SA's Got Talent

Genres: Reality Competition, Variety
Broadcast on: SABC2,, eExtra



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Season 1

Channel Premiere Finale TX Time Episodes
SABC2 01 Oct 2009 12 Nov 2009 Thursdays, 19h30 - 20h30 10

Season 1

SA's Got Talent, the homegrown equivalent of Simon Cowell's hit international reality talent search show which has produced unlikely stars such as Susan Boyle and Paul Potts, premiered on 1 October, 2009.

Comedian Rob van Vuuren and radio DJ Anele Mdoda guided viewers through the weird and wonderful range of would-be stars.

The presenters were joined by three judges who put the contestants through their paces: radio and media personality Shado Twala, PR consultant and Idols judge Randall Abrahams, and Strictly Come Dancing host and entertainer Ian von Memerty.

The key to this show is “any age, any act”, which has proven to throw up numerous surprises in other international versions of the show.

Thousands of hopefuls turned up to have their shot at fame in a variety of disciplines, from singing and dancing to ventriloquism and slam poetry.

They then got the opportunity to face the three judges nationally, on the following dates:

Johannesburg – 18 July at the Alexander Theatre in Braamfontein
Durban – 28 and 29 July at the Sibaya Theatre
Cape Town – 10 and 11 August at the Cape Town International Conference Centre

The first season was won by 19-year-old dancer Darren Rajbal.


Every Thursday night, from 1 October to 5 November, each hour-long show featured highlights of the audition footage.

The semi-finals were broadcast for three nights from Monday, 9 November to Wednesday, 11 November. Each night saw a performance show from 19h30 to 20h30, and a Results Show from 21h30 to 22h00.

Each night, three top contenders were voted for by the public – but only two per night went through to the finals.

The person with the most votes from the public each night went automatically through to the final six, but the judges decided which of the contenders with the second- and third-highest viewer votes should go through as well.

The final six were:

George Avakian (beatboxer)
Louwtjie Rothman (guitar maestro)
Darren Rajbal (hip hop dancer)
Cleo Filander (singer)
Kalon Badenhorst (dancer)
Willem and Louis van der Merwe (singers)

Thursday, 12 November saw the live broadcast of the finale, during which the top six performed for top honours during the performance show between 19h30 and 20h30.

The inaugural winner of SA's Got Talent was dancer Darren Rajbal, announced during the results show, from 21h30 to 22h00. He walked home with a R250,000 cheque.

The live shows took place at the Mosaiek Theatre in Fairlands.

Sa's Got Talent is executive produced by Kee-Leen Irvine for Rapid Blue. The Got Talent franchise is a British TV format conceived and owned by Simon Cowell's SYCO company.

A pilot show was made in Britain, hosted by Paul O'Grady, but after O'Grady's acrimonious split with ITV the series was postponed, resulting in America's Got Talent becoming the first full series of the format.

It has spawned spin-offs in 30 countries, in what is now referred to as the Got Talent format.

Transmission Times


1 October 2009 - 5 November 2009
Thursdays, 19h30 - 20h30


Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11 November

Nightly, 19h30 - 20h30 (Semi-Final Performances)
Nightly, 21h30 - 22h00 (Semi-Final Results Show)

Grand Finale

Thursday 12 November

19h30 - 20h30 (Final 6 Performances)
21h30 - 22h00 (Final Results Show and Announcement of Winner)

Weekly Episode Breakdown

Thursday 1 October: 19h30 - 20h30
Johannesburg / Durban auditions

Thursday 8 October: 19h30 - 20h30
Auditions: 40% Cape Town, 40% Johannesburg (an act from Pretoria and East London) and 20% Durban.

Thursday 15 October: 19h30 - 20h30
A mix of Johannesburg / Durban / Cape Town auditions.

Thursday 22 October: 19h30 - 20h30
A mix of Johannesburg / Durban / Cape Town auditions.

Thursday 29 October: 19h30 - 20h30
A mix of Johannesburg / Durban / Cape Town auditions.

Thursday 5 November: 19h30 - 20h30
Johannesburg / Cape Town Auditions & Top 21 announcement.

Monday 9 November

19h30 - 20h30
: 1st Top 7 performance (Live).

21h30 - 22h00: Two acts are chosen to go through to the final Top 6 - chosen by the public and judges.

Tuesday 10 November

19h30 - 20h30
: 2nd Top 7 performance (Live).

21h30 - 22h00: Two more acts are chosen to go through to the final Top 6 - chosen by the public and judges.

Wednesday 11 November

19h30 - 20h30
: 3rd Top 7 performance (Live).

21h30 - 22h00: Two final acts are chosen to go through to the Top 6 - chosen by the public and judges.

Thursday 12 November: Grand Finale

The live broadcast of the finale, during which the Top 6 performed for the win during the performance show between 19h30 and 20h30.

The winner was chosen by public vote only and was announced during the Results Show, which ran from 21h30 - 22h00.


(Click names for full biographies)

Anele Mdoda

Anele co-presents the weekday lunchtime show on 5FM between 12 noon and 3pm, with Grant Nash. The pair moved to the national youth station after shaking up the airwaves at 94.7 Highveld Stereo.

Mdoda was a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing 5 (in 2008) and freely admits to being “not your average female jock”.

Rob van Vuuren

Rob is well known for his comedy shows as well as performances in films such as Crazy Monkey: Straight Outta Benoni and Footskating 101, but first caught the public's imagination as part of the wacky comedy duo Corné and Twakkie on SABC2's The Most Amazing Show.

He was also a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing 5, winning the season with his partner Mary Martin.


(Click names for full biographies)

Randall Abrahams

Randall has a lengthy pedigree in the entertainment business. He is best known for judging five seasons of M-Net's Idols, but also boasts a CV that includes being station manager at Good Hope FM, helping establish Yfm, and steering 5FM, METRO FM and GHFM into a new era as general manager of commercial radio at the SABC.

Ian von Memerty

Ian has presented the SABC2 reality competition Strictly Come Dancing since 2006 and is well known for his hit two-piano theatre show A Handful of Keys, which celebrated its 1,000th performance in August 2012, having played to over 300,000 people.

Shado Twala

Shado became a household name as a presenter on radio stations such as Radio Bop, METRO FM, 702, P4 and Cape Talk, and returned to the airwaves on Heart 104.9FM.

In recent years she has diversified into the media and public relations sphere, working for the Western Cape government, and currently manages her own entertainment business.

Season 1 Cast

Host - Himself

Host - Herself

Judge - Himself

Judge - Himself

Judge - Herself

Host - Himself (as Mo Mahlangu)

Semi-Finalist - Herself (as Cadence)

Performer - Himself


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