Idols returns for it 13th season and with the exit of long-time judge Gareth Cliff, the judges’ table has decidedly got more room.
While we wait to see what happens with the empty seat during the live shows, some celebrities occupied it during the audition phase. R&B muso Donald impressed in Cape Town, powerhouse vocalist Kelly Khumalo took charge in Joburg, the opinionista of the airwaves Phat Joe was in Durban and former Idols winner and music star Khaya Mthethwa gave love in Pretoria.
For the first time in Idols history, the show introduces the Golden Disc, a "get out of jail free card" that a judge can use to bump up a contestant to Theatre Week - even if the other judges say no.
Big cities are the Idols audition stomping ground, but this year the roadshow visited three smaller towns to give the out-of-towners a chance: Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein and Polokwane.
This year, both Joburg and Durban enjoyed a record number turnout of about 2,000 each. Jozi trumped Durban by nabbing the highest golden tickets between the two.
Auditions began in Durban at the Playhouse on Saturday 30 January, 2016. They moved to Pretoria the following weekend and up next was the Johannesburg phase at Carnival City on 28 February. The last leg of auditions concluded in Cape Town at Grand West Entertainment World on 5 March.
Auditions began in Cape Town at the Grand West Casino on Saturday 14 January, 2017. The moved to the Pretoria State Theatre the following week before moving on to The Playhouse in Durban. The last leg of the auditions concluded in Johannesburg at Carnival City on 4 February.