Popstars is a South African reality competition television series based on the international format and produced locally by Mzanzi Crew (since 2010 - formerly by Tartan Sound and Video), in which aspirant singers from around the country compete to be awarded a place in a final group of "popstars".
The series originally premiered in South Africa on SABC3 on Wednesday 10 July 2002, at 19h00. It moved to SABC1 for the second and third seasons and was picked up by e.tv for the fourth.
See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
Season 4 premiered on e.tv on Saturday 4 September 2010, at 18h05. New episodes broadcast weekly, with special recap episodes (called Popstars Extra) airing every Wednesday. There are 13 episodes in the fourth season.
The season was won by Nne-Vida.
Judges PJ Powers, Zwai Bala and Azania Ndoro put wannabe popstars through their paces at the auditions this year. The aspiring stars who impress the judges with their vocal performances a second time are sent through to the next round.
The launch episode called Popstars Special, kicks off with host Martin Phike taking viewers through the Popstars legacy and how this show has become such a powerhouse in the world of entertainment television.
The episode features international Popstars winners and takes a look back at the success of Popstars East Africa, as well as the inside story on the Popstars house.
The Popstars series is spread across 13 episodes as hopefuls are given the chance of a lifetime - a chance at superstardom.
This year Popstars 3 runner-up group Jamali will spend time behind the cameras as part of the joint venture production team Mzanzi Crew in association with Tartan Sound and Video.
In the fourth season, contestants attend a first audition with the judges whereby they decide which aspiring stars make it through to the "call-backs" round.
In the call-backs contestants aim to win a ticket to the "workshop" phase, in which the Top 40 are first cut to 25 before a Top 20 is announced. This is later whittled down to a Top 10, who then go through makeovers, press training and vocal training.
After the Top 10 has received their makeovers and given gala performances, a Popularity Vote is opened for two weeks (from the sixth episode to the eighth) in which members of the public can vote for their favourites in the Top 10.
These votes are taken into consideration by the judges when making a final decision, but do not necessarily determine the final make-up of the winning group.
The judges pick a group from the Top 10 (typically five members, although this may vary) who are declared the winners. The winning group is then documented as they decide on a name, are groomed in vocals, choreography and press interviews as a build-up to the release of their first single.
Their album launch is filmed, as is the making of their first music video. After that the group goes on tour around South Africa and later overseas. Their trip overseas is broadcast in the final episode, along with a trip down memory lane by the judges and winners.
Season 4 Judges
Click names for full profiles
PJ Powers is one of South Africa's best-performing artists and has been rocking audiences since the age of 19. Her solo career launched in 1987 and has been at the forefront of music in the country.
PJ, nicknamed "Thandeka", shot to stardom when she collaborated with Ladysmith Black Mambazo on World in Union, the theme-song of the 1995 World Cup.
Zwai Bala has been involved in music since an early age when he was a member of the Drakensberg Boys Choir. A musical director, composer, singer, songwriter, arranger, teacher and public speaker, he is best known as a former member of TKZee.
Zwai was a judge on two previous seasons of Popstars, as well as Popstars East Africa.
Azania Ndoro, a popular radio DJ, presenter and MC, is no stranger to Popstars - she was a judge on Season 3, in 2004 (she was credited at the time as Amanda "Azania" Mosaka).
She started her career co-hosting a youth talk show called The Joint on CCV, the SABC's now-defunct Contemporary Community Values channel. She has since been extensively involved with television and radio production.
Season 4 Host
Martin Phike is former member of Popstars 3 winning group Ghetto Lingo. He has been performing since the age of 16 where he started in musicals and plays at school.
His brother, Given, encouraged him to audition for Popstars in 2004. A very unprepared Martin took the plunge and came out on top, forming part of the band named Ghetto Lingo who later released two albums.
While working on the Ghetto Lingo albums, producer D'Rex interested Martin in a solo album and he is now an accomplished singer, actor, performer and songwriter who had a solo album nominated for a SAMA Award in 2008.
This year Popstars added a companion show in the form of Popstars Extra, a weekly highlights package airing every Wednesday as of 15 September.
Popstars Extra delves into the personalities of the people that make the show work: the contestants, the production team and the judges, as the series travels across the country.
Viewers can look forward to impromptu interviews with contestants, sneak-peaks at what the judges are up to behind the scenes and the toils that the crew need to go through to organise the production.
Season 1: 101
Erin Samson, Kurt Herman, Pam Andrews, Preston "Vusi" Sihlangu, Tumi Mokhasipe
Season 2: Adilah
Karabo Motlhabi, Letang Tlome, Thembisile Ntaka, Refiloe Motha, Itumeleng Kgosana
Season 3: Ghetto Lingo
Sibusiso Tshangase, Martin Phike, Philemon Moikanyane, Bjorn Blignaut
Season 4: Nne-Vida
Lihle Ngongoma, Lyle Anthony (Volkwyn), Oscar Toorn and Zinhle Dube
Season 1: Ed Jordan, Nkhensani Manganyi, Karl Anderson, Sivan Pillay
Season 2: Anthony Morgan, Nkhensani Manganyi, Glen Lewis, Zwai Bala
Season 3: Zwai Bala, Andy "The Admiral" Kasrils, Azania Ndoro
Season 4: Zwai Bala, PJ Powers, Azania Ndoro
Season 1 (13 episodes)
Channel: SABC3 | Premiere: 10 Jul 2002 | Finale: 2 Oct 2002 | Wednesdays, 19h00
Season 2 (15 episodes)
Channel: SABC1 | Premiere: 2 Jul 2003 | Finale: 8 Oct 2003 | Wednesdays, 20h30
Season 3 (14 episodes)
Channel: SABC1 | Premiere: 20 Jul 2004 | Finale: 19 Oct 2004 | Tuesdays, 20h30
Season 4 (13 episodes)
Channel: e.tv | Premiere: 4 Sep 2010 | Finale: 4 Dec 2010 | Saturdays, 18h05
e.tv Brings Back Popstars!
Are You A Popstar? Audition Details
Revealed: The Popstars Judges
Popstars Auditions: First Pics In, From Durbs
Popstars: Cape Town Audition Album
Weekly Episode Recaps and Pictures
Episode 1: Popstars Premiere: Special Recap
Episode 2: Popstars: Girls Just Wanna Sing
Episode 3: Popstars: 20 Wannabes Pop To Maybes
Episode 4: Styling, Like A Popstar
Episode 5: Sis Ribs' DD Makes Singing Debut
Episode 6: Who's Who In The Popstars Top 46
Episode 7: Potential Popstars Cut To 30
Episode 8: The Popstars Vs The Press
Episode 9: Popstars Top 10: Before & After Pics
Episode 10: Revealed! Popstars Winners: Nne-Vida
Episode 11: Popstars: Nne-Vida's First Two Singles
Episode 12: Popstars: First Flight, Fight & Lift-off
Episode 13: Popstars: Out Of The Show, Into The World
Popstars Host Dishes Audition Tips
Star Talk: Pam Andrews
Hey?! Who's That Guy On Popstars?
How Do They Choose The Popstars Hit Song?
The Pitfalls Of Being A Star
The Secret Lives Of The Popstars
Ready To Fly: The Lyrics
Popstars 2010 Auditions | Nne-Vida