Meet your #IdolsSA top 11

The #IdolsSA top 11 has been announced. The eleven hopefuls were announced during Sunday night’s live show on M-Net and Mzansi Magic. They will be vying for the Idols season ten title in the next couple of weeks. I must admit I’m a bit shocked by one of the top 11 (I won’t reveal who the person is) but it’s what the fans wanted, so who am I to question. Here are the eleven Idols finalists:

Vincent Verhoog (25)
Ivan Roux (24)
Bongi Silinda (23)
London Louw (24)
Vincent Bones (29)
Kyle Deutschmann (27)
Lize Mynhardt (21)
Musa Mashiane (24)
Tumi Morobane (21)
Demi Lee (24)
Roxy McVean (20)

Who stands out for you at this stage?

Press release: The Script heading back to SA this February

PETER NEIL 2 Big Concerts has also confirmed that Irish smash hit pop/rock band The Script will be returning to Johannesburg, as well as Cape Town and Durban, in support of their new album ‘No Sound Without Silence’. Don’t miss out; catch them live in Johannesburg on 7th February 2015 at Crocodile Creek. Presented by 947 and M-Net. The Johannesburg event will also feature a host of local bands including Gangs of Ballet, Beatenberg, Good Luck and Shortstraw.

 

Tickets for Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban go on sale Monday 15th September at 9am. Go to www.bigconcerts.com for more information.

 

The Script have scored a huge amount of success globally by selling over 20 million records world-wide with all 3 albums going multi-platinum throughout the world. ‘Hall Of Fame’, the lead single from the last album #3, was a world-wide number one single with over 5 million sales, 133 million YouTube views and over 100 million Spotify plays. Their previous #3 world tour spanned over 11 months and saw them play sold out shows in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.

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My experience of Istanbul, Turkey with Turkish Airlines

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Last week I made my way to Istanbul, Turkey as part of a media trip with Turkish Airlines. It’s actually quite bizarre how this happened. I get a lot of invites to events and in more recent times, I’ve declined many of them. Some because I just can’t make it and others because there really is no real benefit for me or my readers or followers. About five weeks ago, I got an invite to a Turkish Airlines event and the invite grabbed my attention right from the start. The invite was a puzzle and I had to put the pieces together to figure out when the event was happening and what it was all about. I’ve flown the airline once before on a trip to Germany and I was bummed that I never got to see Istanbul, so I thought let me go and see what was happening with them now. I also thought because I find myself in a traveling state of mind, that this would be good especially since I’m trying to do a lot more travel and lifestyle pieces now.

Before we left, I asked my Facebook friends for tips, tricks and places to visit ahead of the trip and I got some great feedback and suggestions. Turns out a lot of what we were already going to see and do was already included in our itinerary, so that worked out well. I’m also one of those people who likes to explore, get lost and see new places through the eyes of the locals, so I’m open to all suggestions but also to the experiences that await me and that’s when you generally find the gems. So on Tuesday the 2nd of September my media friends and I boarded our Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul. Look, flying isn’t the most comfortable mode of transport ever known to mankind, but I did have an emergency exit seat, which is always great. I didn’t get much sleep on the flight, but the in-flight entertainment was on point and it made up for the lack of sleep. If we’re talking ‘first world problems’, I was a little bummed I didn’t get to taste the homemade lemonade that was on the menu. I think the airhostess didn’t quite understand my request, but really it didn’t ruin the experience.

