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Metro FM Awards: ALL the Details

It's finally here- Urban music's biggest night!

Now you can catch the LIVE broadcast of the awards on SABC 1 at 8pm, but before that, catch the LIVE red carpet on RGB from 6PM- Tamarsha Gambushe will be bringing you all the celebrities in their finery before the evening starts!
You can catch all the coverage on Sunday in the Sunday Tribune. 

We'll also be tweeting under these accounts


So if you can't wait for Sunday, then watch the show and follow these accounts on Twitter!


Game of Thrones: Time for Men to Shed It

Game of Thrones star Carice van Houten calls for more male nudity in the show, writes Neela Debnath

It’s known for its bloody violence and risqué sex scenes, so it’s no surprise that the stars of Game of Thrones are all in favour of the show’s X-rated content – so long as it serves the story.

Dutch actress Carice van Houten, who plays the enigmatic Red Priestess Melisandre, has defended the amount of bare flesh in the show and called for more male nudity in the HBO series.

Asked whether there should be more male nudity, she said: “Hell yeah! Of course it has to be functional and it mostly is. But in general that’s what I like about the show, not the sex per se but the nudity is part of life.” She added: “We can see machine guns but we can’t see f*****g – sorry – people? I really don’t get it, I have to make a point here. Who sleeps with their bra on? I mean, sorry if that’s a Dutch approach, but I think we need to get used to it. It’s part of life.”

Van Houten has shed her character’s flowing red robes on more than one occasion, most notably when Melisandre gave birth to a dark spirit in a cave. The actress wore little more than a bulging, prosthetic pregnant belly while going into labour.

In another scene that played out like a medieval version of 50 Shades of Grey, Melisandre bared all to seduce a young man before chaining him to bed and sticking leeches on him.   
Van Houten has appeared naked in other projects including Dutch film The Happy Housewife, and while she is all for it, she said that the prospect of doing a nude scene makes her “nervous” and she tries to alleviate the tension on set in a novel way.

“I’d rather just show everyone this is the material, like very plain and clean. This is the body, your mother has them, let’s not make a big fuss out of them and then they get used to it. I don’t do it for them, I do it for me because I pick up on tension in the room and I just want people to be fine with it.” 

Co-star Liam Cunningham also defended the sex scenes in the show, arguing they were not demeaning to women because of the strength of the female characters.
Speaking at a press event, he said: “If there wasn’t a hugely strong female character in this, like (Melisandre), then it would be sexist. It’s just gratuitous. But some of the most dangerous characters in the show are women – there’s Cersei. They are extraordinarily well-drawn.”

Cunningham, who stars as Davos Seaworth in the medieval drama, has had dangerous dealings with the priestess and bore witness to the shadow baby. ”I think there’s a level of intelligence required by the viewer or whoever watching this and it doesn’t patronise, it shows the dark side and the bright side of humanity in this.

“It’s inclusive and it’s not just the strong man and the women as the stay-at-home wife or she’s there to be the hostage. She’s not functional. She’s f*****g dangerous in this show and has to be watched,” he added with a laugh.

An extended preview for Season 4 was released recently on YouTube, giving fans a tantalising taste of what they can expect this year.

Entitled Ice and Fire: A Foreshadowing, members of the cast answered questions posed by fans on Twitter. Producer David Benioff shared some tit bits about the upcoming series, including the purple wedding, Daenerys’s growing dragons and Tyrion’s ever-present threat of peril. 

* The 15 minute season 4 teaser is available for viewing online. – Independent

American Idol 13: A fresh take on talent

Season 13 judges- Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. 
Season 13 of American Idol is all about the judges – but, writes The Wraps Jethro Nededog,  that might just save the show

Television talent shows like to say that it’s not about the judges. Of course, every season that’s proven wrong. American Idol returned for its 13th season two weeks ago ( M-Net Series Reality, Fridays at 8.30pm) and its producers teased small changes before the show started, which we have seen come into play during the auditions. 
And from the two-hour premiere episode, I can say that this season is really about the judges, because they set the tone of the show.

Following a season of awkward, at times dangerously heated, moments between last season’s feuding judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban is breathing easier sitting alongside returning judge Jennifer Lopez and guest mentor-turned-judge Harry Connick Jr.
Fox’s American Idol team re-emphasised how well the judges get along and laid out a few changes for the new season of this long-running competition. 

“They’re fun, they get along, it’s going to be great,” host Ryan Seacrest blurted out at the recent American Idol Television Critics Association winter panel. The new trio works for several reasons, one being that JLo is the lone diva.  Arguably, Connick, a former modern jazz child prodigy, can exhibit diva-like qualities, but he also forces this panel to focus on craft and musicality. That in turn makes for a more discerning panel. Lopez rises to Connick’s challenge and Urban is finally able to express himself – thus allowing for better talent to make it through to Hollywood. 

