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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.

And Mara Louw's replacement on Idols 7 is...
Read more on:    unathi msengana  |  mara louw  |  tv  |  celebrities  |  idols
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