Fans of reality TV will be happy to hear that the South African version of Idols is set to start auditions for its sixth season. But after five seasons with only one truly successful winner, could it be time to call it a day?

Apparently M-Net doesn’t think so. And to keep things interesting they’ve tried to spice up the show’s controversial judging panel.

The local production seems to have followed American Idol’s example in glamming up this season with celebrity judges. But unlike Ellen Degeneres – US commedienne and new judge on the hit series – these judges aren’t permanent. The most prominent of our celeb judges are The Parlotones’ Kahn Morbee, who will judge the Joburg auditions and Freshlyground’s Zolani Mahola who is all set for Cape Town. Both will feature alongside permanent judges, Mara Louw, Gareth Cliff, and the ever-charming Randall Abrahams.

The judges are not the only part of the show that has been revamped – and despite rumours, Liezel van der Westhuizen did not get fired. The presenter has, however, found herself working alongside South African rapper ProVerb. An interesting decision, considering how critics slammed Van der Westhuizen as a presenter last season. Perhaps ProVerb is supposed to serve as a distraction for his co-host’s presenting skills?

As for the prizes, our new Idol will receive, not only a record deal, but also a new FordFigo, and R500 000 in cash, amongst other “fabulous prizes”, according to M-Net’s website.

If that convinced you to brave Randall’s sharp tongue, the Joburg auditions will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre on 24 April. Let’s hope this year’s winner (winners?) has more staying power than the previous ones.

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