It’s been a month of exciting news and announcements as the third season of the popular M-Net production The Voice South Africa returns to our screens in February next year. After revealing that Anele Mdoda would take over the reigns as host and that Riky Rick and Riana Nel would be two of the new coaches on the show, the channel has finally confirmed thar Francois Van Coke would be joining the show as the third new coach with Lira being the only former coach to return for the show’s new season.

Francois Van Coke is easily one of the biggest names in Afrikaans rock music today. As the frontman of bands like Fokofpolisiekar and Van Coke Kartel and a fantastic solo artist, Francois has an array of fans around the country. Francois recently started another TV venture in Die Van Coke Show which airs on KykNet every Monday at 20:30. In this quirky game show, with no prizes, famous participants follow clues to guess which Afrikaans hit song Francois will cover with a rock and roll twist. The “mystery” song is released on digital platforms and the music video on YouTube each week. This is not the first time he’s explored the limitless opportunities of the digital world. Some of his releases and international tours with his other band, Die Gevaar, have been crowd-funded.

“It’s going to be interesting to see how Francois’s #teamvancoke will push the boundaries to create fresh crowd-pullers, whose music will capture the spirit of our times,” says M-Net’s Head of Publicity, Lani Lombard. “Francois is known for his surprising stunts, and The Voice talent who want to go off the beaten track, but still benefit from the skills of a multi-talented musician and solid vocalist, can’t go wrong by choosing him as their mentor.”

Meanwhile, Lira has always been a fan-favourite on the South African version of the popular reality show so her return isn’t too surprising.

“Being part of the first two seasons of The Voice South Africa was an incredible experience,” Lira says as she confirms the news of her return. “It’s an amazing collaborative platform that really changes lives. Every time I stand on stage sharing the spotlight with someone we discovered on The Voice, I’m overcome with emotion. It’s incredible to know that we turn diamonds in the rough into sparkling jewels.”

She adds “Since the previous season I have been fortunate to travel across the globe and meet and work with industry professionals who broadened my own horizons. I can’t wait to pour everything I have learnt into the new season with all my heart and soul. I am also excited about challenging the new coaches, who will undoubtedly bring a new chemistry to the show. It’s going to be fun. But, just a word of advice to all the singers at the Blind Auditions who are conflicted when choosing a coach: If you want to become a sustainable class act, #TeamLira will take you places!”

Fans can join Riky Rick, Riana Nel, Lira and Francois van Coke at the pre-recorded Blind Auditions on 21 and 22 as well as 26 and 27 November at the Urban Brew studios in Johannesburg. Entrance to the recording is free but if you don’t book your seats here, you won’t be allowed into the venue.

The Voice South Africa returns in February 2019.

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