M-Net finally announces local version of The Voice!


Get ready for a local version of The Voice

M-Net is adding yet another local version of a massively successful international talent competition to its slate of blockbuster reality shows. The Voice South Africa will hit our screens in 2016 and will be screened exclusively on M-Net, channel 101 on DStv.

Since its 2010 debut in the Netherlands as The Voice of Holland, this thrilling singing competition created by John de Mol, the television guru who also brought us Big Brother and Fear Factor, has taken the world by storm. It has been a smash hit in the US, Australia and UK, where the likes of Adam Levine, Blake Sheldon, Christina Aguilera, Shakira, Pharrell Williams, Sir Tom Jones, Rita Ora, Kylie Minogue, Joel Madden and Ricky Martin have occupied the show’s iconic red chairs to choose and then coach a variety of highly talented singers. Joining a long list of  countries – from Afghanistan, Brazil and China to Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam – South Africa is now the 60th country in the world to add a local flavour to The Voice.

“M-Net 101 has become renowned as the home of top-notch reality fare and we’re very excited to confirm that The Voice South Africa will be our big attraction for 2016,” says M-Net CEO Yolisa Phahle. “With its impeccable international track record and blend of undiscovered talent, star power and spectacular sets, it’s the perfect fit for a channel that puts a high premium on great family entertainment. To top it off, The Voice South Africa will be giving local singers the opportunity of a lifetime – to be coached by the absolute best in the local music business. A show of this magnitude is also a fantastic platform for some of our biggest local recording artists. Apart from the panel of four local coaches, several guest coaches will also make guest appearances to hone our talent.”

 The Voice comprises three phases: Once the best singers are identified at the countrywide open auditions, they go through to the Blind Audition phase, where four coaches – all professional recording artists in their own right – listen to them sing without actually seeing them. If a coach is interested in a singer, they push a button that swivels their chair around to face the contestant. If more than one coach turns their chair, the contestant has the opportunity to pick which coach they’d prefer to work with. Once all of the coaches have a set amount of singers in their teams, the show moves onto the Battle Rounds, where each coach pairs two of their contestants up to perform together, and then chooses only one to go through to the next round. The last phase is the Live Shows, where the remaining contestants sing for the public’s votes, until one singer is officially named the winner of The Voice South Africa.

The names of the four South African coaches who will dedicate themselves to developing the singers in their team mentally, musically and technically will be announced later this year, but who should start thinking of entering this fresh new M-Net 101 show?

“The Voice South Africa will be looking for a class act singer with a unique sound – the kind that will make you stop to listen closely or create awe-inspiring moments,” says Harrie Linders, MD of AMPN, the production company which will be creating the show for M-Net in conjunction with international format right holders TALPA international. “Instead of judging someone on his or her looks or personality, it’s all about the voice and it doesn’t matter what your musical background is. The Voice encompasses a wide variety of music genres.”

More good news is that entries will be open to all South African citizens older than 18 years and that there’s no upper age cut-off.  While there will be open auditions in the country’s biggest cities, singers who want to be part of the show will also be able to submit a song online for a possible fast track to the front of the audition queues. Details about these submissions, the audition dates and venues, as well as the full prize package will be made available on the M-Net website from early September.