For over a decade, the South African version of Idols has been full of spice, scandal and above all, singing. The show's forte is forging stars from raw talent and it has consistently launched the boys and girls next door to the top of the pop charts.
From Season 1's Heinz Winckler to Brandon October, Elvis Blue and Lloyd Cele (who both won SAMAs in 2012) to the latest winner, Khaya Mthetwa (who walked away with his first SAMA for his debut album, Move) many previous Idols contenders are carving out lucrative careers for themselves.
But the one staple in the Idols arsenal that never seems to relent is the show's knack for getting people talking. From Randall's putdowns to Gareth's wit to Unathi's tears (of joy and laughter), Idols is always a chat-worthy spectacle on television.
Gareth Cliff, Unathi Msengana and Randall Abrahams are back in the judges' seats in the ninth season of Idols SA. The trio decide which wannabe singing sensations go through to the next round.
This year, the Idols Top 10 Spectacular Shows and Live Results Shows took place at the state-of-the-art auditorium at the Moreleta Park Church in Pretoria East, while the finalists were determined by the Group Phase performances at the State Theatre.
Apart from being screened on M-Net and Mzansi Magic, Idols is also be available on other platforms. From Sunday, 28 July, 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.
Until voting started, Idols was screened on Sunday nights only:
28 July – Cape Town auditions
04 August – Durban auditions
11 August – Johannesburg auditions
18 August – Highlights from all the auditions
25 August – Theatre Round
01 September – Theatre Round
08 September – Theatre Round
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, 2 February 2013
Venue: Grand West Entertainment World
Date: Saturday, 16 February 2013
Venue: Soweto Theatre
Date: Saturday, 2 March 2013
Date: Saturday, 23 March 2013
Venue: Sandton Convention Centre
Season 9 premiered on M-Net (simulcast in HD) and Mzansi Magic on Sunday 28 July 2013, at 17h30. New episodes broadcast weekly for the first seven weeks - once live rounds started the Live Results Shows were on Tuesdays at 19h30.
The show ended on Tuesday, 26 November 2012 (the grand finale was on Sunday 24 November and the results show on Tuesday the 26th).
Season 9 was won by 26-year-old Musa Sukwene from eMalahleni, becoming the first ever contestant from Mpumalanga to win the competition. The runner-up was Brenden Ledwaba (19) from Graskop, also in Mpumalanga.