Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s got talent?

2009-07-25 00:00

IF the talent that the judges of SABC2’s SA’s Got Talent have seen in the auditions translates on screen, then the channel has a definite hit on its hands.

That’s the view of Ian von Memerty, one of three judges on the programme, which will be screened at 7.30 pm from October 1.

“It has been better than my wildest dreams,” the veteran entertainer said when asked about the quality of the people auditioning for the programme. “There is such a range of talent. The producers did a great job finding unusual talent... they have found loads of entertaining, weird acts; some are not very good, but they’ll make great television.

“One of the joys of doing this show in South Africa is that we get a bigger range of talent and style than in the other countries where the show is screened. In one audition, the contestants mixed kwaito with Michael Jackson and everyone went wild. Nowhere else has this kind of variety… it’s the joy of living in the rainbow nation.”

Von Memerty, who hosted five series of Strictly Come Dancing and will be judging the contestants alongside Idols’ Randall Abrahams and veteran radio and media personality Shado Twala, said all three judges were particularly impressed with the quality of the dance groups they had seen so far. But the singers they heard were disappointing, he said, adding: “I can understand why Randall is so grumpy on Idols now”.

Having done the first round of auditions in Gauteng, Von Memerty said everyone involved in the show was breathing a huge sigh of relief as it became clear they would be able to deliver good television. “If what we’ve seen so far translates on to the screen, it will be incredible to watch,” he added.

The SA’s Got Talent team will be at Sibaya’s iZulu Theatre on July 28 and 29 to see what KwaZulu-Natal has to offer and Von Memerty says he’s hoping to see a “killer Zulu dance troupe”.

The reality show, which will be hosted by comedian Rob van Vuuren and Radio 5’s Anele Mdoda, is the local version of Simon Cowell’s hit international talent search show, which has produced stars such as Susan Boyle.

The show will be broadcast every Thursday night, from October 1 to November 5 and each hour-long edition will feature highlights of the audition footage.

Then, from November 9 to 11, SABC2 will broadcast the semi-finals from 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm, and a results show from 9.30 pm to 10 pm. Expect fireworks, as each night, three contenders will be voted for by the public. The person with the most votes will automatically go through to the final six, but the judges will decide which of the contenders with the second- and third-highest viewer votes should go through as well, a process which is sure to stir heated debate.

The final will be broadcast on Thursday, November 12 from 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm, with the inaugural winner of SA’s Got Talent, who will walk away with R250 000, being announced during the results show, from 9.30 pm to 10 pm. The live shows will take place at the Mosaiek theatre in Fairlands, and members of the public can be part of the audience and share in the excitement by e-mailing michael@hammerlive.com

Those interested in being part of the SA’s Got Talent auditions at Sibaya on Tuesday and Wednesday next week need to send an e-mail to michael@hammerlive.com to confirm space. The auditions will be open from 8 am until 7 pm. SABC2 and sponsors Cadbury will be giving away hampers and Lunch Bars deluxe to entrants while they wait.


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