Mzansi’s popular singing competition Idols South Africa (SA) is shaking things up for their upcoming 18th season and it does not include judges Unathi Nkayi and Randall Abrahams.
DStv made the announcement on Friday afternoon and said they are taking a “fresh approach to the judging panel to retain audiences to stay competitive in the Sunday night timeslot,” said Shirley Adonisi, channel director: local entertainment channels at M-Net.
Audiences have shared on social media that they have missed Somizi Mhlongo after he left the show due to the abuse allegations brought by his estranged husband Mohale Motaung last year.
It was said by fans of Idols SA that season 17 was missing something after Somizi left, resulting in some losing interest.
Mzansi Magic and M-Net thanked Randall and Unathi for their time on the show. Randall had been on the show since season one and Unathi for 10 seasons.
Adonisi said: “We salute these great icons of South African entertainment and thank them both for great innings on Idols. Randall and Unathi have demonstrated high levels of professionalism and made an impact on the South African entertainment scene that will continue to be felt for some time to come. We wish them well in their endeavours.”
Season 18 is scheduled for sometime this year and the new judging panel will be announced in due course, M-Net concluded.
Unathi was fired with immediate effect on Kaya FM over “a breakdown of trust” in November 2021.
“Nkayi’s contract has ended prematurely due to certain conduct that rendered the relationship intolerable going forward. Kaya 959 can confirm that certain incidents had occurred, which resulted in the breakdown of the trust relationship between the two parties,” their statement read.
The incidents occurred with former colleague Sizwe Dhlomo, when the two had an argument.
There was a back and forth on what actually transpired but Dhlomo released audio of their argument.
The Afternoon Drive host shared that Unathi alleged he swore at her and was extremely aggressive towards her during their confrontation in the studio. Dhlomo then shared his version of the events via email, detailing what transpired during the argument with Unathi.
Unathi did the same but the two emails were vastly different in their descriptions of what went down on the day. The station believed Dhlomo’s accounts of the argument.
In response, Unathi said she would take Kaya FM to court for making false narratives against her.
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Complied by Sandisiwe Mbhele