Friday, January 6, 2017

Andile Ncube to present E! Entertainment's The Search: E! Host South Africa, Terry Pheto judging; while Urban Brew alums show up in the Urban Brew produced show.

Andile Ncube is the presenter of E! Entertainment's new presenter search, The Search: E! Host South Africa that will start in February looking for a South African presenter for the channel while actress Terry Pheto will be the main judge.

Meanwhile several faces who are already known TV presenters and who worked for the production company before - the same production company now doing the show for E! - form part of the 8 contestant group.

Ordinary South Africans were not allowed to enter for the show seeking "up-and-coming talent from across the country".

The Search: E! Host South Africa, produced by Urban Brew for the African channel feed of the NBCUniversal International Networks channel on MultiChoice's DStv pay-TV platform, will start on 1 February at 20:55.

Similar to SABC3's Top Billing Presenter Search and Presenter Search on 3 and Discovery Networks International's TLC's Next Great Presenter, the 8 contestants live together in a mansion and are whittled down through weekly TV tasks to test their television presenting skills.

Raising eyebrows from a production perspective is that several contestants chosen for The Search: E! Host South Africa has previous TV experience with Urban Brew Studios across various of its productions - the company now doing the presenter search show for E! Entertainment (DStv 124).

Included in the 8 contestant group for The Search: E! Host South Africa are ANN7 news reader Abigail Visagie, Hotel Rwanda actress Mosa Kaiser, former SABC1 YO.TV and Mzansi Insider presenter Katleho Sinivasan, Sian Moss, HashtagRadio presenter Juan-Martin Jordt and former SABC1 YO.TV presenter Jessica Tims.

Also included are the TV presenters Danine Naidoo and Ayanda Nhlapo who both presented shows on the [ED] channel on DStv.

The [ED] channel was also produced and packaged until the end of November 2016 by Urban Brew Studios - the same production company now producing The Search: E! Host South Africa that raises interesting conflict of interest and credibility issues.

Besides [ED], YO.TV where Katleho Sinivasan and Jessica Tims had gigs is an Urban Brew produced show; as was SABC1's One Day Leader where Jessica Tims is a presenter.

E! didn't immediately respond to a media enquiry on Friday seeking comment about why people who have been involved with Urban Brew as TV presenters before have been included in this presenter search show done by the same company.

It's likely that The Search: E! Host South Africa in 2017 will probably add fuel to the fiery existing and ongoing #OpenUpTheIndustry debate about why there's a perceived lack of brand-new TV presenter faces in shows on South African screens, with existing presenters constantly being used and re-used again and again.

In late 2016 Colin McLeod, the managing director for UK and emerging markets at NBCUniversal International Networks said The Search: E! Host South Africa will be "a once-in-a-lifetime chance for up-and-coming talent from across the country to pursue this unique opportunity" to represent E! in Africa.

There were no public auditions for South Africans to become contestants in the show, with the 8 who were pre-selected through a casting process according to criteria that according to E! included "presenting experience, pop culture knowledge, and a passion for the E! brand".

Guest judges who will appear in The Search: E! Host South Africa to help choose the best TV presenter include fashion designers like David Tlale and Gert-Johan Coetzee, as well as Mzansi Magic's Idols presenter and co-producer ProVerb and TV and radio presenter Bonang Matheba who will be the first guest judge.

Similar to the other presenter search shows - this being E!'s first South African reality series - cameras will capture the tension and drama among the The Search: E! Host South Africa contestants in the Johannesburg based mansion.

The camera mansion includes a "glam-room" where contestants have their own make-up artists and stylists as they compete against each other to become E!'s presenter face in South Africa.