Local is lekker, but can Ryk do it again?

2009-09-26 00:00

THE definitive celebrity popularity contest, the annual Heat Hot 100, is in full swing to crown South Africans’ favourite local or international star for 2009. Now celebrating its sixth year of success, the celebrity news magazine invites the public to vote for their favourite stars.

Last year was the first time a local celebrity topped the poll, when Olympic swimmer Ryk Neethling beat off the Johnny Depps and Brad Pitts of the world and was voted into first position. Ryk has been the top-ranking local star before, in 2005, though Brad Pitt was the overall winner that year. Local stars have always been popular in the poll, and in previous years the highest-ranking South Africans were Gareth Cliff (2004), former radio personality Nicole Fox (2006), and actor/singer Izak Davel (2007), who all made the top 10.

The very first overall winner of Heat Hot 100 was Victoria Beckham, in 2004, the year that she stood by her man after the Rebecca Loos scandal. Brad Pitt ousted her the following year, and in 2006 it was Johnny Depp’s role in Pirates of the Caribbean that helped him get the most votes to end up the winner. In 2007, Heat readers’ imaginations were captured by the TV series Prison Break and voted Wentworth Miller into the top spot.

Melinda Shaw, editor in chief of Heat magazine, says the enormous success of films like Twilight and television shows like Gossip Girl have launched a whole new galaxy of celebrities. “It’s always fascinating to see how certain celebrities can disappear overnight, while others like Ryk Neethling always remain firm favourites. We were delighted when a local star took top honours last year, and we hope it will happen again. But ultimately, it’s up to our readers and only time will tell who’ll walk away as the 2009 Heat Hot 100 winner.”

Votes can be cast online at heat.co.za, via the Internet browser of a mobile phone at m.heat.co.za, or even by sending a text message (SMS “HOT” and the name of the celebrity to 34974). The closing date for votes is early November, with the winner and results of the 2009 Heat Hot 100 announced in a supplement in Heat, which will be on street from 17 November 2009.

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