If you’ve followed the news at all you’ll know that the path to this point wasn’t easy and there are several bodies left in the wake of the circus that was last season.
“We studied the show from the talent search to the finale,” said executive producer Trish Kinane, adding that the result was “really refreshing”.
At the top of the list of changes: former judge Randy Jackson has a new role as mentor on the show, a role previously held by Jimmy Iovine. 

A new round has been added that will represent a two-day workshop between the contenders and Jackson.  Other new rounds announced include a “Hollywood or Home” week in which contestants who believe their audition was good enough to get them to Hollywood will be considered one more time. Some will have to perform again, others will just be sent home. Finally, there’s “Rush Week,” a three-night event in which the top 15 men and women perform live for the first time for America’s vote, which will reduce the contestants to the top 13 finalists. In addition, the show has added “The Chamber”, which captures the moments before contenders walk into their auditions. 

The show has also expanded the pre-cleared song list and revamped theme weeks to be more reflective of how a song speaks to the performer.
The Chamber just seems gimmicky, ineffective and unnecessary. It’s very Hunger Games. Plus, a box with cameras in it doesn’t replace Seacrest’s pre-audition interviews – no matter how space-age that box looks.
But this season is all about the judges. And that’s okay with me, because I think they’re going to make it truly competitive and emotional again.

Thinking back to the first season, I actually took notes in order to remember who I wanted to vote for. It was truly thrilling to see Kelly Clarkson pull out some last-minute vocal tricks during the finale and nab the win. Music should be treated like a craft.  TV shows should invoke emotion.  And competition should be a battle. 

And that’s what I think this set of judges will do for the show. – The Wrap

Catch American Idol XIII on M-Net Series Reality, Fridays at 8.30pm.

MTV's Generation Cryo

The cast of MTV's Generations Cryo being interviewed by the Today show's Savannah Guthrie
Sometimes MTV comes along with a show so well thought out, relevant and interesting, that we forgive them for the other nonsense they sometimes subject us to. The docu-series, Generation Cryo is just one of those interesting shows. 

It's basically about Bree who is looking for her brothers and sisters who, like her, were conceived via a sperm donor. She makes a journey to find her 15 half-siblings, who were all conceived by the same sperm donor, and to lead them to finding their biological father.

The show explores the issues faced by a new generation of kids coming of age who were conceived via anonymous sperm donors and are redefining what it means to be a family. 

This is not only a fresh angle, but it's a proper reality show- it's a real story and I want to watch it, form relationships with these guys and hopefully they will find their real father. 

Check it out from Wednesday, 5 March 2014 on MTV at 9.50pm 

Peep a teaser here: 

B.E.P's Fergie chats to Oprah on tonight's Next Chapter

New mother, Stacey Ferguson, aka Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas is on the hot seat tonight on Oprah's Next Chapter, on TLC at 8.55pm 

Oprah and the singer talk her addiction to crystal meth, her marriage, her career as lead vocalist for the multi award winning band, how tabloid reports almost ruined her marriage to Josh Duhamel and more. 

We love how Oprah keeps picking to talk to the unconventional characters, who are hardly invited to talk shows. We are looking forward to this one too. 

Check out the teaser below and then tune into TLC tonight at 8.55pm 

At the Idols SA Season 10 Durban Auditions

M-Net's Idols SA will be back for a tenth season later this year. The audition circus was in town from Saturday until yesterday (Wednesday) where 16 golden tickets were handed out. 18 were given at the Carnival City auditions in Johannesburg, meaning that so far only 34 tickets have been given. 

Where's Musa? 
We went to the judge's auditions on Wednesday to check out the talent and see how it compares to previous years. The past two seasons of Idols have been great- amazing talent, personalities, moments and a great rivalry in Musa Sukwena and Brenden Ledwaba. When Musa won last season, we all had high hopes for his career, but sadly it has fizzled out. There's little to no buzz about the guy, which is a shame as he is very talented. Should we blame the fact that the show aired later in the year than usual, meaning by the time he won, it was too late for him to release a new single and cash in on the publicity train of the December summer season? 

Anyway, that is a matter for a separate post. 

