Idols Season 8 Garners Low Ratings Than Season 7?

Let's be frank. Like our politics, it is impossible to discuss Idols South Africa and not bring race into the fold. A season that featured more black contestants in the top 10 than white has caused the show some numbers.

I have to admit, I was a bit surprised by these news. Granted this is the first year that I am frequently active on Twitter and pretty much the first time that I have followed Idols beyond the audition stages of the competition. In my newbie observation I thought this year's season must be doing very well given the buzz it created on my Timeline.

Latest ratings for the current 8th season on the Mnet channel show a steep decline compared to the exact same period last year and the 7th season. I am incredibly surprised by this.

A year ago during the 7th season and during the last stretch of the show, both weekly shows from Idols - the Sunday performance show as well as the Tuesday Idols results show would make the weekly top 10 most watched shows on Mnet as anticipation and viewership built towards the finale.

The latest available viewership places Idols 7th on Mnet's list of most watched shows (the Sunday show), below shows such as Dallas, Hawaii Five-O, Revenge and NCIS: Los Angeles for the current 8th season in which three contestants are remaining.

If you are an Idols fan do not despair, the reports are a bit misleading. Currently the show is shown on 2 channels on DSTV which are Mnet and Mzansi Magic. I genuinely believe the combined viewership numbers is higher.

I can attest to the fact that most of the time I watch the show on Mzansi Magic rather than Mnet. A lot of  new viewers to the show are actually on compact which offers them the one option of watching the show on Mzansi Magic.

For those who like their "Shisa Nyama" chill sessions they watch the show's repeat on Monday. Then there is another bunch that PVR the show instead of watching it LIVE.

With that I can assure you that the decline in ratings for Mnet's broadcast of the show does not necessarily mean the show has lost its popularity as mainstream "white" media would love us to believe.

For the first time in a country with about 4 million white people and a combined 40+ million blacks, the winner of the show will not be white.

While Mnet viewers might not be watching the Sunday episodes in droves they still watch the elimination show on Tuesdays as the latter episodes still cracks the Top 10 of the channel's Weekly viewership ratings.

PS: Important to note that this season of Idols has broken few voting numbers record for the show

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