The great KZN celeb takeover

2014-07-13 15:00

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The X Factor is here and it means business. An intimate soiree to toast what has been dubbed the world’s biggest and most successful singing competition was held at the Montecasino Ballroom on Wednesday night.

Things kicked off with a taped video from the founder himself, Simon Cowell, congratulating the host Andile Ncube and South Africa for bringing the reality TV phenomenon to our shores 10 years after its launch in the UK.

The X Factor judges were also unveiled in the form of Zonke Dikana, Arno Carstens and DJ Oscar “Oskido” Mdlongwa, and the guests were unanimous in praising the producers for not selecting “the obvious”.

Zonke is a respected vocalist whose timeless music has earned her a place in the music firmament. She has street cred and is sure to make a great mentor for the contestants. Carstens is a big figure in rock and Afrikaans circles. He was also at the forefront of the crossover movement in the 90s with his band Springbok Nude Girls. Mdlongwa is a legend of House music who is somewhat media shy, and we can’t wait to see his genius as he hones and tones raw talent.

There to cheer on her hubby was Ayanda Thabethe, who recently tied the knot with Ncube.

Straight out of a classic “bitch stole my look episode”, Slikour rocked up in a patterned black and white jersey exactly like Pearl Thusi’s. The two seemed unfazed, and bets were made about whether the jersey was in a goodie bag from one of this week’s events.

Industry players including SABC TV executive Leo Manne, Sony Music executive Sean Watson and presenters Luthando Shosha and Sinazo Yolwa were there.

Muvhango actress Zukisa Matola and her husband, SABC1 continuity presenter alumnus Phumzile Zonke, also stopped by.

Performers included Nothende Madumo in a jarring lace top, tights and heels. Muzart was mildly entertaining.

Unfortunately, it was difficult to concentrate because of our grumbling stomachs – the wait for food was too long and we ended up scavenging at other tables to keep starvation at bay. The shame...

One thing to take from The X Factor launch is that KwaZulu-Natal, and Durban in particular, are set to take over the industry.

In a TV first, the live gala finals will be broadcast from Durban. The provincial government is pumping in money and even brought its own entertainment – DJs Cndo and Tira.

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