Dr Lihle Buthelezi made the cut at yesterday’s Idols audition in Durban and will go to Sun City for the next round of the reality show. The medical doctor apparently loves singing to her patients. Medical doctor Lihle Buthelezi wants to save her patients while singing to the world, and could possibly pull it off after she was given a golden ticket to Sun City at yesterday’s Durban Idols auditions. Picture: Gcina Ndwalane 
The Durban auditions were held at the Playhouse Theatre and on Wednesday, the judges, Unathi Msengana, Gareth Cliff and Randall Abrahams got to see the best, the okay and the worst of the Durban singers. The biggest problem with the Durban contestants, was their song choices. They were rather disappointing and let many of them down, a point that Unathi and Gareth kept making every time another promising singer was let down by a bad song choice. 

We got there after lunch, which means the judges are usually tired and are getting harder and harder to please. When we walked in, Unathi had just given a golden ticket to a young man, whose name and performance we didn't get. But the judges were all impressed by him and Unathi said to him: "Take your ticket... Take a Selfie... See you in Sun City." 

Then Kyle Deustschmann, a 26 year old chiropractor from Pinetown, sang Avicii's Wake Me Up. A repeat contestant, the judges asked him about his growth and what he had done to better himself since the last time. "I did vocal training and I had to believe that I can actually sing," he told them. 

We think he did well. So did Unathi. Randall found him 'boring and generic' because of his looks. Gareth said he looked like a pop/rock musician, but he understood where Randall is coming from. In the end Randall was outvoted by Unathi and Gareth, but Kyle will have to do really well in Sun City to be able to go to the next rounds, and making it to the Top16 and then the Top10. We spoke to him after his audition and he said that he respects Randall's opinion, but he believes he has an international look, one that most pop/rock musicians have right now. Oh his chances on the show? "I think I have a fair chance. I don't want to be arrogant and say I have a great chance, but with hard work, I think I have a great chance." On his audition song choice, he said: "I picked Wake Me Up because it was a popular song last year, it has broad appeal and I think it's important to tackle songs that are current and not something old and that doesn't showcase my voice, like John Legend songs." 

Speaking of John Legend, Gareth was adamant that contestants should stop singing his songs. "I'm so sick of John Legend songs. Make them stop. Please." We agree. 

It was mostly this look from Idols judges, Randall Abrahams,Unathi Msengana and Gareth Cliff, pictured at the 2012 Idols auditions. The Durban leg of the auditions only had 16 singers worthy enough for a Golden Ticket: Candice Mostert
Next up was Slindile Kwetetse, 21, from Pietermaritzburg. She sang Tamia's Me and was so timid and shy, that it wouldn't have been surprising had the judges said no. But she prevailed, found her footing and her voice filled the room. Unathi told her that she needs to impress the judges with the first note and not wait to impress them later. "No girl. You have a great voice, but this song just didn't do you justice. Plus you need to be confident and stop being shy. Let that voice out." She got her golden ticket.
We spoke to her after the audition and she was smiling with relief. "I was scared. I took a long time to relax and really get into the song and I was lucky the judges were also relaxed." She promised that during theatre week, she will be breaking out of her shell and believes that she has a good chance at winning the competition. "It's a chance to show and prove to myself that I can do this. I'm very shy, so I'm putting myself out there and I know I will do great." She's a Beyoncé fan and said that she'll be singing a few of her songs. "I love her and she's an amazing musician." And on the importance of song choice? "It's the one thing that makes or breaks you. The song has to complement your voice. Competitions have been lost because of bad song choices, a mistake I don't plan on making from now onward  I was happy with Unathi's feedback, especially that I should sing more current songs, like Rihanna's Stay."

Another contestants we saw that impressed was Simthandile, who first sang Whitney Houston's Saving All My Love. The judges stopped her and asked her to tackle a song that is easier because they liked her voice. She sang Brenda Fassie's Weekend Special and got her golden ticket. "You have the aura of Thandiswa Mazwai girl, own it." Unathi said to her. 

