Celeb story of the year

1. Lebo Mathosa

We became a nation in mourning when our queen of music died in a car accident in 2006. She’ll be missed for her outrageous style and lesbian-diva attitude. Struck down in her prime, few would argue that she still had much to give – or that her best still lay ahead. The absence of Lebo’s talent, personality, energy and exuberance will leave a void in the South African music industry that won’t easily be filled.

2. Britney Spears

From the princess of pop to tabloid laughing-stock, she certainly entertained us in 2006. Whether it was driving with her baby in the front seat or wearing a see-through dress to her mother’s birthday, she never failed to grab the headlines. Then, after producing two offspring, Britney’s ‘chaotic’ marriage to Kevin Federline finally collapsed amid a frenzy of tabloid headlines. She emerged from the relationship to further global amusement thanks to her drunken panty-free night-time exploits.

3. Kylie Minogue

Kylie’s triumphant return to the stage late in 2006 following a long and intensive treatment for breast cancer is the stuff of celebrity legend. In complete contrast to Britney’s trashy headlines, Kylie’s seen through these hard times with dignity, poise and style.

4. Brett Goldin

Young local actor Brett Goldin had everything going for him until he – along with fashion designer friend Richard Bloom – became another crime statistic. Hijacked and then brutally murdered in Cape Town, Brett was one of the gay community’s brightest rising stars. He will be missed.

5. Brad and Angelina

This strangely bland – but intriguing – couple was without a doubt the most talked about star duo of the year. We were fascinated by the drama leading up to Angelina giving birth to baby Shiloh in Namibia and the couple’s continued jetting around the world to aid good causes. Will 2007 finally see them tie the knot?

Sexiest celebs of the year

1. Stefan Ludik

You voted him as South Africa’s sexiest man in Mambaonline’s poll in October. The soap-star and singer gracefully accepted the honour saying that, “It’s very cool. It’s flattering and I enjoy the attention. It’s nice to get recognition for what you’re doing and it’s even more flattering to be seen as ‘the sexiest man’.” He added that, “I have a lot of friends who are gay and they have great taste in everything. So to be chosen by the gay community… That’s a real compliment!”

2. Jake Gyllenhaal

He’s our favourite fantasy Hollywood cowboy; tough but sensitive, beautiful but masculine. His insistence on regularly cycling in spandex in his free time, and hanging out with Matthew McConaughey and Lance Armstrong certainly didn’t diminish him in our eyes.

3. Ryk Neethling

Where does he find the time to swim? This hunky South African Olympic swimming champ verges on being overexposed thanks to his apparently never-ending endorsement deals, but we can’t refute the fact that he’s got one of the most impressive physiques in the public domain. Drool.

4. Wentworth Miller

An unknown doing time as a featured extra in Mariah Carey music videos, the TV series Prison Break catapulted Wentworth Miller into stardom. The subject of one of our most read feature articles in 2006, he’s neither particularly buff, nor extraordinary beautiful, but there’s something about the man that makes us swoon.

5. Daniel Craig in Casino Royale

It’s been a long time since we thought James Bond could be sexy. Thankfully, Daniel Craig has ‘brought sexy back’ to the spy franchise thanks to his chiselled features and charismatic masculinity. And did we mention that body? He’s said that he’s open to doing a man-on-man love scene in a Bond movie; now if he can only convince the film’s producers….

Most Annoying ‘thing’ of the Year

1. TV / Radio ads with stereotypical gays

Whether it’s the Polka television ad or that grating tree-felling service radio spot, we’re annoyed by the increasing use of lisping, whining gay stereotypes in South African advertising. Apart from the much lauded Nedbank Home Loan TV campaign, the only airtime we seem to get in advertising is as ‘humorous’ clowns. We don’t get the joke.

2. Britney Spears

She may have made for interesting reading thanks to her trashy antics, but really, how much can we take of Brit’s self-destructive behaviour? There’s nothing more annoying than a poor little rich girl. Get a grip sister! At least Paris has good taste in clothes…

3. Survivor South Africa

After all the hype, Survivor SA turned out to be another tedious exercise in attempting to replicate the success of an imported television franchise. M-Net’s apparent inability to understand that “it’s in the casting, stupid”, means that it’ll probably continue to churn out more reality shows replete with bland and uninspiring contestants in 2007. Change the channel already!

4. Nataniël’s airbrushed pictures

There’s little doubt that Hollywood stars say a little prayer to the inventors of Photoshop – the graphics programme most often used to ‘airbrush’ pictures – on a daily basis, but we suspect that Nataniël actually worships at a personal shrine. A touch-up here-and-there is understandable, but in his publicity pictures and recent magazine covers, the singer looks like an alien. So determined does he seem to control his image, he no longer even looks like himself in these photos. Dude, you’re not fooling anyone.

5. My Humps by the Black Eyed Peas / Hips Don’t Lie by Shakira and Wyclef Jean

The success of these so-called songs is a testament to the power of ‘rotation’ on radio and music television. It really seems that if you play a song enough times in a day, people will eventually take to it. Featuring nonsensical lyrics, no structure whatsoever, and annoying breathy, supposedly-sexy, vocals, these meaningless aural doodles were – incomprehensibly – massive hits around the world. What’s wrong with you people?

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