The hosts of the Grand Finale of Mr Gay World 2012 on 8 April 2012 at The Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City, Johannesburg will be local stars Soli Philander and Cathy Specific, organisers announced. They will be joined on stage by local group African Umoja, and international performers like Ukraine pop star Kamaliya and guest artist Baby M from Japan as well as local stars Terrence Bridgett and aleXander Steyn.
Soli has been bringing his amazing energy to the media industry for the past 3 decades. Soli has presented many TV shows such as ‘Are you smarter than a 5th Grader’, ‘Liriekeraai’ and ‘Let’s Fix it’. Radio is a platform that Soli has worked on extensively and he also writes for various newspapers and magazines. Mention the name Soli Philander to anyone in South Africa and a guaranteed smile will beam across the faces of thousands of people who have a fond memory of when they have seen and heard him on television, radio and in person. He is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s most well known and best loved entertainers.
Soli is also known as 'Taxi Boss' at his independent Radio Station, 'The Taxi' which has also now made the great leap to prime time TV on CTV.
Brendan van Rhyn is a free-lance actor based in Johannesburg and holds a 3-year Musical Theatre Diploma from the Tswane University of Technology (TUT). His alter-ego, the seductively saucy and tantalizingly tempting Cathy Specific, is undoubtedly South Africa’s First Lady of Flying and the country’s favourite flight attendant.
2011 was a busy year for Brendan, alternating between the leading role of Neil Andrew’s in Tree Aan(Naledi nomination for Best Male Performance in a Musical) and the MC extraordinaire for Madame Zingara’sLove Magic and 10 Years of Dreams tours. Brendan is delighted to be continuing his association with this ‘dinner cirque spectacular’ and in their new show, el Milagro, currently playing to packed houses in Johannesburg, Cathy has added two ‘Trolley Dollies’ to assist her in sprinkling the magic that is, Zingara’s.
Cathy Specific has hosted the finals of the Mr Gay South Africa Competition for the last three consecutive years and is very honoured to be hosting the Mr Gay World 2012.
Travelling on the beats of drums, from the dusty streets of Soweto to all the corners of the world’s best and biggest stages, AFRICA UMOJA – The Spirit of Togetherness tells the moving tale of indigenous South African music and dance - from the earliest rhythms to kwaito.
Over 30 countries have embraced the traditional love songs, lullabies and other musical expressions of rural life. The tale dances through shebeens and the cultural melting-pot of Sophiatown. The heart is saddened by cold stories of forced removals yet the feet continue to stomp along with the explosions of gumboot dancing. There are also the reminiscent sounds of the vibrant jazz that forced its way free from the constraints of the times and a thread of gospel music running through the tale recalls the huge helpings of faith and courage. This saw black South Africans through some of the country’s stormiest historical passages.
The 25-piece cast made up from a myriad of South African cultures has a touching story to tell and brings Africa alive for the visitors.
Hot on the heels of a top dance hit, Russian pop super star and previous Mrs World, Kamaliya is back in February with an amazing dance-floor filler ‘Rising Up’, a highly anticipated and beautifully-shot pop video and a string of exclusive UK club performances.
Released 26th February, the singer and Hollywood actress’s 2nd single ‘Rising Up’ is an apocalyptic club anthem with mixes from UK dance ensemble Cahill and US production wizards Soulseekerz - two of the hottest circuit club DJs specializing in dance and house. Anticipating chart success Kamaliya could not be in better hands - Cahill have previously re-worked hits for the likes of Lady Gaga, Cheryl Cole and Mariah Carey and Soulseekerz have worked with Rihanna, Dannii Minogue, Britney Spears and The Noisettes. A follow up to “Crazy in my Heart’, the track is a high-energy, thumping number that showcases her phenomenal voice and looks set to light up the UK clubs and continue her invasion of British dance floors.
BABY M started her career as a model in Japan in 1999. Her father is Japanese and her mother is English. She released several singles from Japanese labels including Universal Music Japan. She has worked with Japan’s top hip-hop stars including DOZ-T, CO-MACHI and Ken the 390. She landed a major deal with the biggest Japanese domestic record label, “AVEX-Rhythm Zone.” She recently released her self-titled album in the Philippines under Universal Records Philippines. It contains collaborations with Diamond Asiansation Christian Bautista and was released in Japan and in the Philippines. Currently, their duet song “Rainy Day” is doing very well on YouTube and was rated as Most Watched Video of the Week.
She took a big step globally being featured on South Africa’s legendary rapper, Mandoza’s album and the only female who has covered the popular African song BHUTI. She was also honoured with the title of “Music Goodwill Ambassador of South Africa.”
Born, bred and educated in Cape Town, Terence Bridgett began on the boards with the Bard. From Shakespeare, he worked his way through the dramas and musicals before being seduced by the lure of the lens.
Since his introduction to both the big and small screens, his channel-hopping antics have earned him the dubious honour of being dubbed by the SA media as 'South Africa's Original Soap Slut'!
He's also managed to avoid most communicable diseases, but pick up a couple of awards along the way, including an Avanti, a SAFTA , an ATKV Mediaveertjie, and was voted by the public as 'South Africa's Favourite Actor' for 2010.
He's recently added Television Producer to his... erm ... toolbox with his company Fanagalo Films. His travel show 'Rough or Smooth - How do you like it?' with partner Paul du Toit, currently screening in SA, will soon be making its international debut.
Local entertainer Xander Steyn is a dancer, singer and actor well-known in musical theatre, most recently as Rocky in the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Barnyard Theatres and as a soldier in the popular Tree Aan. He has also been seen in Fiddler on the Roof, Peter Pan and Snow White on stage and on TV in Generations and Thabang Thabong. To his LGBTI fans he is of course better known as Deputy Mr Gay South Africa 2011.
THE CHORUS LINE:
The chorus line to these amazing acts is formed by an array of stars in their own right: six brand new Lexus vehicles which will welcome guests to the entrance of Gold Reef City Casino on their way to the theatre. McCarthy Lexus Midrand and Lynnwood is the main partner and official vehicle sponsor of Mr Gay World 2012.
SCRIPT WRITER: WIM VORSTER
DIRECTOR: KOSIE SMIT, KOSIE HOUSE OF THEATRE
JUDGING CRITERIA: http://www.mrgayworld.org/index.php/mr-gay-world-2012/scoring-template-and-criteria
MR GAY WORLD:
The mission of Mr. Gay World (MGW) is to advance national and international gay rights through education and public performance. MGW creates authentic leaders who will take responsibility, not only in his own community but on a global stage, speaking out for equal rights by inspiring those around him. MGW is a genuine and positive role model that will champion equality and diversity in society and the media both gay and mainstream.
Twenty five nations have been accepted to participate namely Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong (China), Ireland, Mexico, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA and Venezuela.
Tickets for the Grand Finale on 8 April at 8 pm at The Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City are available at Computicket booths or any Checkers store and for online bookings see http://online.computicket.com/web/event/mr_gay_world_2012_grand_finale/477720853/referer:-highlights-index-2-0-2012_04_08-grid-