Friday, January 30, 2015

BREAKING. Big shake-up for judges panel of 11th season of Idols on M-Net and Mzansi Magic, as a 4th judge - a local musician - will be added.

I can reveal that a big shake-up is looming for the judges' panel of the 11th season of Idols on M-Net and Mzansi Magic - the addition of a 4th judge behind the table who will be a local South African musician.

That's not where the Idols' shake-up ends: a major upgrade is looming for the feared Theatre Round known as "hell week" - with producers upping the stakes even further, piling on even further twists and some changes to create a dauntingly difficult selection round which will leave contestants and viewers gobsmacked and shocked this season.

While tabloids went into overdrive this week with rife speculation about a change in the trio behind Idols' judges table and who is getting axed, whether someone is getting replaced or added, and gushing that an international judge is joining, none gave facts or were able to give give accurate information.

M-Net meanwhile is staying silent, only admitting to a change at Idols' judging table.

TV with Thinus can reveal the facts and the facts are these:

The 11th season of Idols will see Unathi Msengana, Randall Abrahams and Gareth Cliff all remain behind the judges' table.

None have been fired, none walked away, all are safe and will be back when the nationwide audition process kicks off this coming weekend.

According to high-level sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the shake-up entails the addition of a new 4th judge behind the Idols' table.

According to sources its not an international artist, and nobody on the existing Idols' panel is getting replaced.

Reliable sources tell me a local South African musician is joining as the brand-new 4th Idols judge.

"People who go to the auditions in Pretoria will be shocked since they will see the new 4th Idols' judge first," I'm told.

Meanwhile the reality singing show produced by [SIC] Entertainment - once again with Gavin Wratten as the executive producer and director - is also making dramatic changes to "hell week".

According to sources, those contestants who manage to make it past the first audition rounds will be shocked when they see what awaits at the Theatre round this year.

M-Net is refusing to talk about changes to Idols' judges table, only saying there will be a change. "We believe that the new season is going to be a show-stopper with surprises line-up from the word 'go'," says Lani Lombard, M-Net's head of publicity.

"It's exciting to think that the country's new singing sensation will be somewhere in a long queue at the nationwide auditions".

Auditions for the 11th season of Idols kick off tomorrow at the State Theatre in Pretoria, followed by Cape Town auditions on 7 February at GrandWest Casino, Durban on 21 February at The Playhouse and the final auditions at Carnival City on 1 March.

Contestants have to be between 16 and 30 and need to take their ID to auditions.