The popular Afrikaans talent show is getting to its most exciting phase now. In this week’s episode, the first 10 contestants of the already-brilliant Top 20 will compete for a coveted spot in the Top 10. The audience gets to choose four contestants and then Emo will use his EMO-ticket to give a fifth contestant a second chance. The talent is seriously next level though – how on Earth will he – and the audience – be able to choose?

Get ready for the spotlight in Maak My Famous

Every contestant has a story to tell in South Africa’s hottest new talent show.

“This show is going to blow people away,” promises Emo Adams, co-presenter of Maak My Famous and the brains behind the concept. “There were over 6,000 entries. It’s been overwhelming from beginning to end.”

Emo’s co-presenter is singer Tarryn Lamb, whom he’s known since childhood. “Back then, we were just kids with a dream,” he says.

This talent search differs from others in that the public and audience members who were lucky enough to attend the recordings got to decide who made it through to the next round. “The whole show is about communities whose children have never had the opportunity to showcase their talent,” Emo says.

Joining Emo and Tarryn on the show is media expert and agent Ian Bredenkamp, celeb singer and director Alistair Izobell, who serves as a performance coach, singing coach Nur Abrahams, and musical director Charlton Daniel.

Emo Adams

Career: I started out selling tyres for a living. This is a new role for me as producer, executive producer and director on Maak My Famous.

What did you do to become famous?
What didn’t we do? We did everything – hard work that started with my dad in Mitchells Plain, later David Kramer and Taliep Petersen’s productions, and then our own.

What are you looking for in new talent? 
We’re looking for the same characteristics that we had as kids – someone we can shape. We also want to show people that you don’t become famous overnight. People like Elvis Blue and Jo Black were working on their talent long before they found fame.

What secret talent do you have that people don’t know about? 
I know how to drown. It’s hard for some people, but it’s very easy for me.

What talent do you wish you had? 
To have people fill up my car with petrol without me having to pay for it.

What are you most looking forward to with Maak My Famous?
Experiencing the talent that we find and the journey ahead.

Who has the staying power to really work?
Those who aren’t worried about the show, who want to learn and grow.

Tarryn Lamb

Career: Singer, songwriter, actress and dancer.

What did you do to become famous?
I was the lead singer and songwriter for the band Blackbyrd. I also played the role of Kim Adams in Suidooster. I released my debut album, Mal Oor Jou, last year.

What did you do to become famous?
I’m very lucky to work with amazing people who inspire me. We all work really hard, stay focused and build relationships with people in the industry. I also always try to learn from other artists.

What are you looking for in new talent? 
Attitude. It determines how far you’ll go in everything you do.

What secret talent do you have that people don’t know about?
Emo says I’m good at doing accents.

What talent do you wish you had?
I wish I could ice-skate like a gymnast.

Ian Bredenkamp

Career: Owner of a management and marketing agency.

What are you looking for in new talent?
I’m looking for red-hot talent that will play on the radio, be available across all platforms and appear on the covers of magazines.

What’s your talent?
Spotting the talent in others.

What talent do you wish you had?
I wish I could write songs. I would love to write hits for artists.

What excites you about Maak My Famous?
Discovering new talent. It’s not easy. Where do you find them? That’s why I like Emo’s concept so much. It’s so necessary for the music industry.

Alistair Izobell

Career: Actor, singer, dancer, producer of theatre productions and musicals.

What did you do to become famous?
When I was nine years old, I started working with David Kramer and Taliep Petersen as Broertjie in District Six: The Musical. From there, I did The Buddy Holly Story and I was also in Kinnes van die Ses with Emo and his brother Lukmaan. I toured in Japan and I’ve toured with big names like Stevie Wonder. Later there was Kat and the Kings, that we took to London and New York. I wrote the theme song for Suidooster, and I’ve produced over 40 productions in the last 30 years.

What are you looking for in new talent?
Someone who understands the responsibility that comes with having a microphone in your hand, and how important it is to serve your audience.

What secret talent do you have that people don’t know about?
I cook like a dream. It’s one of my passions.

What talent do you wish you had?
When I was young, I wanted to be a fireman.

What are you most looking forward to with Maak My Famous?
Finding that artist who has everything I’m looking for, and then seeing how that person grows.

Nur Abrahams

Career: Singer.

Why are you famous?
I think it might be because I’ve been on stage since I was a kid. Kramer, Petersen, Emo and Alistair. I was also the voice of “Welcome to Cape Town” and a member of the band Jag.

What did you do to become famous?
Work. Lots of hard work.

What are you looking for in new talent?
I’m looking for originality, someone who can be themselves.

What secret talent do you have that people don’t know about?
I don’t think I have any other talents. Maybe that I can DJ.

What talent do you wish you had?
I would love to play the drums.

Charlton Daniel

Career: Base guitar player, singer, producer, musician, music producer.

What did you do to become famous?
I started playing in clubs from a very young age. I started the band TopDog SA with Camilo Lombard, Donveno Prins, Mornay Hoffmeester and Mark Williams, and we performed with artists like Jonathan Butler and Karyn White.

What are you looking for in new talent?
Hard work, dedication and a willingness to learn more about the industry.

Watch Maak My Famous on, Thursdays on kykNET (144) at 20:00 and kykNET & kie (145) at 21:00
Available on Catch Up and online at DStv Now »