Genres: Music, Reality, Reality Competition
Broadcast on: M-Net, Mzansi Magic



Add to Show Favourites

Broadcaster information
South African channels

M-Net : 24 Feb 2002 - 23 Nov 2014
Mzansi Magic : 05 Jun 2011 - 23 Nov 2014

About the Show

Idols is a South African reality competition talent show based on the original UK format Pop Idol created by Simon Fuller and produced locally by Fremantle Media in association with M-Net Original Productions in which prospective singers around the country audition for the chance to win big prizes and the title of Idols winner.

The local version of the international smash hit Pop Idol features the same format as overeas, and at its heart a contest to determine the best young singer in South Africa.

As with other international versions, Idols is a singing talent competition which lets the audience decide on the winner. Hopefuls audition in front of three judges, but only a few are give a "Golden Ticket" to go to the next round, usually in Sun City.

After several rounds of Theatre Week, in which the judges whittle the Top 100 down in a series of singing tasks, a group usually a Top 10) is chosen to face the public vote in weekly eliminations.

Once the judges have whittled down the contestants to the finalists, it is up to the audience to phone in and choose who they want to survive to the next round after hearing them perform.

There are typically a number of prizes for the winner, but the big prize is a recording contract and their own CD release. There is also a "Wooden Mic" prize for the contestant deemed the worst singer each season.

Originally broadcast exclusively on M-Net, the show later began simulcasting on Mzansi Magic. In later seasons, a 24-hour dedicated channel was introduced on DStv which screens all of the auditions, including those of people who didn't make the cut.

Idols also later aired on DStv's On Demand service. DStv's mobile users can watch Idols SA on their Drifta of Walka and DStv On Demand offers the shows for its PC users.

Auditions are typically open to South African citizens between the ages of 16 and 30, although the minimum age is sometimes 18. Auditions take place in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, with Soweto added in Season 7. They have also rotated to places like Bloemfontein and Polokwane.

South Africa was the third country to produce Idols, after the UK and Poland.


Dave Thompson left the show after Season 5 and emigrated to Australia. Randall Abrahams, Mara Louw and Gareth Cliff returned for Season 6, accompanied by a guest judge each week.

Mara was replaced for Season 7 by radio DJ Unathi Msengana.


Having presented Seasons 2-4, Colin Moss declined to continue as host of Idols 5, saying he wanted to concentrate on his film career instead.

After an audition process involving Season 1 host Sami Sabiti, SABC3 continuity presenter Liezel van der Westhuizen, Top Billing presenter Janez Vermeiren and YFM jock and TV presenter Pabi Moloi, the new host of Idols was announced as Liezel van der Westhuizen in December, 2008.

Liezel was joined by rapper ProVerb as co-host for Season 6. Liezel left the show during the sixth season and ProVerb became sole host from Season 7.

Season 01: Candy Litchfield, Matthew Stewardson, Sami Sabiti
Season 02: Colin Moss, Letoya Makhene
Season 03: Colin Moss
Season 04: Colin Moss
Season 05: Liezel van der Westhuizen
Season 06: Liezel van der Westhuizen, ProVerb
Season 07: ProVerb
Season 08: ProVerb
Season 09: ProVerb
Season 10: ProVerb


Season 01: Heinz Winckler
Season 02: Anke Pietrangeli
Season 03: Karen Nortje
Season 04: Jody Abrahams
Season 05: Jason Hartman and Sasha-Lee Davids
Season 06: Elvis Blue
Season 07: David van Vuuren
Season 08: Khaya Mthethwa
Season 09: Musa Sukwene
Season 10: Vincent Bones

Afrikaans Idols

In 2006 an Afrikaans version of Idols was produced and aired on DStv's kykNET channel. The winner was Dewald Louw. Click here for TVSA's Afrikaans Idols mini-site.

Special Notes

Season 4

Idols 4 was on M-Net twice a week - on Sundays at 17h30 and Mondays at 19h00. It premiered on Sunday 19 August 2007, at 17h30.










Host - Herself

Host - Herself

Host - Himself

Judge - Herself

Judge - Herself

Judge - Himself

Latest Articles

Voting results for Idols 10 revealed

10 Dec 2014 | Written by: TVSA Team | From: Idols 10 | 1 comment
M-Net and Mzansi Magic have released the voting stats for Idols 10, from the Top 11 to the win.

Vincent B wins Idols 10!

23 Nov 2014 | Written by: TVSA Team | From: Idols 10 | 3 comments
30-year-old worship leader Vincent Bones took the title of South African Idol on Sunday when he beat Bongi Silinda to win the tenth season of the show.

Idols 10: Top 2 finale song choices

21 Nov 2014 | Written by: TVSA Team | From: Idols 10 | 5 comments
The time has arrived for the Idols 10 finale showdown. Bongi and Vincent will sing two songs each on Sunday - their fave song of the season and ...

Latest Discussions

Idols 10: enough of Idols! ... or not? Tashi
03 Jul 2014 16h00


More activity at TVSA Central


1 Andile Ncube 8.6
66 votes
2 Lungile Radu 8.6
89 votes
3 Theodore Jantjies 8.5
34 votes
4 Zolisa Xaluva 8.5
54 votes
5 Menzi Ngubane 8.5
216 votes


Send this page to a friend

Friend's email address
Your name


You browser doesn't have Flash, Silverlight, Gears, BrowserPlus or HTML5 support.