How Idols' grumpy judge Randall spends time between performances

Idols judge Randall Abrahams doesn’t waste a moment when it comes to broadening his knowledge of the music industry.

During the group stage of auditions at theatre week at the Wild Coast Sun‚ Abrahams squeezed in some reading between performances.

Abrahams‚ known as the hard-nosed judge on South Africa’s biggest singing competition‚ is presently reading So What: the life of Miles Davis by John Szwed.

“I read the book a while ago and I wanted to brush up on my Miles Davis knowledge because I was listening to quite a few of his albums. There are different periods and different influences that give historical context‚” said Abrahams.

Abrahams‚ who has been a judge on the show since Season One‚ said reading was not at all distracting.

“I think I am able to do more than one thing. It is an intriguing and well-written biography that is thought-provoking‚ gives a lot of historical and musical context. It is fascinating. I am halfway through so I am quite into it‚” he said.

Another biography on Davis by Ian Carr is something he would like to read to get two different views.

“I am a music fan. I have read quite a few biographies. I have a biography of Neil Young that I haven’t read. I am almost done reading I am Brian Wilson [about] Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys. I also read a lot of novels‚” said Abrahams.

He lists travelling‚ baking‚ reading and watching movies as some of his interests.

“If I am at home and have a free Sunday then baking is something I would do. Unfortunately time and energy is the everyone’s enemy‚” he said.

Between auditions this week Abrahams attended meetings and caught up on work.

Asked about this thoughts on this year’s contestants‚ Abrahams said it was too early to tell.

“Someone could be average and get through the first cut because some people are not that much better than them. In the group phases certain people get through because they in a good group as opposed to a weak group.

“Once on a stage in front of a crowd and a proper band is where everything happens. There is a very good crop this year. I have seen talented people and one or two diligent and hard-working [people]. I like to see that.

“If you come to theatre week we expect you to spend every waking moment rehearsing and learning your words. You should be dreaming about it‚” said Abrahams.

He said he had always been strict and always would be.

“If you work hard [and] are someone who is determined and focused‚ it helps‚” he said.