After clearing customs and a long wait for our luggage, we made our way to the hotel where we had breakfast, freshened up before heading out for our first sightseeing experience of the city. Our tour guide for the week goes by the name of Hakan. What a great, knowledgeable guy. I knew Turkey was a very historical city, but I didn’t know to this extent. Hakan’s stories of the city were both useful, and very informative. We got to see the Blue Mosque, before heading off to enjoy a traditional lunch and then we made our way into Sophia Hagia (Aya Sofya), which is absolutely incredible. My grandfather always says how the builders of today aren’t as thorough and pedantic as they used to be, but this is on a whole other level. The vision these people had way back when was something quite special. While their ways and means of building might be questionable, the fact that such beautiful structures exist is actually quite ‘divine’. After that we went through to Topkapi Imperial Palace, which was great but packed. It’s still high season over there, so you can expect to stand in queues to see some of the more historical artefacts. The queue moves, but because this was a quick trip, a few of us decided to venture around and explore some of the other areas of the Palace. We then took some time out to enjoy an ice cream overlooking the Bosphorus. Plus we got to see the different levels of selfie-taking, from models to wannabes, try-hards, monopods and the “HUH? Are you for real?” I’m telling you there’s a TV show just waiting to be made for people watching and watchers ;)

On Thursday we got to meet the team from Turkish Airlines at their headquarters. It was there that we also got to enjoy a traditional Turkish coffee with the CEO of the airline. What a nice man and I say this with the utmost respect. It’s not often the CEO of the top airline in Europe makes time for you, engages with you and shares some of his successes and future plans for the airline with you – and to do so in such a humble manner. He wanted to know about our experience with the airline and suggested that we call him (yes, he gave us his number) for occasions when there is something wrong or if we had any feedback for him and the team. One of the many wise things he said, “We are not the best airline, but we have a heart,” and how true is that?

 

Our meeting with Temel Kotil was followed by a tour and a demo of the flight simulators. It’s actually scary how real it is in there. Check out this little video to catch a glimpse:

And then we got to enjoy a ‘business class’ lunch at Do&Co, which is the official catering service for Turkish Airlines, as well as many other big brands in the market. You can understand why people fly business class and why the airline has won several awards for its ground and in-flight services. It makes me want to travel business class – one day when I’m big ;)

On Friday, we hopped on board a ferry, where we enjoyed a tour of the Bosphorus. It’s interesting to note that one side of the Bosphorus is Europe and the other is Asia… So I straddled two continents on that day. Weird, but in a nerdy kind of way cool too. I was a little worried about my ‘sea legs’ but I handled it well and coped just perfectly. So if you’re worried about that, don’t be. You’ll be just fine. It’s also a great, alternative way to see the city, but don’t expect to wonders from the on-board city information. It’s not clear, but Hakan was with us so that helped. After that, we headed off to the Grand Bizarre… epic. We didn’t have nearly enough time, so I’m pretty sure I lost out on good deals. In fact, I probably got screwed over, but hey I put it down to experience really. If you’re heading to the Grand Bizarre, you should give yourself at least half a day, if not more. There are so many stores and if you’re looking to find the best deal, you will need time. If you want traditional Turkish delight, then you’ll definitely find some there. Trust me I smashed a lot of tasters in my face, nom, nom. Unfortunately we couldn’t stay long because we had to make our way to the airport and peak hour traffic was looming, but when I go back, I’m definitely heading straight there. There are so many places many of you recommended I go and see, but timing didn’t allow it, so it really is just an excuse to go back.

 

I’m doing a fair amount of traveling at the moment and one of the deal breakers for me is the visa situation. I was lucky enough to get a 10-year visa for both the USA and Canada, which is extremely helpful, but for me Europe is a giant pain. They only give you a visa for the amount of time you’re in the country, and it’s really expensive for us South Africans to constantly pay the visa fees. The same applies to the UAE (I tried with Emirates and Dubai but apparently I’m not eligible for their complimentary visa). Turkey isn’t like that. I applied for my visa online and within ten minutes it was in my possession. I didn’t have to pay either, which is such a bonus. So if you’re looking at flying Turkish Airlines, take note of this. If your layover is long enough, the airline offer a free city tour, valued at 100 Euros. #WINNING! Plus, if your budget allows, do yourselves a favour and try and get into the CIP Lounge. What an incredible experience. From showering to delicious food, drinks, coffee and water on tap; a movie theatre to enjoy some music concerts, it’s just the bomb. Some of my colleagues encountered some rude staff there, but I didn’t so my experienced was nothing short of amazing. How does one ever travel normal again? Click here for my Instagram video… a taster of what you can expect. My trip to NYC via Dubai is going to be very, very, very long… No special treatment with the Emirates folks sadly, such is life.

