Thursday, October 21, 2010

MASSIVE POPSTARS PRESSURE: See what happens when the Popstars contestants come out and the press goes on the attack!

''Just after you've won a place in the new Popstars band on, Popstars judge PJ Powers has now told me that she was in a drunken haze brought on by taking too many painkillers and that she actually chose you, but now regrets her decision of including you in the final Popstars group. She told me she was not herself and made a mistake and that you don't deserve to be a part of Popstars. How do you respond?''

I've done more press conferences in the world of television than what I can count. I also have to say that the brilliant PJ Powers is fine by the way and not on any crazy pills, and I just made that press conference question up, and did it a week before I was first to expose Mara Louw's Idols drunken behaviour brought on by pills, vodka and an energy drink (so questions like this isn't really that far-fetched if you're wondering). It was all with, and for a purpose though.

Recently I slipped away for's Popstars contestants in training, who all spend a day learning about handling the media . . . that would be journalists like me in the white shirt (flanked by my TV writer frenemies like Clayton Morar from TVPlus magazine on my left, and Tashi Tagg from TVSA on my right).

You'll be able to see exactly what happened when the Popstars contestants had to face a barrage of media madness in this Saturday's episode of Popstars at 18:05 on where I'm sure I, and journalists like Clayton Morar (who turned into an incredible, must-see bee-atch) definitely must have traumatized some of the Popstars kiddies. We really - and I mean really  - grilled all of the remaining Popstars contestants like Lyle Volkwyn who had to try and keep calm and collected in the face of a ferocious and attacking press corps.

What happened is that the Popstars producers asked specific TV writers and TV critics in South Africa like me, if we would be willing to assist in mock press conferences to help train the contestants. We were instructed to be really tough on them. So, I have to tell you that if you see me, and my frenemies in action, it really is us, we're just way more hardcore than what we usually are. The way we probed, asked follow-up questions and lunged with questions at the contestants usually happens at only the more sensational, high-drama press conferences after major news just broke.

We did press conferences with several groups of about four Popstars contestants and they were of course judged on how well they respond and cope with the pressure in the spotlight  - especially when its not a friendly press. Just imagine what happened when the one group came in and announced their pop group name as ''Exit''. . .

Afterwards we got the chance to give all the groups advice, tips and some guidance on how to answer questions better, what they should do differently and what journalists want, and how to deal with the insatiable media.

Tune in for this week's Popstars episode on Saturday at 18:05 and see exactly what the contestants were brave enough to do that would really scare a lot of people to death: a full on press conference with  journalists ready to devour their prey with hard-hitting questions! How would you have handled the tough, tough questions I threw at them?