Pearl’s back – with a new friend

CityPress - - News - PHUM­LANI S LANGA phum­lani.sithebe@city­

You would think the fresh­est new star of the US small screen would not have time to head home to South Africa to work. But Pearl Thusi will take a break from her role in the hit US drama se­ries Quan­tico to give lo­cal view­ers an­other se­ries of Lip Sync Bat­tle Africa.

And she will be get­ting a new side­kick. Nigeria’s pop­u­lar TV host, Den­rele Edun, will re­place his megas­tar home­boy, D’banj.

In the pop­u­lar show, two celebri­ties do bat­tle, lip-sync­ing to two songs. The best im­i­ta­tor wins. It’s an idea taken from a seg­ment on pop­u­lar US show The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon that de­vel­oped into a se­ries.

The first sea­son of the African ver­sion, which aired last year, was all the rage right from episode one, which fea­tured rap­per Cassper Ny­ovest drag­ging as Whit­ney Hous­ton and tak­ing on his ex-flame, ac­tress Boity Thulo. She beat him eas­ily.

South Africans un­fa­mil­iar with life north of our bor­der will be won­der­ing who Den­rele is. A fash­ion icon as well as a host, he will be the so-called colour com­men­ta­tor on Lip Sync, giv­ing his lively take on events as they un­fold. And colour is what view­ers will get. “I’m on fire, call 911!” screamed Den­rele when an­swer­ing our call.

No stranger to the mu­sic in­dus­try, he has in­ter­viewed Akon, Bey­oncé, Tyler Perry, Lil’ Kim and even Un­cle Snoop. He was also a con­tes­tant on the show against fel­low TV per­son­al­ity Ebuka. Our hype man nar­rowly lost, de­spite giv­ing in­vig­o­rat­ing per­for­mances of Johnny by Yemi Alade and Jamiro­quai’s clas­sic, Vir­tual In­san­ity. How did he land the gig? “I was called for a screen test. I grabbed my trusty 10-inch gla­di­a­tor heels and headed out,” he said. An hour later, the job was his. “I am elated to be on the show with Pearl. We are go­ing to be M.A.D. – mak­ing a dif­fer­ence – us­ing our tan­dem Afros and swag ... some­thing we Africans got,” he said. And his take on Pearl? “The sexy, de­li­cious diva with the pure nat­u­ral Afro.”

M.A.D. Nigeria’s Den­rele re­places D’banj

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