 

***** Thank you to Turkish Airlines for making this trip possible*****

 

#BBAfrica will return on October 5

Big Brother 9 Hotshots logo
Last week producers of Big Brother Africa were unfortunately forced to push back the launch of the new season, following a fire on the premises where Africa’s most watched house was set to be staged. But because this is the biggest show on television and the demand for a new season is so high, the teams have been frantically working around the clock to find a new venue to stage the reality show. The good news that is all sorted out and the show is set to kick off on the 5th of October at 19:00. Check out the full statement below:
M-Net and Endemol SA are delighted to confirm that a new Big Brother house has been found in Johannesburg, South Africa following the devastating fire that demolished the original house on 2 September. The search was concluded after exploring all possible options both locally and internationally, for a suitable venue to produce the 9th season of Africa’s biggest reality show.
 
M-Net and Endemol SA are pleased to announce that Big Brother Hotshots will officially launch on Sunday 5 October 2014 at 19:00 CAT. As they countdown to the launch, fans across the continent can look forward to some pleasant surprises in true Biggie fashion.
 
The producers wish to thank fans far and wide for all the patience and continuous support over the past few days.
 
For more information, follow the action in the lead-up to the Premiere on social media by following @BigBroAfrica, liking facebook.com/BigBrotherAfrica or go to the official website at www.bigbrotherafrica.com
 

 

Goodbye to my twenties, hello to my thirties!

Today I officially leave my twenties and I get acquainted with being 30. Obviously I’m not the only one who has ever experienced this, but I’ll share my feelings anyway. 30… Excuse my French, but what the actual fuck? When did this happen? How did it happen so quickly? I got a message from a friend from school, a mate I’ve known for a good fifteen years. He said it feels like just the other day when we were sitting on the matric bricks at King Edward VII, chatting about getting our drivers licenses, the chicks we were interested in and what we were going to do with our lives. That was twelve years ago. Now, here I sit, in my 7-4 job looking back and moving forward. Here are some of the significant moments I experienced and people I met/ lost in my twenties – and I’m sharing because I choose to do so :)

