I think Sade Giliberti could have been my best friend. You know, in an alternative universe. We’d be best friends, going to all the cool places, talking to even cooler people and wear the coolest clothes. I grew up watching her and the rest of the gang on YoTV.
I’d run to the bus stop after school so I could get the earliest bus to get home and plonk myself in front of the TV. Sade, Carly, Byron, Mandisa and Selae were my best friends. But that was then.
After being a presenter on SABC 1’s YoTV, Sade took a short break, but soon made it back on to our screens presenting the first two seasons of So You Think You Can Dance. She was, surprisingly, replaced by Sinazo Yolwa for the third season (more on that later), but as fate would have it, she got something better: a spot on MTV’s new lifestyle show MTV Choice.
MTV Choice, which airs on Tuesdays at 8.30pm, is an hour-long show, where Sade and Roxy Burger share the screen with celebrity guests, chat to artists, A-listers and music icons, and run through the top 10 hottest music videos chosen by viewers.
Sade and Roxy are excellent in the show, whether interviewing musicians, having fun at theme parks and tattoo parlours or attending awards shows like the recent MTV EMAs.
Sade, how was Amsterdam?
It was just so unbelievable. The awards were phenomenal. I kept pinching myself. Being on the red carpet, watching the show. It was just beautiful. The one thing for me is just how far we have to go in South Africa before we can put together an awards function of that magnitude, where everything goes so well. It was a slick production and I can’t wait until we can put on something like that here.
What was the most shocking moment for you at the EMAs?
I can’t exactly pinpoint the most shocking moment. For me it was just an amazing experience, the highlight of my year. While there were those moments that were distasteful – I’m side-eyeing Miley Cyrus right now – it was a great awards ceremony.
One of the most amazing things was seeing Eminem performing live a few metres away from me. The whole Miley thing is starting to irritate me, though. She’s just trying too hard.
Speaking of trying too hard, why are artists trying to outshock each other?
I don’t think it is so much artists trying to be more outrageous than the other, it’s more about trying to outperform the other by having the most memorable performance. Like Miley. The thing is that she has a great voice and is a performer but, man, I wish she’d leave the gimmicks out of it. Katy Perry had a great performance without any need to be outrageous.
Is Katy Perry a hypocrite for saying that her fellow pop stars must keep their clothes on?
Totally. She’s contradicting herself. In the Roar video, she wore leaves and a bikini. She was naked on her Teenage Dream album cover. But that said, I totally get where she’s coming from. It’s like people think the fewer clothes I have on, the more album sales I’m going to get. That’s the perception I get. I had an interview with Icona Pop and asked the same question. They said they don’t see why they have to be half-naked to make waves. Their music should speak for them.
Besides, being naked all the time is really so not sexy.
Three months in, how has the MTV Choice journey been?
It’s been an unbelievable experience. It’s honestly a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to be an MTV presenter. They have the most fun. The best thing, too, is working with Roxy, who’s one of my good friends. The chemistry we have on the show is not fake. It’s all real and that’s why we are having such a great time.
Okay let's clear this up: What happened with So You Think You Can Dance?
It’s a decision that SABC 1 made. I was hoping to return for the third season. I assumed I was going to be. The US version has been on air for 12 seasons and the host hasn’t changed. The worst thing is I found out through the grapevine that I had been replaced with someone else. I was told the SABC wanted a black presenter, someone to resonate with the audience of the show. That struck me as very weird since the show got great ratings when I hosted it for two seasons, and I had grown up in front of the SABC 1 viewer. I was on an SABC 1 show for 10 years. It broke my heart – mostly because they hadn’t been professional and they think I’m not relatable to the SABC 1 viewer.
Would you have gone back had they approached you?
Yes, but I’m glad they didn’t because two weeks after finding out about being replaced, MTV came calling. The messed-up thing is that SABC 1 used my MTV job as an excuse for not being available, which is a huge lie. They wrote on their Facebook page that I wasn’t going to be on the show because of MTV Choice. It was rude and unprofessional and I don’t understand why they had to lie about me not being able to return for the show. A simple phone call telling me that they were going in another direction this season would’ve been fine. I would have been sad, but I would have got over it sooner.
I guess you’re having more fun on MTV Choice?
Yes! So much more fun.
Which has been the best experience so far on MTV Choice?
Um, everyday we shoot (laughs). It’s honestly a really awesome show. From the local stars to the international stars we interview. It’s a great show. The EMAs are still like the highlight of my time on MTV Choice.
The craziest person you've met and interviewed for the show?
That’s a tough one. We’ve had quite a few. The Arrows were awesome. We met up with them in Sun City and they were like totally rad. So outgoing and phenomenal musicians. Skunk Anansie were also super-awesome. The DJs are some of our best interviewees. They are fun and know how to let their hair down.
You did Survivor – would you ever enter Strictly Come Dancing?
(Screams) Would I? I don’t know, man, I’m not really a ballroom person. The challenge would be cool, though, but I don’t know. I guess if they ask me I’ll have to think about it. Really hard! - Sunday Independent