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Interview: Sade Giliberti

2010-05-21 13:57

Q: Please pronounce your name for us.
A: Sade, like the singer.

Q: And your surname?
A: Giliberti (Jil-i-bear-ti).
Q. So it's 'J', not 'G'?
A: Yes,' J', like jelly.

Q: Thanks for clearing that up. About So You Think You Can Dance, do you think it's come back for a second season due to its popularity? 
A: I'm hoping that is the reason it's come back. It's a great way to introduce the show to a local market, because we do screen the international version on DStv. But I think the first season did really really well, and I'm hoping the second season is bigger and better than ever.

Q: Do you think South Africa has particularly good dancers?
A: I really do, I just think that they are too afraid to come forward; you know what I'm saying? There's a lot of talent here, but it's hidden very well.

Q: What is your favourite dance style?
A: Hip-hop and contemporary. To me, hip-hop looks fun. You want to get up and do the same moves.

Q: Can you dance?
A: (Laughs) I'm one of the people who think they can dance.

Q: Have you ever danced?
A: Yes, as a kid I used to do ballet and modern dancing, until just before high school.

Q: How does presenting a show like SYTYCD differ from presenting Yo-TV?
A: It's very different; a totally different market. The difference is in the way you compose yourself. On Yo-TV you're allowed to be fun, crazy, wild and full of life, but on SYTYCD it's all the same aspects of presenting, but in a more sophisticated style.

Q: So you had to reign yourself in for SYTYCD?
A: Uh, ja, well on Yo-TV I had done many game shows which required me to be a little more sophisticated than anything else, so it wasn't hard for me to go from that style of presenting into the next. The hard part for me was changing my look completely and coming onto stage in a dress and long hair and long nails.

Q: Yes, that is quite different for you. For the show, do you have to cover your many tattoos with makeup?
A: You know, when we first did the show last year, they were a bit worried about the tattoo on my forearm, and they wanted to cover it up, but realised that it would actually look worse if they did because the makeup wasn't up to scratch. In the end, that tattoo on my forearm became more famous than I was! [People] were phoning in to find out what it was, taking photos to find out what it was. (It's an Om or AUM symbol, meaning inner enlightenment). So I don't need to [cover my tattoos]. In a way, they like the edginess to that sophisticated cocktail look, and if you look carefully, you'll see a tattoo or two.

Q: Tell us about your very first tattoo.
A: My very first tattoo was on the right hand side of my lower back. It's the Eye of Horus, an Egyptian eye. I got it when I was 16 years old, and for me personally, it's an eye that watches over my back.

Q: You've presented a reality TV show, you've been on one... why do you think reality TV is so popular?
A: People like reality TV because it's real. To a certain degree, with most reality shows, nothing is scripted. It's a real person, giving their real emotions, doing their real thing. With SYTYCD, it's about real dancers trying to become better, and to prove to you that they're amazing dancers. People like to see real life.

Q: So, do you think viewers got to see the real you on Survivor?
A: It was completely me to the tee. The kind of person who is loyal and honest, and doesn't want to stab anybody in the back. I am a little bit of a tough cookie; I have a soft side. It pretty much was me, expect I'm not really that dark in real life. That tan was insane! I didn't even know I could go that dark.

Q: Staying with Survivor, do you have a comment on fellow castaway JubJub?
A: It's better to play it safe and say that I don't have a comment on JubJub. It's just all very sad. He's a young, talented guy, he can do so much more and he could have gone so much further in his life, and all these little scandals around him are quite sad.

Q: Sad, indeed. Okay, back to SYTYCD. Who makes better dancers – girls or guys?
A: Oi... At the end of the day it's about the dancer and not whether they are male or female, but... I'm more impressed by male dancers than I am by female dancers.

Q: Do you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend?
A: No, I'm very single. Very single.

Q: What qualities do you look for in a partner? Should they be able to dance?
A: If I want to go to a club and get boogeying on the dancefloor, then yes, my partner should be able to dance. No left feet, because it completely throws me off. It's important to me that you want to know the real Sade, not the Sade that's on TV.

Q: What's next for you after SYTYCD?
A: I can't tell you because I'm going to ruin the surprise, but look out for it on TV at the same time as SYTYCD.

Catch Sade at the So You Think You Can Dance auditions in Cape Town on Sunday 23 May at the Waterfront Theatre School in Cape Town. Want to audition? Here are the details.

So You Think You Can Dance is back on SABC 1 on 17 July.

We chatted to the dynamic host of So You Think You Can Dance, which is back on SABC 1 in July.

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