M-Net announces new Idols judge

2011-01-19 13:23
Cape Town – Metro FM radio personality Unathi Msengana has been confirmed as the new judge on Idols 7.

Unathi will judge alongside Idols veteran Randall Abrahams, Gareth Cliff and various celebrity guest judges.

M-Net spokesperson Lani Lombard said Unathi brings a fresh angle to the popular reality show."Idols 6 was a phenomenal hit, but to keep the show appealing for existing audiences and build the Idols fan base, M-Net re-evaluated all aspects of the format to rejuvenate the show."

Trend in the franchise

"We felt a need to review the panel, and considered several options. Unathi has her finger on the pulse of popular culture, she is charming yet opinionated and is a role model for many youngsters."

Executive producer and director Gavin Wratten from Nevermachine, the production company responsible for Idols, adds: "It is a world-wide trend in the franchise to shuffle the judging panel around to ensure that the programme does not become formulaic and stale. We have big plans for Unathi!"

On American Idol, Jennifer Lopez and Steve Tyler recently joined Randy Jackson to shake up the audition rooms and guide the programme’s top performers to fame and fortune.

First stint

Singing legend Mara Louw, who served on the Idols panel for the last three seasons, will not be part of Season 7 of the local hit show.

Lombard says: "M-Net will continue to revive the show’s format and more tweaks can be expected in future. We value Mara's huge contribution to the show over the years, as the judges have all played a vital role in increasing the popularity of the show."

Unathi will do her first stint as an Idols judge when the auditions kick off in Cape Town on Saturday, 12 February at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

SAMA nominated artist

When asked what she will be looking for as a member of the judging panel, Unathi answered: "I’ll be searching for an incredible vocalist and passionate performer who South Africa will fall in love with. The beautiful thing about pop is its encompassing nature, so I'm looking for an individual who is confident in exploring a universal musical landscape. Good luck to this year’s contestants!"

Unathi is a two-time SAMA nominated artist, who has shared the stage with musicians such as John Legend and Youssou N'Dour and currently hosts the biggest drive time show in South Africa alongside Glen Lewis on Metro FM.

Idols 7 will be simulcast on M-Net and Mzansi Magic from June 2011.

Comments

  • TheWasp - 2011-01-19 13:32

    Dear God - please make SA Idols go away....

      Crispy_Duck - 2011-01-19 15:41

      I'm with you on that one!

      Crispy_Duck - 2011-01-19 15:41

      I'm with you on that one!

      Nera Fenice - 2011-01-19 16:26

      Amen

      Nera Fenice - 2011-01-19 16:26

      Amen

      Mr D - 2011-01-20 05:50

      Amen

      Mr D - 2011-01-20 05:50

      Amen

      Matadoress - 2011-01-20 08:27

      I just want to see how many people wnats this show over and done with. This show has got to go PERIOD!!!!!

      Matadoress - 2011-01-20 08:27

      I just want to see how many people wnats this show over and done with. This show has got to go PERIOD!!!!!

      Smaal - 2011-01-20 09:10

      Agreed!

      Smaal - 2011-01-20 09:10

      Agreed!

      Concerned - 2011-01-20 15:59

      AMEN!!!! Can I get a Hallelujah?

  • shroompopsicle - 2011-01-19 13:35

    What a load of PR bullsh*t. We all know why they got rid of Mara, they may as well at least be honest about it.

      CTS - 2011-01-20 07:29

      My thoughts exactly. Hypocrites!

      CTS - 2011-01-20 07:29

      My thoughts exactly. Hypocrites!

      Motswanagape - 2011-01-20 08:27

      Idols? Proteas-cricket team ? Springboks-South African Rugby team? Why beat about the bush.....Let the truth be told.

      Motswanagape - 2011-01-20 08:27

      Idols? Proteas-cricket team ? Springboks-South African Rugby team? Why beat about the bush.....Let the truth be told.

      Motswanagape - 2011-01-20 08:48

      Idols? Proteas-South African cricket team? Springboks- S.A. Rugby team why beat about the bush....just say it !!!!

      Motswanagape - 2011-01-20 08:48

      Idols? Proteas-South African cricket team? Springboks- S.A. Rugby team why beat about the bush....just say it !!!!

      Flee - 2011-01-20 16:40

      yup... agree, if I drank Vod-hic-ca all day long Id -hic- also get fireeed... What a Chop.. I dont even watch the crap so ya...

  • Nonto - 2011-01-19 13:39

    Oh Osh, if it's not Mara Louw the Drunkard, it's Unathi Nkayi Msengana the druggie, I smell another drugged-out-on-set scandal!

