GUPTA LEAKS: WHAT ANN7 WOULD HAVE BEEN

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

M-Net's Idols moving vote-out to Sundays for the 10th season, dropping Tuesday episode; in dramatic shake-up to lift tension - and ratings.


Dim the lights, cue the music shocker: Idols on M-Net (DStv 101) and Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) is dumping the Tuesday evening Results Show for the current 10th season of the reality music competition format show and will now be getting rid of contestants in the Sunday Idols Spectaculars - which will once again also be a live broadcast.

At the DStv Local Content Showcase held on Monday at the World Trade Center in Johannesburg, M-Net told TV critics that there won't be Tuesday episodes during this season of Idols anymore, that Sunday episodes (which used to be recorded live on Fridays) will again be a real live broadcast, and that contestants are going to get the boot live on television during the performance episodes shown on a Sunday.

Besides the elimination of contestants on a Sunday, there's an additional (cruel! juicy! tension-building!) twist: The contestant or contestants leaving Idols with the lowest number of votes will be jettisoned during the Sunday performance show at the beginning of the episode!

Cue the added drama: Now the Idols contestants will practice and rehearse all week on their song or songs, not knowing if they will even get to perform it in front of the live audience.

It will also ramp up the stress and tension for the remaining Idols contestants, who will go through the emotional drama of being in the hot seat(s) or losing a friend - but then having to perform immediately after with mixed emotions.

Imagine having to try and sing after a fellow contestant you perhaps bonded with, has just been cut loose; or if you were singled out as one of the bottom three, and then suddenly gets a reprieve from your-man Idols presenter ProVerb.

M-Net didn't elaborate on why the Idols change has been made and the Tuesday episodes dropped, but interestingly the Tuesday episodes rank higher in the ratings and viewership than the Sunday singing.

It seems viewers tune in more for the drama and suspense of seeing who is staying and who is getting booted, and M-Net and Idols probably hope to translate that higher viewership of Tuesdays to the Sunday Spectacular episodes once those kick in.

"Idols is very exciting this year and again we are hitting the refresh button," Lani Lombard, M-Net's head of publicity told TV critics.

"The last time that we were live on Sundays with Idols was season 3. So this year Idols season 10 will be live again. It will be on Sundays, live from the State Theatre in Pretoria. But that's not all. The Results Show will also be live on the very same night," said Lani Lombard.

"You can just imagine how tense those contestants are going to be, because they're going to find out whether they're in or out. And straight after that, we're going into the Spectacular. So that's big news on the Idols front".

"I can also tell you that we're still in the Idols audition phase for season 10 on air, but we've recorded everything until the end of the Theatre Round and this year we've had a very diverse, very talented, very different Top 16," said Lani Lombard.