Abrahams back to grill Idols

Gugu Sibiya

Gugu Sibiya

Idols, the popular television show that deprived fans of sleep, is not only back but is returning with one of its controversial judges Randall Abrahams.

Viewers and contestants loved to hate Abrahams. But since he knows his job the unpredictable judge, who had most people hot under the collar, returns for a fifth season of the local chapter of the talent search.

Rushing in where angels fear to tread, Abrahams became a household name for providing no-holds-barred feedback to wannabe idols.

While experiencing the excitement of taking a shot at the most publicised platform for wannabe music stars, contestants were traumatised at the thought of being grilled by this judge.

Perhaps he is so nasty because he wants to be put on a pedestal like Simon Cowell, his international counterpart.

M-Net's newly appointed head of local content, Helen Smit, says it's wonderful that Abrahams is back for the summer edition of Idols.

"Could you imagine a South African Idols without Randall? He is an institution on the show and we trust viewers are looking forward to see if the summer heat will intensify his tongue-lashing skills and quick wit," Smit says.

As willing as he is to dish out the bitter truth to contestants who fall short, Abrahams also always gives good advice.

The best tip he would like to give contestants is to choose songs that suit their voice and style.

"Don't choose the most obvious hits." he says. "Someone else will in all likelihood do a better job anyway. And don't try to over-sing to impress the judges with your technique. Just keep it natural."

Agreeing with the M-Net and Idols producers, Abrahams believes that this year's Idols will provide a welcome change for the hopefuls who queued for many cold hours under blankets in winter.

"I think there will be a fun element as South Africans are quite different people during summer. I'm looking forward to a bunch of special performers ready to have a good time and excite the country."

Auditions begin in Cape Town on December 17. The first show will be televised on February 1.