Those who didn't impress include:
  1. Junior who sang Gerald Levert's I'd Give Anything. While he had potential and was confident. Once again, song choice let him down and Unathi asked him to sing a current song. He tackled former Idols winner, Khaya Mthethwa's Little Means a Lot and while he got Unathi jamming, he once again felt too forced. Gareth told him that Kyle had just sang. "It came naturally. You are really trying hard and that's letting you down. So no."
  2. Nombuso sang Brenda Fassie's Weekend Special. She's best suited for the theatre and we are glad the judges told her. She was not suitable for Idols mainly because her movements were distracting. 
  3. Siyethemba sang Diana Ross ft. Westlife's When You Tell Me and well, he was terrible. The botched lyrics (Shining like a camel in the dark) and (I want to hold your clothes, under the rain) also made his performance comical. The judges noted that he re-arranged the songs notes to suit his voice and while that was clever, there was no musicality in it. 
  4. Sicelo, armed with guitar, doomed himself by performing John Legend's Stay with You. "Bad song choice, once again. I wish you'd sung something young and more current. Plus the guitar didn't help you at all." 
  5. Thembeka sang Jennifer Hudson's Perfect Man from the Dreamgirls soundtrack. She had the voice, but the problem was her breathing patterns and it's a big song to accomplish, which therefore meant she had to put in a stellar performance, which she didn't. Another bad song choice. "I just wish you were less dramatic," Unathi said. An unanimous NO from the judges. They later remarked how Jennifer Hudson was now part of the Big Five musicians to never attempt: Mariah, Whitney, Aretha and Celine. "Just don't." 
  6. Nothando disappointed with Zonke's Jikizinto. She had the potential, but she chose the wrong song, or rather, the wrong part of the song to sing. Her voice wasn't strong enough and her performance was soon found lacking. Randall said there was no musicality in the song and schooled her about the breathing techniques, and nuances about the song and how the gaps and spaces in a song were part of it. 
  7. Shayna from Kloof was clearly the comic relief of the day, singing Tracy Chapman's Give Me One Reason and she was terrible. Which is ironic for someone who said "Music is my passion." Gareth put it well- "Lots of people have killed us today. You just did too." Ah, snark! 
Theatre week takes place in Sun City in April and the show premieres on our screens in July. May the best singer win! 

BET Honors, honours Madiba

The BET Honors took place earlier this month and was broadcast on Sunday in the US. The awards aim to honour those individuals who have excelled in their careers, the trailblazers, community and business leaders, who have changed the world through their work. The late Nelson Mandela was also honoured at the BET Honors, alongside Aretha Franklin, Ice Cube, Smokey Robinson and more. 

Aretha Franklin lead the tributes, singing Sam Cooke's A Change is Going to Come. Then stars like Beyoncé, Forest Whittaker, Berry Gordy, Miguel, Smokey Robinson, Russell Simmons, Jermaine Jackson and Idris Elba paid tribute to Madiba. 

The show will be broadcast tomorrow, at midnight on BET. 

Other performers include Jennifer Hudson, Mariah Carey, Janelle Monae, Tamar Braxton, Smokey Robinson, Karen Clarke Sheard and a performance by host, Wayne Brady. 

Aretha Franklin paying tribute to Nelson Mandela (PIC: Jose Luis Magana )

Nikiwe Bikitsha to leave eNCA

In a series of tweets last night, eNCA senior anchor and one of South Africa's most prominent media personalities, Nikiwe Bikitsha confirmed that she is leaving the eNCA. 
As one of the lead anchors of the most watched news channel in the country, Bikitsha's departure came as a shock to many eNCA viewers who we can assume are her fans. 

Bikitsha confirmed that she will be taking up freelance work, studying and getting into business. She is not only a talented news anchor, but she can hold her own when it comes to business matters, having hosted a business news show with The Big Debate's Siki Mgabadeli, which was broadcast on SABC 2 a few years ago. 

Bikitsha was the main news anchor alongside Jeremy Maggs during the evening news. In 2010, she received a scholarship from  the Hubert Humphrey fellowship and will left for the United States in August of that year, to further her studies. She came back in 2013 and while she was no longer the senior main news anchor, alongside Maggs (she was replaced by Iman Rappetti), she still ranked very high and was the go-to anchor for major news stories. 

Her departure from eNCA is a big blow, especially since she was one of the best in the country. With her going the freelance route, we wonder if maybe she will be following Debra Patta's lead? Patta left the channel in 2012, also going the freelance route. She is now one of the correspondents for CBS News, just to name a few. 

Bikitsha will be missed on our screens and we sincerely hope that she won't disappear from our screens for a long time. 

PIC: Ihsaan Haffejee


Oscar Pistorius Trial: The DStv Special Channel

So DStv announced earlier this month that they will be having a special Carte Blanche dedicated channel for the upcoming Oscar Pistorius trial, which starts on Monday, 3 March 2014.

On Tuesday, the High Court in Pretoria granted media houses permission  to televise parts of the murder trial of Pistorius. Judge Dunstan Mlambo said hi-tech broadcast equipment could be installed in the courtroom where Pistorius was set to go on trial next week for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
"The applicants' authorised representatives are permitted to set  up equipment in accordance with the specifications that I mention "in the judgment" to obtain a video and audio recording and or transmission of the permitted portions as indicated in this order.
"The technical equipment shall comply with the following specifications: three cameras shall be installed in the courtroom at least 72 hours before the trial commences. The cameras shall be installed in locations which are unobtrusive," Mlambo read from his  judgment.