      S.Soga - 2011-01-19 15:53

      hayi Nonto!!! Why you hatin? No...u-wrong!!

      S.Soga - 2011-01-19 15:53

      hayi Nonto!!! Why you hatin? No...u-wrong!!

      S.Soga - 2011-01-19 16:06

      hayi Nonto!!! Why you hating? Give the sister girl some love would you? Black-on-Black hating...in public nogal. Sies man!! Uyang'dina yazi...uncle Tom!!!

      S.Soga - 2011-01-19 16:06

      hayi Nonto!!! Why you hating? Give the sister girl some love would you? Black-on-Black hating...in public nogal. Sies man!! Uyang'dina yazi...uncle Tom!!!

      Noir - 2011-01-19 16:07

      LOL!!!

      Noir - 2011-01-19 16:07

      LOL!!!

      Perfume - 2011-01-20 09:05

      "Give the sister girl...." I am confused ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!We South Africans not Americans heehee

      Perfume - 2011-01-20 09:05

      "Give the sister girl...." I am confused ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!We South Africans not Americans heehee

      Perfume - 2011-01-20 09:07

      "Give the sister girl...." I am confused ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!We South Africans not Americans heehee

      Perfume - 2011-01-20 09:07

      "Give the sister girl...." I am confused ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!We South Africans not Americans heehee

      S.Soga - 2011-01-20 14:08

      @Perfume... we are all Americanised dear, like it or not, through music, movies, technology, books and media in general.

  • Alan - 2011-01-19 13:51

    Now can they get rid of Cliff? Maybe replace him with Julius? Point, blah blah blah, more of the same, and none of them go on to being 'stars' anyway. Even ole Winkie has disappeared from the scene.

      Soothsayer - 2011-01-19 17:57

      Juju will definetely a good judge since there is no woodwork involved.

      Soothsayer - 2011-01-19 17:57

      Juju will definetely a good judge since there is no woodwork involved.

      Flee - 2011-01-20 16:45

      yup... agree, if I drank Vod-hic-ca all day long Id -hic- also get fireeed... What a Chop.. I dont even watch the crap so ya... MMM Alan How many people will run out cryin.. "he called me raY-Cyst"... "he called me a Bloody Agent".... And the only people who would go through would need to know the words of Umshimiwam/ Kill the boer?? hahahaha

  • HAYIKE - 2011-01-19 14:02

    not bad

  • HAYIKE - 2011-01-19 14:03

    she is ok, but dont know if she will be a good Judge.

  • satradenet - 2011-01-19 14:03

    Thank God that Mara is leaving...now we can watch without having to cringe non-stop at her comments!!

  • ShabirS - 2011-01-19 14:08

    Good choice

  • snackpaz - 2011-01-19 14:09

    who?

  • Lunga - 2011-01-19 14:10

    As an Old Graemian, I am proud of the Old VG girl.

  • cynthiasteyn0 - 2011-01-19 14:27

    Congratulations girl!! Look forward to seeing you on Idols! Good riddance to your predessor! Judge fairly and don't be too harsh with the critism. They are only human and also hurt!

  • Sme - 2011-01-19 14:30

    eat your heart out Mara Bwaaaaahahahahahahahahahaha

  • maloya - 2011-01-19 14:30

    Okay atleast she will brng a fresh,hip and "young" perspective view on things. Congrts Unathi

  • Ichabod - 2011-01-19 14:32

    good choice.

  • MarcusK - 2011-01-19 14:41

    Thank HEAVENS Mara has gone - enough already "ma babeee"!!!!

  • thatcomputerguy3 - 2011-01-19 14:45

    whateva

  • Roshan - 2011-01-19 14:47

    Excellent choice!

  • - 2011-01-19 14:48

    wtf!

  • maloya - 2011-01-19 15:11

    Well atleast she will bring a fresh and hipper feel to this dull show

  • Sasha - 2011-01-19 15:13

    but ... Unathi has no singing ability!

      Vonnies2 - 2011-01-19 15:54

      I live in KZN - never ever heard of this person - I actually like Mara - we will have to wait and see what this one brings to the table.

      Vonnies2 - 2011-01-19 15:54

      I live in KZN - never ever heard of this person - I actually like Mara - we will have to wait and see what this one brings to the table.

      davidt24 - 2011-01-19 16:09

      have you heard randall sing lol

      davidt24 - 2011-01-19 16:09

      have you heard randall sing lol

      Superdude - 2011-01-19 16:27

      Agreed - because a radio personality has incredible insight in what it takes to be a singer? The same goes for Cliff, if he told me how to sing, I would ask him to first sing to me, then laugh at him.

