Anele Mdoda on The Voice SA. Picture: Instagram
Anele Mdoda on The Voice SA. Picture: Instagram

Spotlight on the best and worst presenters

By Debashine Thangevelo Time of article published Nov 19, 2020

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When looking at the reality TV landscape, some hosts stood out for the right reasons while others were pretty darn awful.


Best: Nico Panagio (seasons 3 - present)

Nico Panagio. Picture: Twitter

Blessed with the looks of a Greek God, Nico Panagio (full name Nicolaos Panagiotopoulos) is best remembered for his role on SABC2’s “7de Laan”.

And he’s in his element as a presenter. He oozes charm and confidence. He’s also an affable person with a great sense of wit.

Worst: Mark Bayly (seasons 1 - 2)

Survivor SA presenter Mark Bayly. Picture: Instagram

When you meet him in person, Mark Bayly is an easygoing and a really lovely person.

And he certainly ticks the box in the looks department with his chiselled features.

But he didn’t work for the show. And it’s not because of the format, he hosted “All Access as well”.

He was just very wooden and dry in front of the camera. Every frame with him felt stilted.

Unfortunately, his affable traits did not come through when the camera is on.


Best: ProVerb (seasons 7 - present)

ProVerb. Picture: Supplied

Interestingly enough, ProVerb (real name Tebogo Thekiso) bagged the hosting gig on the back of him being a contestant in season three of “Survivor South Africa: Santa Carolina”.

If anything, ProVerb rubbishes the cliché, “Nice guys finish last!”

He has a warm and infectious personality. He is charming, too. And the camera loves him.

There is nothing forced about him. And his humility makes him even more endearing.

This break on “Idols SA” didn’t only open more doors for him, it was his anchor as he continued to grow in his career.

Worst: Liezel van der Westhuizen (season 5)

Liezel van der Westhuizen. Picture: Richard Keppel Smith

Anyone who has met her walks away as a fan. The leggy Liezel Van der Westhuizen has beauty and brains. It was probably why she was chosen to be the face of the fifth season.

But she was just awful. I remember critics slating her frequently for another awful episode.

She was awkward in front of the camera. Her ’faux pas’ while presenting the show live, were too many to ignore. The stylist didn’t do her any favours either. Her hairdo and outfits were so outrageous, it yelled at the camera.

As I said, she is a genuinely wonderful person. But presenting, especially a show like “Idols SA”, where a dynamic personality is your compass, just wasn’t for her.


Best: Anele Mdoda (seasons 3 - present)

This radio and TV personality is unstoppable. In fact, I think Anele has the energy of 10 people rolled into one. She’s loud, funny, cheeky and a ball of fun on stage.

And she’s mastered the art of presenting, where you have someone constantly talking to her through an earpiece while reading your lines as well as ad-libbing where needed, is par for the course. And she does so with a smile on her face.

Worst: Stacey Norman (seasons 1 - 2)

Lungile Radu with Stacey Norman. Picture: Supplied

Honestly, I held out so much hope when the announcement of Stacey Norman joining Lungile Radu as the host of “The Voice SA”, was made.

I thought she would be great given her live-wire personality. She had the looks, of course.

But whenever I saw her interviewing contestants on the show, I would cringe.

There was no emotional connection whatsoever. I kept holding out hope that it would change.

It didn’t. Sometimes the transition from radio to TV fails. This was a case in point.

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