Idols 'hates blacks'

2010-11-07 13:00
Gavin Prins
A race row erupted around Idols this week, with Idols judge Mara Louw spitting fire about new Idols winner Elvis Blue.

Louw declared: “L’loyd (Cele, the runner-up) should have won. Finish and klaar!”

She said the competition was full of racism and South Africa could only produce a black Idol if M-Net sold the competition to the SABC.

“Blacks do not have access to DStv. This excludes a sizeable chunk of South Africans from the competition. Whites votes for whites and blacks are disadvantaged,” said Louw.

This is the first time an Idols judge has openly criticised the victorious Idol. And Louw’s words probably have implications for her future with Idols.

Said Louw in an exclusive interview with City Press: “I am sick and tired of being politically correct. The whites refuse to vote for blacks.”

Fellow judge Gareth Cliff also ignited a storm earlier during the competition when he openly predicted that a black person would win this year’s Idols.

Louw said shortly before the winner was announced she had prayed and asked God to make L’loyd win.

“I was so shocked that a black was not the winner,” she said.

She said she knew she was going to be crucified for saying this.

Despite the fact that Elvis had almost double the number of votes that L’loyd had, Louw said: “South Africa is still full of racists.”

Elvis could not dance, said Louw.

“He had me in tears with his voice and I am not trying to take his fame away from him. But L’loyd has the better voice, he can dance, he is beautiful, but he is the wrong colour. Where is transformation?”

It was time, Louw said, that “we realise black people are never going to win Idols. I have asked blacks to vote since the beginning of the competition but I have come to realise that the talents of blacks will never be recognised because they don’t have access to DStv.

“I have been in the music industry for almost 40 years. It often happens that I meet people after a performance who do not know who I am. I have been on stage in musicals such as Hairspray, Fame and many others, but white people don’t know me. Now I know that blacks are in the competition only to make up numbers.

“Look, Idols is a wonderful competition and a platform for discovering new talent.

“I was so impressed that the top five included so many blacks.”

Fellow judge Randall Abrahams said he did not agree with Louw.

“To say white people voted white and black people black, you have to know every voter and know who he voted for. And that is impossible.

“M-Net has a lot of black viewers. How do you know that blacks did not vote for Elvis? People do not vote for your singing talent, they vote for the whole package and it is the whites who buy the albums,” said Abrahams.

M-Net spokesperson Lani Lombard also declared that Louw’s statement was not based on facts.

“People do vote for talent, not for race. And the racial composition of the top four was clear evidence of this.

“Idols is not limited to DStv. We use radio stations, local newspapers and even public performances to introduce the Idols to the public.”

Black participants, Lombard, said, had a diverse support base during the competition.

But Louw insisted: “Racism is alive. The only solution, I reckon, is that the SABC broadcast the competition on a channel everybody has access to.”