV channels, shows and pay-TV programming, although there is the danger that SABC1 could curtail The X-Factor SA to too specific demographics. For the new season of Tropika Island of Treasure on SABC1 for instance no white contestants were chosen or included.
Here are the audition dates for The X-Factor South Africa:
7 June: Durban, Sahara stadium
11 June: Bloemfontein, Bloemfontein Civic Centre
14/15 June: Cape Town, Athlone stadium
18 June: Polokwane, Peter Mokaba stadium
21/22 June: Johannesburg, The Pyramid venue
25 June: Nelspruit, Mbombela stadium
28 June: Pietermaritzburg, The Royal Show Grounds