Idols South Africa canned after long-lunning 19 seasons.
By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
Idols South Africa, the popular reality television singing competition, is coming to an end following viewership fatigue and a massive plunge in ratings.
The cancellation of the South African version of the Fremantle format comes after an effort to revitalise the show in 2022.
The show arrived on Mzansi screens 21 years ago on M-Net, and over the years has gone on to crown winners such as Heinz Winckler, Khaya Mthethwa, Vincent Bones, Karabo Mogane and Dave van Vuuren.
While some artists such as Shekhinah, Amanda Black and Lloyiso may have not won the show, they have become among the top artists in the country.
Over the years, "Idols SA" has been criticised for not giving the winners enough support to grow their careers after the competition. Some have disappeared from the spotlight shortly after their win.
Judges Randall Abrahams and Unathi Nkayi's contracts were not renewed for season 18. They were replaced with artists Thembi Seete and JR Bogopa alongside Somizi Mhlongo, who returned after taking time off from the show in 2021 following serious allegations of physical abuse.
Nomsa Philiso, MultiChoice CEO for general entertainment, said ahead of the 18th season last year that "To have such longevity in such a fast-changing industry is no small feat, and we're proud to keep giving our viewers what they love. One of the key components in having staying power is evolution, and our new-look panel is part of that".
Asked whether the changes in judges for the 18th season were done to try and reverse the show's declining viewership, Philiso said "In part it is to get the ratings back and also to attract new audiences, right. So, you would know that from around 2017 we started seeing some level of fatigue - some level of viewer fatigue in terms of Idols".
Auditions for the final season of Idols SA will kick off on Sunday, 12 February.