DStv has now released further details about who will be featured on the channel, the panelists and more details.

*** Press Release***

The Oscar Pistorius Trial - A Carte Blanche Channel on DStv Channel 199, will feature interviews with a large variety of expert guests from around the world throughout the course of the daytime and evening programming. These guests will offer insight and commentary on what happened in court. Experts will include senior legal minds, psychologists, forensic experts, social commentators, brand gurus, social media analysts, news and media heavyweights.

Robert Shapiro
“The channel has secured exclusive access to acclaimed international experts, who will feature as regular guests. These include criminal defence attorney, Robert Shapiro, famous for his defence of OJ Simpson, American forensic experts and police consultants to hit TV shows like Dexter, who provide fascinating insights,” said George Mazarakis, Executive Editor of the channel. 

Carte Blanche presenters
The editorial team responsible for the channel’s conception and content are the very same journalists who have brought the world 25 years of credible, award-winning investigative reporting on news magazine show, Carte Blanche. The presenters are veteran news journalists Derek Watts, John Webb, Bongani Bingwa and Devi Sankaree Govender, top social media lawyer Emma Sadleir, experienced radio talk show host Leigh Bennie, heavyweight legal journalist and radio talk show host, David O’Sullivan and ex BBC presenter, Subniv Babuta.

“We are thrilled that the SA judiciary has matured to this ground breaking decision. It is a seminal moment and will make South African television and legal history as visual access of this nature has never before been granted in a South African court,” said Mazarakis.

The channel will be hosted from a studio in Johannesburg, with regular live crossings to a team of top journalists who will be based at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. This team, led by field anchor John Webb, will provide live commentary via on-camera crossings and social media as events unfold in court.

Top local and international journalists will also join in-studio and field anchors to offer insight and analysis. This partnership between news channels and platforms is also a first of its kind.

The Oscar Pistorius Trial - A Carte Blanche Channel will feature daily analysis on the global audience’s reaction to the case on social media, with a live Twitter feed displayed on screen and engaging public polls run on social media.

The channel will also have daytime and night time programming, which will run from 7 AM – 10 PM daily, with content repeated from 10 PM until 7 AM the following morning when the channel goes live again from the North Gauteng High Court and the channel’s Johannesburg studio.

Pistorius’ criminal trial is scheduled to run in the North Gauteng High Court from March 3rd to March 20th.

Watch The Oscar Pistorius Trial - A Carte Blanche Channel on DStv Channel 199 or via live stream at oscartrial.com from 2 March 2014 at 8pm, follow Oscar Trial 199 on Facebook and @oscartrial199 on Twitter.


Interesting times ahead. 


Oscar Pistorius Trial: Court Permits Pistorius Trial Broadcast

Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorius

Pretoria- The High Court in Pretoria granted media houses permission on Tuesday to televise parts of the murder trial of paralympian Oscar Pistorius.

Judge Dunstan Mlambo said hi-tech broadcast equipment could be installed in the courtroom where Pistorius was set to go on trial next week for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
"The applicants' authorised representatives are permitted to set  up equipment in accordance with the specifications that I mention  1/8in the judgment 3/8 to obtain a video and audio recording and or transmission of the permitted portions as indicated in this order.
"The technical equipment shall comply with the following specifications: three cameras shall be installed in the courtroom at least 72 hours before the trial commences. The cameras shall be installed in locations which are unobtrusive," Mlambo read from his  judgment.

No camera personnel would be allowed in the courtroom, controlling the equipment during the trial. This, he said, was to avoid disrupting court proceedings.
"The equipment is not permitted to record any confidential communication between legal representatives, between clients and their representatives, or any bench discussions between the judge and assessors that may be appointed.
"The presiding judge shall specifically direct when recording should start and when it should stop," said Mlambo.
He ordered that no "movie lights, flash attachments, or artificial lighting devices" were permitted in court.

The athlete's testimony could not be broadcast. Mlambo said the media houses were allowed to broadcast audio-visual images of sections of the trial, including evidence of  all State experts and the evidence of police and former police officers about the crime scene.
Closing arguments by the State and Pistorius's legal team, delivery of the judgment or sentence, if applicable, could also be broadcast. Mlambo said: "It is... in the public interest that, within allowance limits, the goings on during the trial be covered... to ensure a greater number of people in the community who are unable to attend the proceedings are able to follow wherever they may be."

The application to film the proceedings was brought by news channel eNCA, joined by media houses MultiChoice and Eyewitness News. Last week Frank Snyckers SC, for MultiChoice and Eyewitness News, told the court that media would use technologically advanced equipment that was unobtrusive and controlled remotely. Snyckers said media houses had secured the National Prosecuting Authority's support for doing so. Pistorius's legal team opposed the application arguing that broadcasting the events would lead to an unfair trial. Barry Roux, SC, for Pistorius, asked why his client's trial was not being treated like any other.