      Superdude - 2011-01-19 16:27

      Agreed - because a radio personality has incredible insight in what it takes to be a singer? The same goes for Cliff, if he told me how to sing, I would ask him to first sing to me, then laugh at him.

      Jabu Banda - 2011-01-20 07:09

      And Gareth does?

      Jabu Banda - 2011-01-20 07:09

      And Gareth does?

      Perfume - 2011-01-20 09:13

      Neither does Gareth, Randall etc, what records have they made heehee

      Perfume - 2011-01-20 09:13

      Neither does Gareth, Randall etc, what records have they made heehee

      Bratt - 2011-01-20 09:30

      No one said you need to be able to sing to be a judge. You just need to have a good eye for talent. Simon Cowell probably can't sing to save his life, but he knows what will roll the money in. Having said that, I dont know that Unathi has that ability. But that is not really quite a requirement for SA Idols anyway. So I say, who cares. Not that I watch the show anyway. And trust me, I have heard her voice. Aggravating comes to mind. No one will survive that for long... and if they watch the show, they dont deserve to survive anyway.

      Bratt - 2011-01-20 09:30

      No one said you need to be able to sing to be a judge. You just need to have a good eye for talent. Simon Cowell probably can't sing to save his life, but he knows what will roll the money in. Having said that, I dont know that Unathi has that ability. But that is not really quite a requirement for SA Idols anyway. So I say, who cares. Not that I watch the show anyway. And trust me, I have heard her voice. Aggravating comes to mind. No one will survive that for long... and if they watch the show, they dont deserve to survive anyway.

  • Sasha - 2011-01-19 15:25

    Great, except ... she cant sing. She probably would not even make it on idols as a contestant. Randall would send her packing immediately!

      Zama - 2011-01-20 08:04

      Jelousy jelousy Sasha. Unathi can sing.

      Zama - 2011-01-20 08:04

      Jelousy jelousy Sasha. Unathi can sing.

  • NewZimBobwe - 2011-01-19 15:41

    Are there no more WHITE women in South Africa!!!!!!!!

      Soothsayer - 2011-01-19 17:59

      May be the likes of PJ Powers could represent you

      Soothsayer - 2011-01-19 17:59

      May be the likes of PJ Powers could represent you

  • nasheenar - 2011-01-19 16:01

    Are they so desperate for an Idol judge? Why not pick anyone ? Why only from the rehab list? Why not Julias and Winnie Mandela and to top it off with the Hoff, Oh wait they already did. SA idols is a great big joke.

  • preshengovender69 - 2011-01-19 16:09

    she is better to look at

  • Superdude - 2011-01-19 16:11

    Ah yes because a radio personality has incredible insight in what it takes to be a singer? The same goes for Cliff, if he told me how to sing, I would ask him to first sing to me, then laugh at him.

  • S.Soga - 2011-01-19 16:11

    @Nonto...why you hating?

  • Superdude - 2011-01-19 16:14

    Ah yes because a radio personality has incredible insight in what it takes to be a singer? The same goes for Cliff, if he told me how to sing, I would ask him to first sing to me, then laugh at him.

  • Sythe - 2011-01-19 16:23

    Never heard of her?

      Zama - 2011-01-20 08:06

      That means you are an ignorant and uninformative person. Someone who lives in South Africa should know Unathi. We've never heard of you too.

      Zama - 2011-01-20 08:06

      That means you are an ignorant and uninformative person. Someone who lives in South Africa should know Unathi. We've never heard of you too.

      Bratt - 2011-01-20 09:39

      Not necessarily Zama. Not everyone lives in Gauteng and listens to Y-FM or Metro FM or watches SABC1. Which is just about the only way you could possibly know Unathi. And even if you know her, I think there is absolutely nothing special about her that would warrant her appointment. But that's just me.

      Bratt - 2011-01-20 09:39

      Not necessarily Zama. Not everyone lives in Gauteng and listens to Y-FM or Metro FM or watches SABC1. Which is just about the only way you could possibly know Unathi. And even if you know her, I think there is absolutely nothing special about her that would warrant her appointment. But that's just me.

  • Nice Guy - 2011-01-19 16:26

    Was she picked just cos she's black or does she have some value to add?

      Alan - 2011-01-20 08:03

      black thing, but who cares - show is a load of crap and getting worse. no more idols for me, they don't last anyway, all just disappear - wish the judges would too.....

      Alan - 2011-01-20 08:03

      black thing, but who cares - show is a load of crap and getting worse. no more idols for me, they don't last anyway, all just disappear - wish the judges would too.....

