As Idols season 12 drew closer, everybody wanted to know just how M-Net would handle the Gareth Cliff race saga that dominated the show in the lead-up to the filming of auditions.
Deciding not to ignore the elephant in the room, the broadcaster started off the show by addressing the issue as the first episode of the new season aired on Sunday night.
Clips of various media reporting on the incident were aired alongside people auditioning for the show shouting ‘We love Gareth’ and holding posters in support of the judge.
“He’s back,” said host ProVerb before Gareth in seen strolling up to fellow judges Randall Abrahams, Unathi Msengani and Somizi Mhlongo.
“Hi guys,” he says awkwardly before getting the side-eye from his fellow judges. He continues to take a selfie before saying that he’s going to put the image on Twitter. The other judges lunge at him, all saying “noooooo…”
The scene was obviously a play on the controversy that surrounded Cliff as he was axed from the show after a massive public outcry following a comment made on Twitter.
Cliff took the matter to court, with the Idols judge winning the case and M-Net forced to reinstate him as a judge on the show.
It was a massive blow for the broadcaster, with many wondering how it would handle the shock jock’s appearance following the drama.
After the initial comments, auditions continued as usual with Durban residents taking their best shot at becoming the country’s next singing sensation.
Flamboyant reality TV star Somizi stole the show, soon trending on social media network Twitter as the show aired.
The show is aired on DStv channel 161 at 17:30.