Pistorius is accused of killing Steenkamp, his girlfriend, on February 14 last year. His trial is to be heard in the High Court in Pretoria from March 3 to 20.

A 24-hour TV channel dedicated to the trial will begin broadcasting on DSTV on March 2. Sapa

Wendy Williams to The View: "Bring Back Rosie"

And we agree with her! Talk show host, Wendy Williams of The Wendy Williams Show (BET, weeknights at 10pm) said on her show yesterday that ABC's The View needs to bring back former co-host, Rosie O'Donell.

"The View needs to shake things up if they want to keep going strong," she said on the show. Williams also said that O'Donnell's guest appearance on the show in early February has made her wonder why she has not returned for good on the show, suggesting that she would be a great replacement for Barbara Walters who leaves the show in May. 

"They have to do something," she said. "Barbara Walters is leaving. Whoopi has said before that she's just there for the paycheck, so Whoopi doesn't care about sitting in the Barbara position -- too many responsibilities!"

It's about time someone said it. The View lost it's bite a long time ago and by hiring Jenny McCarthy, it's just, well, worse. It's still better than The Talk but that's not much of a compliment. Sherri Shepard is just really boring and adds nothing to the panel. We miss Joy Behar. We miss Elisabeth Hasselbeck. 

We suggest that they hire Rosie back, fire Sherri (lets keep Jenny for now) and then get an outspoken lady, like Melissa Harris Perry from MSNBC to replace Sherri. Now we'd want to watch that. 

Melissa Harris Perry
Rosie O' Donell

Piers Morgan Tonight canned by CNN- Twitter's Reacts

So early Monday morning, the news broke that CNN's Jeff Zucker has cancelled Piers Morgan's news show, Piers Morgan Tonight. The show, which has been on air since 2011, has been ailing since the beginning and it's surprising that it wasn't cancelled sooner. Last month the ratings reached an abysmal 50 000 viewers in the all important 18-45 years demographic. 50 000 viewers. Let that sink in. Or like Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson, laugh about it 

Poor Piers. Now he's acting like nothing is wrong in his tweets, but sadly we can tell he's not too happy about this.
What his 'enemies' Sir Alan Sugar and Jeremy Clarkson tweeted about the news


The TV Snitch- Hlaudi, Metro Awards, Top Travel, Big Brother

Buhle Mbonambi talks the good, bad and interesting on our TVs

The end of Hlaudi Motsoeneng?
Do the Public Protector’s findings against SABC’s acting Chief Operations Officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, spell the end for him? On Monday, Thuli Madonsela released a damning report on the goings on at the SABC, which found Motsoeneng guilty of abuse of power, maladministration, and fraud over his qualifications – or lack of them. Motsoeneng lied about having a matric certificate. He interfered in financial and human resources issues at the SABC. His salary increased from R1.5 million to R2.4m, an outrageous 63 percent. 
Such gross mismanagement should not be allowed at a public broadcaster. And then people wonder why the TV industry as a whole is floundering. Viewers are getting substandard productions and if it wasn’t for DStv’s new focus on local productions, we would all still be forced to watch the SABC. Not all shows are bad, but the majority are shoddy and this points to the problems at the SABC. Will the SABC board suspend Motsoeneng?They should. With CEO Lulama Mokhobo having resigned two weeks ago, the SABC is in dire need of rescuing. Again. What a travesty. 

Metro FM Awards On Sunday
Durban will be a hive of activity over the next two weeks, thanks to the Metro FM Music Awards on Saturday and the Royalty Soapie Awards next Saturday. The awards will be screened live on SABC 1 at 8pm. While Metro hasn’t yet announced the host of the event, it will most probably be a drivetime jock: Tbo Touch, Unathi Msengana or Glen Lewis. Metro FM kick off awards season and for the first time, Durban gets to be part of the action. Check the blog for all the categories to vote for on both the Metro and Soapie Awards. 

Top Travel Impresses
I normally don’t bother with SABC 3’s Top Travel, presented by Jeannie D and Janez Vermeiren. I watched the first season and it was good, but after a while I lost interest. 
They kept showing all the places that every other travel show has shown before and even with their constant joie de vivre, I got bored.  While channel surfing last week, I came across the show, featuring the gorillas of Rwanda. After checking, I realised that they were now focusing on African countries and going to all those places on the continent that people ignore. Finally. While the Western and the Eastern countries are amazing to experience, Top Travel’s decision to tour Africa and show their viewers the best that African countries have to offer not only puts them in the league of great travel shows, but Tswelopele Productions could easily sell the show to the Travel Channel or any other international broadcaster . 
Nicely done!