      Zama - 2011-01-20 08:08

      Because she will add value. She is a singer, song-writer, producer and a Radio DJ.

      Zama - 2011-01-20 08:08

      Because she will add value. She is a singer, song-writer, producer and a Radio DJ.

      Perfume - 2011-01-20 09:14

      Ohhhhhh Zama you quite on the defense here

      Perfume - 2011-01-20 09:14

      Ohhhhhh Zama you quite on the defense here

  • goyougoodthing - 2011-01-19 16:51

    Not sure if she's any good or not but it would make more sense for me that Idols was judged by people who actually know about the industry they are judging. As in So you think you can dance... just a thought.

  • NewZimBobwe - 2011-01-19 16:53

    I see its a Black thing again!!!!

  • goyougoodthing - 2011-01-19 17:22

    Could we have a judge, or judges, that actually know about music. Like So you think you can dance do. Makes it, watchable.

  • Wilma - 2011-01-19 17:22

    I agree Mnet have over played their hand and should let Idols's take a finale bow and get off the air.....After the upsets with madam mara peole will really not look at this show the same...Best let sleepoing dogs lie

  • Wilma - 2011-01-19 18:10

    I think Idols shud be stopped now Mnet have over played their hand the show will interest very few people after the last seasons non sense....Lets move on and see what other overseas production we can ruin..

  • GhengisKhan - 2011-01-19 21:27

    Cheers Mara - You are the weakest link.........

  • ASDEB - 2011-01-19 22:02

    Does anyone still watch hidarlls? Who won the last 4 contests? Are they famous?

  • Kass Naidoo - 2011-01-19 22:30

    Congratulations, Unathi! Well deserved :-) Look forward to your refreshing approach!

      Bratt - 2011-01-20 09:42

      I dread hearing 'Oh Glen..' I mean 'Oh Gareth..' which will sadly happen quite often over the next few weeks with her on the show.

      Bratt - 2011-01-20 09:42

      I dread hearing 'Oh Glen..' I mean 'Oh Gareth..' which will sadly happen quite often over the next few weeks with her on the show.

  • Bashful1 - 2011-01-19 22:41

    But can she sing?

  • CoolG1 - 2011-01-19 23:37

    Hehee Clearly Juju is big some people can't get over him..WTF!!!

  • Adrien - 2011-01-20 03:49

    What is this stuff about drugs? I hope we do not have another scandal in the offing. If she doesnt work out then Mnet must act quickly and decisively and not let it drag on like the Mara and Liesl sagas.I know nothing about this lady and will give her a chance to prove herself.Good luck lady .

  • citizen36M1 - 2011-01-20 07:41

    Since when was Mara Louw a "singing legend"? I am over 50 and first heard of her as an Idols Judge!!! There are many, many excellent singers in this country, but just being one does not mean that you can judge a talent contest!

  • JMan - 2011-01-20 07:55

    The best thing ever to happen on this show is the above. Now just to get rid of the rest.

  • Pleb - 2011-01-20 07:59

    Who Cares ?

  • Sakhile - 2011-01-20 08:06

    Excellent Choice, she brings an excellent perspective of what an upmarket black diamond should be.

  • Brandon96end - 2011-01-20 08:10

    WAIT, let me check my "give-a-****-meter"!..... no, still says 0.

  • IanJ - 2011-01-20 08:15

    Idols - A TV series for Losers, watched by Losers.

  • CB57 - 2011-01-20 08:28

    How is it that not one of the judges is actually a musicians/singer? All have good credentials but are not expert singers/musicians - huh?

  • Brandon96end - 2011-01-20 09:06

    Could care less. If MNET wants to do something with the show they make a comedian, like John Vlismas or David Kau, the presenter of show whilst getting some personality behind the judges table. G. Cliff, DJ Fresh etc. They also need to look at the quality of singer that progresses through the early stages because I refuse to believe the top10 produced each year are the best SA has to offer. no.

  • Perfume - 2011-01-20 09:14

    I want to be an IDOLS judge I have a beautiful shower voice LMAO!!!!!

  • loyiso.mbalane - 2011-01-20 09:25

    Unathi doesnt qualify as an artist coz she cant sing, i think they shouldve gone with someone like Thandiswa Mazwai coz she has experience.

      Bratt - 2011-01-20 09:46

      I would have personally gone with Sibongile Khumalo if they wanted someone who would be able to judge potential. But I think they just wanted a 'young' black woman in the 'music industry' with a failed music career.

      Bratt - 2011-01-20 09:46

      I would have personally gone with Sibongile Khumalo if they wanted someone who would be able to judge potential. But I think they just wanted a 'young' black woman in the 'music industry' with a failed music career.