MasterChef SA is cooking

Firstly, I must just say I’m not a foodie. Yeah I eat and I enjoy it, especially in social settings, but I couldn’t be assed to cook. I love watching shows like Come Dine with Me, but that’s more for the personalities rather than the food. I’ve never really gotten into shows like MasterChef (SA, UK or Australia). With that in mind, I’m really enjoying season two of the South Africa edition. It’s shot beautifully and there are people in the competition who (yes it is intended) are hungry to win it. We’re four episodes in and last night we were introduced to the top 16, who will all be heading down to the Nederburg Estate to compete in the MasterChef SA kitchen. Their names and Twitter details are below:

Amanda (30) a recruitment consultant from Johannesburg #MCSA_Amanda
Herman (34) an electrician from Witbank #MCSA_Herman
Jason (22) a graduate from Cape Town #MCSA_Jason
Joani (46) an ex-fashion designer from Durban #MCSA_Joani
Kamini (30) a food blogger and DJ from Cape Town #MCSA_Kamini
Karen (35) a stay-at-home mom from Howick #MCSA_Karen
Khumo (19) a student from Pretoria #MCSA_Khumo
Leandri (23) a scientist from Mahikeng #MCSA_Leandri
Mary (30) a professional dancer from Johannesburg #MCSA_Mary
Neil (40) a communications consultant from Johannesburg #MCSA_Neil
Ozzy (22) a student from Johannesburg #MCSA_Ozzy
Sanet (47) an ex-financial Manager from Boksburg #MCSA_Sanet
Seline (25) a civil engineer from Mahikeng #MCSA_Seline
Shannon (28) a graphic artist from Cape Town #MCSA_Shannon
Tiron (32) a video store clerk from Johannesburg #MCSA_Tiron, and
Tumi (34) a financial analyst from Johannesburg #MCSA_Tumi

Now last night I got to go through to an exclusive MasterChef dinner with a handful of celebrities, bloggers and of course Chef Benny. The tables were turned on the judge, who was now expected to cook for his guests. The guests seemed to be impressed with the charming Benny’s offering. It all worked wonderfully. The setting was great, food and wine paired perfectly and all the guests got to watch the new episode of the show, all why enjoying a good evening with great company. Check out a few pics below.

Anele heading back to 94.7 Highveld Stereo

One of SA’s most loved stars, Anele Mdoda or simply just Anele, is making a move… The 5FM DJ will be leaving the station at the end of March. She’ll be returning to regional station, 94.7 Highveld Stereo as of the beginning of April. The DJ, who kicked off her radio career at Tuks FM during her varsity days, used to host the evening show on the 94.7 with her good friend, Grant Nash a few years ago. The duo then moved to 5FM, where they’ve hosted the 12-3 show ever since.

94.7 made the news official via their Twitter stream earlier saying: “@Anele is coming back to @947Highveld to rev up Afternoon Drive!!! #greatnews

Anele will be hosting the drive time show, which means the current host Mark Pilgrim will be moving on, as will the awesome Bailey Schneider. No word on what their plans are, or what 5FM and Anele’s co-host Grant will do as yet, but the radio shuffle continues…As soon as I have official word, I’ll post it up here. For now, a big congrats to Anele for this achievement, it’s a big deal and I feel she will rise to the challenge.

Note to self, time to get that demo done and polished… again!

Previously on South African Idols

South African Idol is never short on controversy. If it’s not two winners, it’s an early exit of the public’s ‘favourite’. If it’s not fake designer labels being worn on camera, it’s the social networking sites going mad about a seemingly disoriented judge. Oy vey! That’s exactly what happened on Sunday night, when judge Mara Louw was at the centre of this, the latest controversial moment on Idols. Her comments made little to no sense and it got people talking about she looked and acted as if she was “drunk”. 94.7’s Mark Pilgrim said, “Not hard to figure out which SA Idols judge was “drunk as a skunk” 2night! Actually found it entertaining 4 once listening to that person!” Others said, “#idols Mara is more than PATHETIC!!!!!”

“who the hell does #mara think she is? honestly? telling pieter that? ‘you’re the worst of the worst’ #idols #upset”

“@MelBala I think random drug & alcohol tests should be done on #idols judges, and by that I mean Mara “Ms #outofpocket” Louw”

“Can we keep the idols and vote Mara out? #idols”

So to clear up the matter 702’s John Robbie jumped on the bandwagon this morning by interviewing the singer. She told Robbie she was on medication for her broken toe and according to the official statement from M-Net, she consumed an an energy drink with vodka in it “Counteract her exhaustion”. Read the full release below:

“Following rumours about being drunk on set, Idols judge Mara Louw confirmed on 702 and CapeTalk this morning that she had an energy drink with vodka before last week’s show commenced. The drink was consumed on top of strong pain medication she had taken for her broken toe.

Mara explained that she was exhausted as a result of a heavy schedule and drank the energy drink with vodka to counteract her exhaustion. She then apologised to the nation and said that it was “not in her character to do such things.” M-Net accepts Mara’s apology, but is disappointed with her irresponsible behaviour.

M-Net does not allow crew members, cast and presenters, on any set to consume alcohol prior to a show. It is against our code of conduct and could lead to disciplinary action. To reinstate our stance, the Idols cast and crew will officially be informed today that M-Net will not, under any circumstances, tolerate behaviour on set that could tarnish the reputation of the production.

It is a pity that the focus of the show is moving away from where it should be: on the incredibly talented singers who are working hard to become South Africa’s next Idol.

Gareth Cliff then took to his Twitter account replying to Aki Anastasiou of 702 saying, “@AkiAnastasiou Mara can’t claim to be the victim all the time. Adults must take responsibility for their actions. She’s like Paula Abdul”. Low blows flying around all over. Read Gareth’s account of the evening here.

I was chatting to someone earlier and she mentioned to me that she thinks this is a publicity stunt. I’m not so sold on this. Why would someone jeopardize his/ her reputation for the sake of getting the show more ratings? It’s unfortunate that Mara’s tangled in yet another controversial matter on the show. The focus must now shift back to the contestants. Pieter West has my vote… to leave tonight. Am I right? Who do you think will go?