The Big Bother
So Big Brother, or Big Bother as I like to call it, has been back for a few weeks now. 
I’ve been trying to ignore it because the show just irritates me.  I will never understand what’s so cool about watching complete strangers cooped up in a house. What’s so interesting that people devote hours on end, watching people eat, talk, bath and sleep? Is there really a point to it all?  The show made news last week when housemate Mbali Zulu slapped a female housemate, Iris Miya and was expelled from the house. This is not the first time that this has happened. Lerato Sengadi was slapped by Hannington Kuteesa on Big Brother Africa in 2010 and on the 2007 edition of Big Brother Celebrity UK, Shilpa Shetty was racially abused by the late Jade Goody and her friends.  The show just shows how vile human beings are at times – and why anyone finds that interesting, is anyone’s guess. I just hope that the show loses popularity and goes off air. 
Why not do a local version of The Amazing Race and get contestants to race around Africa? Now I would watch that! 

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Published: Bonnie Mbuli talks Traffic!, Rockville and industry matters

From the rough and tumble of Traffic!, Bonnie Mbuli slips effortlessly into the glamour of Rockville. Buhle Mbonambi chatted to her

Bonnie Mbuli as Lungi Mlaba in Traffic! 
Traffic! (on eKasi+ and e.tv, Wednesdays at 9.35pm) tells the story of Lungi Mlaba, a brilliant detective who is in a race to catch a murderer. 
Bonnie Mbuli (Backstage, Drum, Catch a Fire, Rhythm City, Invictus) stars as Lungi, who in the course of a murder investigation, finds her own integrity severely put to the test. Not only does she have to solve this case, but she has to protect both her sister and her child from her ex-boyfriend. 
She balances dealing with issues of social standing in solving crime, finding the murderer… and time for family life.
How much time did you spend in the gym preparing for this role? 
(Laughs) Not that much. I’m gym obsessed. From yoga and weights, I’m always at the gym. It’s a mindset I adopted when I lived in LA in 2009. In Hollywood, gym is a way of life because you always have to prepare for your next role. 
You can’t just sit and wait for your agent to call you up about a role. You need to be ready and look good all the time. What I realised is that they have to treat their bodies well because for them it’s their instrument. They need their body to act. 
It’s like with accents – you need to practise various accents all the time so you are ready for whatever role you are going to get next. 
Was getting into the role taxing? It is action, plus a whole lot of emotions?
It was daunting. First there’s the pressure of being the lead, so I had to carry the whole series and in a way the tone of the show. I am in almost every scene, so I couldn’t be slack and have an off day. I had to be on my|A-game at all times. It’s awesome, but it’s exhausting too. The action scenes are hectic – there’s one episode where I’m doing a chase and I basically ran, non-stop for three hours. They had to shoot it from different angles. That’s just how intense it was. 
And then you have the emotional aspect of the show, where you have to be compassionate and sometimes the waterworks. It’s the most challenging role I’ve ever undertaken.
How did you prepare for the role emotionally? 
I don’t think you can. You have to assume the character, become them and see things from their perspective. One thing I’ve noticed in cop dramas is that the characters have big personalities. They all have that one different thing about them, which is important. With this role, I had to speak a whole lot of Xhosa, as it’s set in Cape Town, something I haven’t done in a while. That was challenging.
Do you have a place that you tap into when you need to be emotional for the story?
Sjoe! That’s an interesting question. This is my 23rd year in the industry and I’ve learnt to never ever refer back to bad experiences in my life. It wasn’t helping digging up stuff I had already dealt with just so I could cry on set. It’s all technique. If you need to, you have to create a scenario where you know the needed emotion will suffice for the character and the particular scene. I dissect the role and determine how much emotion is needed for it. I focus on that emotion. Like in one scene, there’s a kidnapping that hits close to Lungi. I wondered how I would feel if my children  got kidnapped. I believe in putting yourself in the characters’ shoes and how you would feel if whatever happened to them happened to you. 
Did you do a lot of research for the role? 
I did and luckily we also had cops on set. Some scenes have real cops and we used real police stations. I also watched a lot of CSI and similar shows to get the feel of how cases are solved.
What makes Traffic! different from other cop dramas?
It’s the first time that the lead in a local cop drama is a woman. So that already gives it something different and an edge over the others. She’s a mother, so that comes into play and she has an interesting relationship with her partner, Songezo (played by Bongo Mbutuma). She’s very physical and she dresses differently from other cops. As you can see in the pictures, she’s like Lara Croft. 
Do you now have a new found respect for the police? 
I do. It’s a dark, scary world and they have to live it every day. It takes guts to do that. What I realised is that in South Africa, we don’t have enough cop shows that show them in a good light. 
Bongo Mbutuma and Bonnie as Songezo and Lungi in Traffic!
I don’t even know how many cop shows there are in the US and they are always the good guys. I think we need that here and we need to look at them in a new light – a positive light. Most of them are generally good people and why can’t we have dramas that show a good side of the police? 
What attracted you to Lungi? 
I love strong female characters. But what happened was the producer (Kaye Williams) called and told me that she had written a role around me and if I would mind being on the show. She told me more about the premise of the show and I liked it. It’s such an overwhelming feeling being told that a role was written especially for you. I felt like after so many years, finally some affirmation. Finally I got the feeling that someone has been watching my work and even with the pressure of having to carry the whole series, it felt damn good. 
How’s her relationship with her partner, Songezo?
Songezo and Lungi are very close. She gets the sense he likes her, but she doesn’t know what to do about it. There’s a nice tension between them. Sometimes it’s great, at times uncomfortable. But they are a good team. Bongo Mbutuma is so good, so underrated and it was amazing to work with him.  And he’s such a hottie. 
How did you juggle Traffic! and Rockville?
It was a tough call. My agent (Moonyeen Lee) helped me out with this. I literally wrapped Traffic! and had to fly to Joburg and start shooting Rockville (Mzansi Magic, Sundays at 8pm) the next day. Imagine moving from cop to society woman, complete with fancy clothes and a weave? (Laughs).
Luckily with Rockville I had already set the tone with my character, Dudu. Now I had to add more depth to her and the changes she had to go through after the revelations of the first season. It’s really so exciting and the best thing is that the producers and director gave me free rein to do what I want with Dudu. 
Bonnie as the glamorous Dudu Bogatsu in Rockville
What do you make of the local TV industry right now?
I feel like actors are now taking the industry seriously. The roles they pick to play and the shows they do – they put some serious thought in them because they’ve realised that the audience is not dumb and has become more critical. It’s great to see that. 
An audience involved in the show and telling you what they think of the storylines. Another great thing is actors are now speaking out about issues that we face and are now finding out more about our rights in the industry. 
The biggest issue for me is why aren’t the arts protected by the government and the law? If they were, it would be difficult to exploit actors. We needs laws put in place to protect us from being exploited. 
Do you believe that the shows we have on our screens right now are quality? 
The thing about this is that the people who make the decisions on the shows being commissioned, are not people who have anything to do with TV. They are not experienced producers, directors or even actors. 
It’s all so political and those who are connected get to decide what’s on our channels. TV is so political in South Africa. 
That needs to change. We have some quality shows, but we can do so much better. We need writers to step up to the plate and I can guarantee that the actors will do so too.

