Cape Town – A big shake-up is looming for the judges’ panel of the 11th season of Idols on M-Net and Mzansi Magic. Channel24 can reveal the show will add a 4th judge behind the table who will be a local South African musician.
That's not where the Idols' shake-up ends: a major upgrade is looming for the feared Theatre Round known as "hell week" – with producers upping the stakes even further, piling on even further twists and some changes to create a dauntingly difficult selection round which will leave contestants and viewers gobsmacked and shocked this season.
Tabloids went into overdrive this week with speculation about a change in the trio behind the Idols’ judges table and who is getting axed, whether someone is getting replaced or added, and gushing that an international judge is joining.
M-Net meanwhile is staying silent, only admitting to a change at the Idols' judging table.
Channel24 can reveal that the 11th season of Idols will see Unathi Msengana, Randall Abrahams and Gareth Cliff all remain behind the judges’ table.
None have been fired, none walked away, all are safe and will be back when the nationwide audition process kicks off this coming weekend.
According to high-level sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the shake-up entails the addition of a new 4th judge which will not be an international artist, but a local South African musician.
"People who go to the auditions in Pretoria will be shocked since they will see the new 4th Idols' judge first," quips a source.
An even more intense 'hell week'
According to sources, those contestants who manage to make it past the first audition rounds will be shocked when they see what awaits at the Theatre round this year.
M-Net is refusing to talk about changes to the judges table, only saying there will be a change. "We believe that the new season is going to be a show-stopper with surprises line-up from the word 'go'," says Lani Lombard, M-Net's head of publicity.
"It's exciting to think that the country's new singing sensation will be somewhere in a long queue at the nationwide auditions."
Auditions for the 11th season of Idols kick off tomorrow at the State Theatre in Pretoria, followed by Cape Town auditions on 7 February at GrandWest Casino, Durban on 21 February at The Playhouse and the final auditions at Carnival City on 1 March.
Contestants have to be between 16 and 30 and need to take their ID to auditions.