Reality TV fans are rejoycing as the popular singing competition The Voice is making it’s South African debut. Broadcaster, M-Net, today announced that they are planning a local version of the hit TV show, which started in Holland as The Voice of Holland, and is set to hit our screens in early 2016.

The show has seen the likes of Adam Levine, Blake Sheldon, Christina Aguilera, Shakira, Pharrell Williams, Sir Tom Jones, Rita Ora, Kylie Minogue, Joel Madden and Ricky Martin coaching singers picked in blind auditions as they sit in their iconic red chairs. South Africa is incredibly late to this party and has become the 60th country to commission this show.

“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 show will run exactly like its international versions and will feature three stages. Firstly, the Blind Audition phase will see the four coaches, all successful recording artists, will listen to contestants without 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 the coaches have their set number of contestants, thee Battle Rounds begin. Here, 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 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.”

Anyone over the age of 18 will be able to enter and there will be no age limit. The coaches will be announced and auditions will happen at major cities around the country later this year. M-Net revealed that they will announce the official prize package next month as well.

I know people are sick of local reality shows instead of rehashing international content but I think a show like this will do well in South Africa. I just hope M-Net don’t screw it up like SABC 1 did The X Factor South Africa. Judging by Idols and Masterchef, however, I highly doubt it!

The Voice South Africa premieres on M-Net early next year.