Scoop to present Turn Up

Radio and TV Presenter and reality star, Siyabonga Ngwekazi, who is also affectionately known as Scoop Makhathini, will be presenting Channel O's new pop culture lifestyle, Turn Up.

Turn Up starts tomorrow (Monday, 24 February 2014) at 4pm. Basically the show is similar to MTV Choice, but of course it's different because: "The show allows music fans to determine which videos will play during the live show through Tweets and Facebook.  The show will give viewers a glimpse into various celebrity lives, their career passion to sneaker collections on a weekly basis.  Being the IT guy on street culture his background makes him the ultimate presenter and trend spotter." 

Siyabonga said that the show is something fresh on TV. "It will profile artists and people who are trying to make it in the industry, unlike other shows which focus on already made talent. Viewers won’t be dictated too, they get to be part of the shows and it is going to be dope.” 

We sure hope it will be. Even more importantly, we hope it will be different from MTV Choice. 


Idols and Clash of the Choirs Auditions in Durban this Weekend

It's audition season once again, with the auditions for Idols SA season 10 and the second season of Clash of the Choirs taking place in Durban this weekend. Last week, Durban's Suncoast Casino hosted the season three auditions of M'Net's MasterChef SA. 

So you think you have the vocal chops and exactly what it takes to be the next music star in SA, like previous Idols, Khaya Mthethwa and Elvis Blue? Well check below for details

Idols SA

Date: 22 February 2014
Venue: Playhouse Theatre, Smith Street, Durban (Opposite the City Hall)
Time: Camp as early as possible, but auditions start after 8am

Clash of the Choirs 

Venue: University of KZN, Howard College Campus 
Date: 22nd and 23rd February 
Time: 08:00 – 17:00. 

Good luck