Idols is a South African reality competition talent show based on the original UK format Pop Idol created by Simon Fuller in which prospective singers around the country audition for the chance to win big prizes and the title of Idols winner.
The show was produced by Fremantle Media (Seasons 1-4), Waterfront Productions in association with M-Net Original Productions (Season 5) and The Nevermachine (since Season 6).
Idols premiered on M-Net on Sunday 24 February, 2002. It later simulcast on DStv's M-Net HD and Mzansi Magic channels. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
The eighth season of Idols SA hit the airwaves on Sunday, 3 June, at 17h30, with judges Gareth Cliff, Unathi Msengana and Randall Abrahams arriving at the first auditions in style, ready to search for that one elusive superstar to be South Africa's next Idol.
Idols SA is a co-production between M-Net and Mzansi Magic this season and on all the Sundays in June, viewers of both these channels saw how the search took the judges from Sandton and Soweto in Gauteng to the sunny shores of Durban, where they encountered a thrilling batch of new contestants - the good, the bad, and the tragically misguided.
The Johannesburg auditions, which took place in Soweto and at the Sandton Convention Centre, were the focus of the first episode, while the auditions at Ushaka Marine World in Durban took centre stage on Sunday, 10 June and the Cape Town auditions at the Table Bay Hotel on Sunday, 17 June.
The highlights of the audition tour were screened on Sunday, 24 June.
But who would it be? Two contestants who received some media attention at first were Rethabile Khumalo and Dumi Masilela. The 17-year old Rethabile Khumalo, who believes music is her destiny, is the the daughter of AfroPop legend Winnie Khumalo, so music runs in her blood.
Multi-talented 23-year-old soccer star, Dumi Masilela, who sees no conflict in a dual soccer and singing career, was praised for his talent and charm.
The finale came down to 25-year-old Durbanite Khaya Mthethwa and 23-year-old Port Elizabeth singer Melissa Allison, with Khaya being crowned the winner on Tuesday 2 October.
Apart from being screened on M-Net and Mzansi Magic, Idols was also available on other platforms. From Sunday, 3 June, DStv viewers could enjoy more of the auditions on the dedicated 24/7 Idols Extra channel (channel 199) and all the auditions were loaded on the official Idols website.
DStv's mobile users could watch Idols SA on their Drifta of Walka and DStv On Demand offered the shows for its PC users.
Auditions this year were open to to South African citizens between the ages of 16 and 30. Auditions took place on the following dates:
Date: Saturday, 4 February 2012
Venue: Sandton Convention Centre
Date: Saturday, 11 February 2012
Venue: Ushaka Marine World
Date: Saturday, 18 February 2012
Venue: Grandwest Entertainment World
Date: Saturday, 25 February 2012
Venue: Walter Sisulu Square
Season 8 premiered on M-Net, M-Net HD and Mzansi Magic on Sunday 3 June 2012, at 17h30. A 24/7 companion show called Idols Extra premiered on DStv Channel 199 on Sunday 3 June at 19h00.
The show ended on Tuesday, 2 October 2012 (the grand finale was on Sunday 30 September and the results show on Tuesday the 2nd).
Season 8 was won by 25-year-old Durbanite Khaya Mthethwa. The runner-up was Port Elizabeth singer Melissa Allison.