  • I got my Bachelor of Journalism from Rhodes University. I specialized in TV; got the campus radio experience I wanted to and found some of the best friends a person can ever ask for while I was there.
  • I lived and worked in one of the most amazing little resort towns in the world, Aspen Colorado. It was incredible. I met some amazing people and I got to visit the city I’ve always wanted to, on my terms and with my budget. A massive achievement. I’m heading back to NYC next week, again on my own terms J
  • I was one of the founding members of the first online converged newsroom in the country… My first job. Ray Hartley and Carly Ritz, I’ll forever be grateful to you for this opportunity. Many people told me I couldn’t sustain a career in entertainment. Eight years on and I’m still doing it, integrity in tact and all. Suck on that haters.
  • On that tip, I’ve been afforded the opportunity to meet and interview some amazing people. Morgan Freeman, Annie Lennox, Keri Hilson, Gerard Butler, John Legend, Lira, Jeannie D, Claire Johnston, Hugh Masekela, Mi Casa and many others. Such wisdom, so down to earth. Many of whom have been supportive of my craft, my vision so thank you.
  • I’ve met some amazing people in the industry too and I can’t mention them all. I do you need to say thank you to a few of them though. Natasha, right from the moment I stepped into this industry you’ve been supportive and willing to work with me. From giving vegetarian Joss Stone (my first international celebrity interview) biltong, to stopping smoking; you moving to Cape Town and us still being tight, we’ve come a long way. You rock. Dionne, Dee… You are such a special and amazing friend, colleague, mentor to me. Working with you throughout the last eight years has been so fulfilling. I’ve learned so much from you and Benj and I’m forever grateful to you for your advice, patience and support. Love you long time. Laurice, you’ve been amazing to me too. When we left The Times, I was pretty uncertain about what was to come, but you gave me an opportunity to work on such a groundbreaking project and for that I will always be truly grateful. I look forward to working on many, many more exciting projects with you.
  • I’ve traveled to places I never thought I would; Brazil, Dubai, Turkey, Nigeria, Zambia, Ibiza and many more. It’s a real blessing to be able to travel, see the world, experience different cultures and I’ve learned a lot about myself in the process. I’m very stoked I get to do that. Tips to you all – do it. Get on a plane in your twenties, rough it out… see the world. You don’t need luxury, you need the experience and that’s something I will take from my twenties.
  • I lost two very special people to me in my twenties. My uncle and my gran. My gran was ill for a long time, and so we had time to prepare for her death. It doesn’t make it any easier though. My uncle died very unexpectedly and that honestly was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal/ still dealing with. It has almost been four years, but not a day goes by that I don’t think about him and the impact he had on my life. His legacy lives on and whenever I’m uncertain of something, I think about the way he lived his life to the fullest and I’m reminded how important it is to do that. I’m not a risk taker, but I’m definitely feeling like I need to focus on me more and that will be the biggest focal point for me in my thirties. There’s only so much giving you can do before you need to take and receive. I’m ready for the latter. To Bevan and gran, I love and miss you everyday.
  • I changed my lifestyle and became a lot more involved in outdoor activities again. I’m officially a triathlete, a runner, a long distance swimmer and a dabbler in cycling. I’m a Futurelife lifestyle ambassador, I have a certificate in nutrition and I look forward to what is next in this new and exciting adventure of mine. It’s the future, watch!
  • One of the most significant moments happened only two weeks ago. I was having dinner and drinks with my dear friends, Sim and John. We were talking about random stuff and then out of the blue, they asked me to be a Godfather to their beautiful daughter Ava Grace. She is one of the most gorgeous, special little beings I know and her little personality is developing so nicely. It’s an honour to be even considered, let alone trusted to play such a significant role in this little being’s life. I love all three of them and I’m very honoured!
  • My family and friends are my rocks. My circle of friends has decreased in the last few years and that’s not a bad thing. You keep those nearest and dearest to you and I’m happy with the company I choose to keep. No offence to the rest. You’ll always be a part of my story, but we move on and we move forward. I wish you the best! To my mom; my best friend and confidant, I love you to the moon and back. You’re always there for me, no matter what and I wouldn’t be who I am today without your love and support.

 

To my future, I look forward to sharing more milestones, life experiences and fond memories with you. I look forward to more travel, more adventure, love, health, wealth, triathlons (I’m obsessed) and hopefully mini VBs. Cheers to my twenties, hello to my thirties.

Apple launches “One More Thing”

Well hello Apple Watch… Welcome to the world. I can see you’re going to be very popular and all us fitness freaks are going to embrace you, welcome you with open arms! Can 2015 just hurry up already? I need this in my life:

The watch is able to:

- Receive calls and texts:

- Gives you access to your iTunes library

- View photos

- Monitor your heart rate

- Set fitness goals

To name a view… Ponders, sighs – #DearSanta

 

 

Kim Kardashian snaps selfies during #icebucketchallenge

Kim Kardashian West rose to the occasion and took on the ALS ice bucket challenge live on the Ellen DeGeneres show this week. Naturally the star squealed through it, but the phone was on hand as she snapped selfies of the experience. Good sport, well done Kimmy!

Get in shape with SSISA and Futurelife

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In case you haven’t realized, the weather is warming up, the sun is coming up sooner and setting later and the vibe is just getting a whole lot more jovial. Why? Well, because summer is around the corner, which is never a bad thing. I’ve noticed a lot of frantic people, hitting the gyms at this stage because they have the “I must get my body back in shape”. You might be one of them who has enjoyed the comforts of the couch with carbs on the cold nights, but now it’s time to change that routine and get yourself summer ready.

