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14.5.14

Is The X-Factor South Africa a good decision?


An hour ago, we found out that SABC 1 has landed the rights to Simon Cowell's The X-Factor and have commissioned the show for a first season. The auditions kick off in Durban on 7 June 2014 and the show will be produced by Rapid Blue. 


Rapid Blue, the production company behind many local versions of popular reality competition shows, like Strictly Come Dancing, Got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance and Come Dine with Me, has proven itself as a production company that can handle big shows. While it's done really well with Strictly and Come Dine, we weren't really impressed with SYTYCD and SAGT and that's not their fault, but rather the contestants (and the hosts/judges). 

So how will the do with The X-Factor South Africa? The company produces The X-Factor in Nigeria and Ghana and seems to have done well. Peep the video below for a scene of the Nigerian version of the show:


But will the show work in South Africa, specifically, SABC 1? It's possible. With a great production team, an even better set of judges (ones that actually have a personality and are not afraid of the camera) and an excellent host, the show will be a success. Factor in that they will have to match up with the international versions of the show, which South Africans have been exposed to, (thanks DStv), they have little choice but to make it work. 

Even so, is SABC 1 the right channel? I don't think so. SABC 3 would have been great, even SABC 2 and that's mainly because those channels have a better track record of making sure the shows are great. When SA's Got Talent was on SABC 2, it was an excellent show and e.tv has yet to impress us. Strictly Come Dancing is really great on SABC 3, while So You Think You Can Dance was let down by the change in judges and the host. It was a bad decision and ultimately messed up the show for SABC 1. As much as people tuned in, we particulary weren't impressed with the previous season. Another thing is SABC 2 is a channel that all South African's can watch- it really appeals to all race groups and languages, unlike SABC 1 which has a strong Nguni language focus, which may sometimes alienate viewers. For the show to be a success, it would need as many diverse South African's as possible on the show, hence SABC 2 being the ideal channel. 




Rumours on Twitter, are abound that Lira and AKA will be the local judges, while Jill Scott is currently being courted by the show's producers to be the international judge of the competition. An announcement is expected tomorrow. The host is still rumoured to be Bonang Matheba, but with Clash of the Choirs still on, is this a wise move?

But most importantly, will the show be able to produce a star? Idols South Africa last winner, Musa Sukwene, disappeared after winning the show. There was no hype nor was there any music, besides the winner's single, I Still Feel It. Khaya Mthethwa and Elvis Blue are the only previous winners making strides in the music industry, with Elvis being the one who has truly been embraced by the industry, boasting award winning albums and songs. 

The US edition of The X-Factor has struggled to create stars, even with amazing singers. American Idol has also struggled to have successful winners, as is The Voice. So the big question is, will The X-Factor South Africa be able to produce a big star? 

I guess it's a waiting game and we have to wait and see. 

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