Other judges have come and gone, so what keeps Shado Twala coming back? “The sense of hope that contestants have when they come onto the show is so inspiring,” she says.
“The fact that people believe that they can be great and are willing to do whatever it takes to make their dreams come true is something very special to witness. That is what the show is all about.”
The sixth season of SA’s Got Talent kicked off on Sunday on e.tv with Twala, Lalla Hirayama and DJ Fresh (Thato Sikwane) at the show’s helm. But you may have missed it because it airs while the popular Idols SA is aired on Mzansi Magic.
Both shows hope to discover the country’s next big star, but Twala believes SA’s Got Talent is where viewers see raw talent at its best. “I’m not saying this because I’m on the show,” she says. “But SA’s Got Talent is the only show that really allows people and their talents to shine. We don’t put you in a box or discriminate when it comes to age or the talent that you want to show the world.”
Previous seasons have included everything from ventriloquists, beatboxers, rap artists, poets, comedians and hypnotists.
Asked what she is looking for in this year’s winner, Twala says: “I need to see the passion in your eyes. No matter how good you are, if you are not passionate about what you are doing, you’re not going to go far. I need to see that you are enjoying it.” Most importantly, Twala says contestants need to have talent they can make money from.
“If you want to make a career out of your talent, you have to be entertaining. The first question I ask myself when I’m judging is: is this entertaining? If you can’t entertain me as a judge, how do you expect people to pay to watch your talent?”
Although SA’s Got Talent and Idols SA are merely platforms for artists who hope to have careers in the entertainment industry, it’s concerning that few winners actually make it big afterwards.
It seems as though the prizes, which usually include large sums of money, make the winners feel they don’t have to work any more, but sit back and wait for bookings.
SA’s Got Talent and Idols SA should look for contestants who not only have talent, but also the drive and willpower to take their careers beyond the talent show.
Twala is confident she’s already found her star. “There is a girl on the show that I really believe in,” she says. “So much so, that I have sent her straight to the semifinals. I really hope she doesn’t disappoint me.”