Cape Town – Auditions kicked off on Saturday for the 15th season of Idols on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161), with the South African version of the reality singing competition that keeps surging in popularity.
Contestants queued since Friday night, slept in cars and travelled from as far as Port Elizabeth and the Northern Cape.
Idols, a Fremantle format show produced by [SIC] Entertainment with co-executive producers Gavin Wratten and ProVerb (Tebogo Thekosho who is also the presenter), is fresh off another record-breaking season, fueling ongoing surging interest from ordinary South Africans dreaming of possible fame and fortune in a country enduring an economic slump and where the youth unemployment rate of 52.8% is the highest in the world.
On Saturday Salvation Munyai (26) was first in line at the Pretoria State Theatre as Idols' national auditions for the 15th season started, with the young man who had been queuing from Friday night after he travelled from Limpopo and arrived in Pretoria on Wednesday this past week.
He auditioned for the second time and performed Vusi Nova's Ngikuthandile for the judges.
Obri Komane (28) from Witbank arrived in Pretoria on Friday night and slept in his car, while Natalie Moos celebrated her 23rd birthday on Saturday and travelled from the Northern Cape to spend her day trying out for Idols. Muneer Holloway (22) from Port Elizabeth arrived in Pretoria on Thursday and queued since Friday evening. For his first-ever Idols audition he sang Sam Smith's song, Dancing with Strangers.
Karabo Sibiya (24) from Tembisa, tried to impress the judges with Bruno Mars' Just the Way You Are, while Nhlanhla Mhlari (25) originally from Mthatha in the Eastern Cape province sang Stand by Me from Ben E King.
It was the 4th Idols audition for Divalash (30) from Pretoria, a club DJ with big singing dreams, while Bongeka Ndlovu (22) from Glencoe in KwaZulu-Natal is currently a hairdresser with a big passion for music.
"My love for music and my will to be the paradigm shifter to people back home is the reason I am here," said Omphethetse Digopeleng.
"My wish is to be living proof to the next generation that it is possible for a rural girl with global dreams to actually chase her dreams and live them, thus paving the way for them to also have faith accompanied by action towards achieving their dreams."
(Photos supplied: Mzansi Magic)