 

So here’s something I feel a lot of you might be interested in. The Sports Science Institute of South Africa, together with Futurelife High Protein Smart Food presents Boot Camp. If you’re in Cape Town, you might have already ‘witnessed the fitness’ but now SSISA and Futurelife are bringing Jozi residents boot camp too. The programme runs for four weeks at a time. What makes it different to other boot camps?

 

- It’s fun-filled outdoor training that works the body, mind and spirit.

- It is geared towards the currently active, who are looking for new ways to challenge themselves physically, whilst enjoying exercise in beautiful natural settings.

- Participants undergo comprehensive health and fitness assessments – informing them of their health and fitness at the start.

- The three weekly boot camps are run by biokineticists, so members are in safe and professional hands.

 

Boot Camp in Johannesburg and Pretoria kicks off this month, with two other runs in October and November thereafter. Dates as follows:

8 September – 3 October

13 October – 7 November

10 November – 5 December

For more information call (021) 659 5600 or email fit@ssisa.com

And here’s something pretty cool about this whole thing… I have one spot to either the Jozi or Pretoria Boot Camps to give away. Do you want to witness the fitness, get in shape and have a jol while doing so? Then all you need to do is either tweet me (@JasonVonBerg) or leave a comment below and tell me who is bringing this Boot Camp to you? Simple ne? Get involved, get fit and let’s train.

NOTE: This is only open to Gauteng residents. The decision is final and the prize cannot be redeemed for cash.

 

 

 

 

Nicole Scherzinger is On The Rocks in her new video

Nicole Scherzinger is gearing up to release her new album. The first single off the new record is called Your Love. It has been viewed over 20million times and the uptempo, pop number has charted relatively well globally. Now the new single is out and the video sees the former Pussycat Dolls lead bearing her soul in the video. It’s a powerful track and one that she hopes will inspire. I say this because I’ve just wrapped up an interview with the star, who is out in South Africa to headline ANN 7’s South African of The Year awards tonight. I’ll have more on that interview in the new week – we chatted music, her visit to the country and more. Time well spent with a wise, warm and forthcoming Scherzinger. More to follow, but for now check out the video below:

Joan Rivers dead at 81

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Legendary comedienne, Joan Rivers has died. The Fashion Police host was 81. Her daughter Melissa released a statement earlier, confirming the news.”It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother. She passed peacefully at 1:17pm surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother.

She added, “Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support, and prayers we have received from around the world. They have been heard and appreciated. My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.

Rivers went in for a routine throat operation last week, but suffered from complications following the surgery on the 28th. One of the funniest, raw, rude and crass people on television she was but always made us laugh. Joan, go on to the next adventure and cause havoc and make people laugh wherever you are now. RIP!

Update: Joan’s co-host on E! Entertainment’s Fashion Police, Giuliana Rancic released this statement following the death of The hilarious Joan:

“It is almost impossible to describe how much I adored Joan and how much she has meant to me.
She was not only the funniest woman I have ever met but was incredibly loving, honest, and lived her life with no regrets. Working with her for the last 13 years has been one of the true joys of my life. She could put a smile on your face, instantly, no matter how hard your day was. My heart goes out to Melissa and Cooper who have lost something that can never be replaced. Their bond was truly one-of-a-kind. They had the greatest mother and grandmother anyone could ever hope for. My life is so much fuller and happier because I got to share it with this beautiful person, a true genius. I woke up today unable to grasp what the world will be like without her and at the same time feel so privileged to have called her my friend. “

Kelly Osbourne releases statement:

“I’m completely heartbroken by the loss of my beloved Joan. Not only was she my boss, she was and will always be my teacher, therapist, closest friend, inspiration and the only grandmother I ever knew. She was family and I will never forget her. Laughter will be difficult for a while but when I’m sad, lonely or upset all I will have to do is think of Joan and a smile will cross my face. Laughter is what she gave us and laughter is what she would want us to do in remembrance of her. Melissa and Cooper, my thoughts are with you and I love you both so much. Joan, thank you for taking me in and loving me as a daughter. I will miss you deeply and will always hear your voice in my head saying ‘my darling get out there and be you!’