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The last judge standing - 14 seasons of Idols with Randall Abrahams

Written by Tashi from the blog Interviews on 29 Oct 2018
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Randall in 2007 | 2012 | 2017

Flashback! to 2002... the first year that Idols hit South Africa's TV scene.

Randall Abrahams was there.

He was on the judging panel with music producer Dave Thompson, DJ and TV presenter Penny Lebyane and PR entrepreneur Marcus Brewster.

16 years later and he's the only original judge still on the show.

This is what he has to say about his Time at the Judges' Table:
 

Yours truly with Randall at the Season 6 finale.

Tashi: How did you feel when you first heard you were on the judging panel back in 2002?
Randall: It was a wonderful surprise. I was at Yfm at the time. I don't think anyone really had a handle on music reality television shows. As you may know, South Africa was the first English speaking country to produce the Idols format after the initial UK version.
 
Tashi: What are your three favourite memories from across the series?
Randall: There are so many. Attending the first finale at Vodaworld comes to mind. Also, a number of the theatre weeks at Sun City. But, the backstage hanging out with the musicians and my fellow judges has also been really cool.

And, without doubt, our halcyon times with the original SA Idols producer, the late Carl Olen. What a character! 
 
Tashi: What’s your worst?
Randall: I can't honestly think of a single one. Obviously, the hundreds of poor Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey "singers" haunt my dreams. 
 

Randall in 2009

Tashi: How has judging on the show changed you?
Randall: I wouldn't say that judging on the show has changed me. I've certainly changed. The show has made me recognisable, and those who watch have expectations and fixed ideas about who, or what, I am. 
 
Tashi: What’s the most outrageous reaction you’ve had from an Idols fan in the real world? How many people have tried to smack you?
Randall: Nobody has tried the latter, thankfully. I've had many people want to hug me. Don't you think that's outrageous? 
 
Tashi: Totes. Mara Louw… let’s talk about her for a bit…
Randall: I liked Mara as a judge on the show. I've enjoyed working with all the judges. Currently, I have an absolute ball with Unathi and Somizi, who are also extremely professional in their entire engagement with the show.
 
Tashi: If a new judge were to join the show, what advice would you give them?
Randall: Be yourself. Sounds simple, but, it's not. 
 
Tashi: Do you have any regrets?
Randall: None whatsoever. Idols is like touring with the best band in the world. 
 

Runner-up Andriette Norman with season winner Jody Williams in Season 4 | Shekhinah's first official Idols picture in Season 8

Tashi: Do you have a favourite contestant?
Randall: That would be unfair. I've said before that I really enjoyed Andriette Norman's voice, but there've been so many other wonderful performers like Shehkinah among them. 
 

Actress Nadia Beukes freaking about Randall's hair in 2014 already.

Tashi: Don’t you think the hair’s getting ridiculous now?
Randall: I'm only about half way to rockabilly hair heaven. Still at least 12 months to go. 
 

Shows in this post: Idols

Channels in this post: Mzansi Magic, M-Net



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