/ 1 February 2016

Entertainment News: ‘Let bygones be bygones’ says Gareth Cliff

Idols judge Gareth Cliff wins battle with M-Net.
Idols judge Gareth Cliff wins battle with M-Net.

Radio host and Idols SA judge Gareth Cliff is ready to bury the hatchet, this after being fired from the M-Net singing competition in January, following a tweet he posted on freedom of speech. Cliff’s tweet, which was linked to estate agent Penny Sparrow’s racist tweet, caused a public outrage. 

He then sued TV channel M-Net for R25-million after losing his job and demanded that he be reinstated as a judge on the TV show.  On January 29 the High Court ordered that Cliff be reinstated as a judge on Idols and for M-Net to pay his legal fees.

“I think the show must go on and my only wish is that all of us in South Africa, me included, have learnt something from this whole episode. It’s never right to hurt people and it’s never right to seem like you don’t care about the huge weight of history and the fact that it carries, for some people, unbelievable pain,” he told reporters on January 30 at the CliffCentral headquarters. 

“In terms of what was right, the text of the tweet stands – people really don’t understand freedom of speech, including me. I do hope that one day M-Net will find it in their hearts to admit their mistakes, like I’ve admitted mine.”  

Idols SA is currently holding auditions across the country and the next stop will be in Pretoria at The State Theatre on February 6.

The Voice SA receives positive reviews

The Voice SA coaches. (The Voice Facebook)

The Voice South Africa debuted on Sunday night on M-Net and was mostly received with positive reviews. The singing competition consists of coaches Karen Zoid, Bobby van Jaarsveld, Lira (bornLerato Molapo) and Kahn Morbee, who each have to pick singers for their teams from blind auditions, based on the contestant’s vocal ability and not physical appearance. 

With The Voice already being a successful brand globally, The Voice SA has a high bar to meet with the talent, coaches and the overall production quality of the show. On paper, coaches Zoid (a rock singer), Van Jaarsveld (Afrikaans pop singer), Lira (afro-soul singer) and Morbee (rock singer) are an odd selection for a show that’s known to have entertaining personalities such as country singer Blake Shelton and Maroon 5’s lead singer Adam Levine. But on screen the SA coaches bring laughter and heart-warming moments to the show.

The talent on the show is quite impressive. There is a mixture of up-and-coming singers and seasoned singers, who are looking for their big break and looking to become The Voice of South Africa. It will be interesting to watch how the different coaches work with artists from opposite genres. 

“We are not trying to replicate who we are. We are not trying to find another version of ourselves,” said Morbee at a press briefing. “We are just trying to find a voice that will connect with South Africa and it doesn’t matter what genres it’s from.” 

The Voice SA will be sure to give singing competition Clash of the Choirs a run for its money on the Sunday 17:30 slot.   

Here are some reactions to the show:

Catch The Voice SA  on Sundays at 17:30 on M-Net (DStv channel 101). 

The SAG award winners

Leonardo Dicaprio. (Reuters)

Spotlight, a drama  about sexual abuse in the Catholic church, landed the top prize on Saturday at the 22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards that also saw black actors score major wins.

The awards, seen as a bellwether of the all-important Academy Awards, were being closely watched as they were taking place amid a controversy over the lack of diversity in this year’s list of Oscar nominees.

Spotlight took the prize for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture, the SAG equivalent of an Oscar.

It bested Beasts of No Nation, a drama about a child soldier, The Big Short, about the sub-prime mortgage crisis, Straight Outta Compton , a biopic about the N.W.A rap group, and Trumbo, about the life of acclaimed screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who was the target of a witch hunt during the McCarthy era.

Idris Elba. (Reuters)

In the acting honours, Leonardo DiCaprio won the best actor award for his portrayal of fur trapper Hugh Glass in the revenge thriller The Revenant . DiCaprio (41), an Oscar favorite for the gritty survival story, beat competition from Bryan Cranston ( Trumbo), Johnny Depp (Black Mass), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs ) and Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl).

In the best actress category, Brie Larson won for Room, in which she plays a kidnapped young woman living in captivity with her son. But perhaps most notable at the star-studded ceremony were the number of black actors honoured as Hollywood reels from a fierce backlash over the lack of diversity in the Oscar nominations.

Idris Elba scooped two awards, one for best supporting actor for Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation, and one for best actor in a TV series for his role as a detective in the British crime drama Luther.

The cast of Orange Is The New Black. (Reuters)

Uzo Aduba took home the award for outstanding actress in a comedy series for her role as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren in Netflix’s prison comedy-drama Orange is the New Black. The TV series also won for the second consecutive year for best comedy ensemble.

Viola Davis meanwhile won best actress for legal drama series How to Get Away With Murder , while Queen Latifah won for outstanding actress in a television movie or miniseries for her role in HBO’s Bessie, a biopic of the blues singer Bessie Smith.

Kanye West regrets going after Wiz Khalifa’s son in Twitter feud

Kanye West. (Reuters)

US hip hop artist Kanye West’s decision to change his upcoming album title from Swish to Waves resulted in an unexpected twar between the Bound 2 star and fellow hip hop artist Wiz Khalifa (born-Cameron Jibril Thomaz). Khalifa accused West on Twitter, of copying Harlem rapper Max B’s “wavy” style and influence for his new album. Max B is currently serving a 75-year sentence from 2009 for his involvement in a botched robbery,  Billboard reported.

Khalifa went on to tweet initials KK, which rubbed West up the wrong way and lead him to tweet a series of below-the-belt insults aimed at Khalifa and then later deleting them.

“Oh n****s must think I’m not petty cause I’m the best that’s ever made music,” West tweeted. “Like, oh that’s Ye and I can put his wife’s initials on my twitter @Wizkhalifa.” 

“Bro first of all you stole your whole shit from Cudi.”

“Second, your first single was corny as fuck and most there after.”

But Khalifa cleared the misunderstanding around the initials KK.

West went on to drag Khalifa’s son Sebastian into the war of words. Khalifa shares two year-old Sebastian with West’s ex-girlfriend Amber Rose, who used to be a stripper. 

West tweeted: “You let a stripper trap you; I know you mad every time you look at your child that this girl got you for 18 years; You wouldn’t have a child if it wasn’t for me; You own waves???? I own your child!!!!” 

West, who is married to reality star Kim Kardashian, has since changed his tune and seems to regret bringing the 2 year-old into the nasty exchange. “God’s dream… Never speak on kids again… all love… all blessings…,” he tweeted. 

Trevor Noah’s $3 million book deal

Trevor Noah. (Reuters)

Comedian Trevor Noah has signed a million dollar deal with publisher Spiegel & Grau, who have a collection of personal essays by Noah, where he details his experience of growing up in South Africa, New York Daily News reported. Noah, who is the host of The Daily Show, often jokes about the challenges and joys of growing up as a biracial child in apartheid South Africa. The book is expected to hit the shelves in November this year. 

In a statement issued by Spiegel & Grau, Noah is quoted saying that he couldn’t find a good book about himself so he decided to write one. The book deal is estimated at $3 million.