Getting that big break you’ve always dreamt of in the entertainment industry can be a long and tedious process. You can go for audition after audition, only to find out that you didn’t make the cut… again. However, with reality series Ster-Status presented by Apprentesses, S2 starts on Tuesday, 27 October on VIA (DStv 147) at 18:00, you can “shortcut” the struggles by improving your skills before the auditions. The series focuses on preparing young women for a life in the limelight by introducing them to the entertainment industry through workshops, training sessions and various other events.

As former US First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” And according to celebrity trainer and one of the 12 judges, David Konrad, “This is what we try to achieve with this series. Making dreams come true.” Joining David are fashionista Ruth Bronn and Ace Models International owner Natasha Menino-Costa to name a few.

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Host with the most

Safety sales manager from Pretoria, Jaenette Jacobs, was crowned S1 winner of this women’s empowerment initiative series, and she is now the presenter of S2. She follows in the footsteps of 2018 Apprentesses SA winner Luré Delport, who hosted Ster-Status S1.

“A dream is a picture of a possibility. We should have a strong heart and a prepared mind to turn that into reality. You fall, get up, make mistakes and learn from them. Be human and be you,” says Jaenette about what she has learnt from the reality show.

Tarien Cronjé, founding member and executive director of Apprentesses SA, adds, “Being part of this journey was extremely humbling for me. One thing that will stay with me and that I took from these girls, is that everyone has a story. Listening to each girl’s story, getting to know them better and discovering what drives them, often brought tears to our eyes.”

The winner of each season walks away with loads of prizes, which includes local and international travel (COVID restrictions may apply), skincare products for a year, fashion discounts and sponsored fashion wear, spa treatments for a year, and the chance to appear on television (outside of Ster-Status).

The competition

S2 was flooded with entries following the success of S1 in 2019, with each contestant being required to motivate why they need that foot in the entertainment door. “We narrowed the entries down to a total of 80 ladies,” says Jaenette, revealing that the contestants were immediately put through their spotlight paces. “They are grilled as models on the catwalk and their fashion sense. They have to perform for the fashion cameras because they will be in front of photographers a lot.”

Lessons in media etiquette is a must because as a celebrity, you are in the public eye and social media makes interviews on the go a very real possibility. “The judges test them with interview skills. They want to evaluate how these women answer questions on the spot that the media can and will ask,” says Jaenette. “They also look at body language in front of the cameras, as that is an important part of being someone in the entertainment industry.”

An addition to S2 is social media personalities. “We live in an age where social media plays an important part in propelling your brand and you as a personality,” explains Jaenette. “David is a master when it comes to online social platforms, so he is charged with giving the 80 contestants their intense digital training that includes creating (new) social media profiles for themselves and boosting their profile accounts with their newly acquired skills. Believe me, there were ladies who were novice social media users and they really surprised us with what they achieved.”

The new challenge

Making things more interesting in S2 are the drama classes hosted by the panel of judges. “The ladies are given scripts to read and show the judges how they get into a character. They are also shown what happens behind the screens of a TV production. Camera work, script-writing, wardrobe and make-up,” explains Jaenette. And there is a good reason for this. “After each challenge, someone is sent home. At the end of the process, you have 12 women. These 12 then have to come up with a concept for a short movie, and then they must film the movie themselves. We are on hand when it gets to the technical part of the filming process.” The short films are then going to be sent to the Silwerskermfees next year in Cape Town.

A star is born

Since winning S1, Jaenette says that her life has made a complete U-turn. “I’ve been asked to appear at various red-carpet and fundraiser events, and I was a guest presenter for Die Pappa Chef Show on the Afrikaans streaming service,” says Jaenette. She also appeared in musician Ricus Nel music video Boerepompie (2019), and as a dancer in singer Snotkop’s music video Pens En Pootjies (2019).

If there is one tip Jaenette will share with S2’s 80 ladies, it’s to be themselves. “Do not try to be something you are not in front of the cameras, because your true colours come shining through quite easy. Just be yourself.”

Watch Ster-Status S2, from Tuesday, 27 October on VIA (DStv 147) at 18:00 or on Catch Up

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