Thu Jul 24 00:10:49 SAST 2014

Serving up a dish of venom

Nov 26, 2012 | Amanda Ngudle |

COME Dine With Me South Africa is in its second season and it's one of the most riveting shows to have ever hit our television screens.

BON APETITE! Lerato Sengadi, DJ Koula, Harry Sideropoulos and David Kibuuka toast the culinary show

That is if you are into harsh judgment, character assassination and all things unsavoury.

The show follows the fortunes of four individuals who hope to bag R5000 for giving the best dinner party.

It's a BBC concept that will get your stomach rumbling while you learn a thing or two about hosting.

But our local version will leave you with a bitter taste in the mouth.

There seems to be a culture of taking the knives out against every host and people end up spitting out obviously good food to make a point and to spoil things for the host, while poisoning other guests' scoring.

One participant went so far as to plant a worm in his own food and had the nerve to ask his host what it was.

Imagine someone lying on your bed (reviews are shot from the host's bedroom) and speaking ill of your food and your hosting skills.

For entertainment, Capetonian Sebastian Janssens invited a choir to sing a clichéd song and was the first to cry.

Isn't that like laughing at your own joke?

The harder you try to please everyone, the stiffer the judgment against you.

And do not be deceived into thinking the people who dish rubbish up behind their hosts' backs make better hosts themselves.

An opinionated Sakhile Ndaba from Joburg thought he was being cute offering his white guests tripe, but you should've seen the disappointment on the face of his guest Estie Matheus, who almost cried at the encounter.

Then there was Gaopalelwe Masibi from Pretoria who had the audacity to serve mopani worms. I doubt the producers anticipated the hostility of the participants.

It seems to me the idea was to get diverse people to come together and break bread with the possibility of forming sustainable friendships.

Instead, participants vote with their knives and give their hosts scores as little as one out of 10.

Thank God Dave Lamb, the narrator of the show, manages to diffuse the tension with his criminal sense of humour.

Otherwise, the likes of outrageous participant socialite Puleng Mash-Spies would be the obvious object of ridicule for years to come.

ngudlea@sundayworld.co.za or Twitter @amandan777

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