The popular Big Brother Africa (BBA) reality show, which last year was known as Amplified, has been rebranded as Stargame with contestants set to play as a pair.

The news comes at a time as the country looks ahead to the auditions starting this Saturday through to March 19 at Ryalls Hotel in Blantyre.

On Saturday, MultiChoice Malawi, in conjunction with other stakeholders, organised a BBA double up party at Chez Ntemba in Blantyre, which was aimed at sensitising fans about the auditions.

MultiChoice Regional Manager for North and Central Titania Katenga Kaunda said Malawians need to come for auditions to star in the BBA Stargame.

With auditions on track, season 7 of M-Net’s reality super-series Big Brother Africa is already generating excitement with fans looking forward to the May 6 return to DStv of Africa’s biggest TV show.

With contestants doubling up to enter the series in pairs this year and with a USD 300 000 prize for just one winner, the stage is set for 91 days in which human emotion, attitude and action is put to the test!

Now M-Net and series producers Endemol have revealed the name of the latest edition of Big Brother, announcing that the new series will be called BIG BROTHER STARGAME!

And, fittingly, the ‘STAR’ themed name was announced at the same time as M-Net confirmed that Grammy nominated American rapper and hitmaker J.Cole is set to perform at the glam series launch!

“One of the main reasons for the success of BIG BROTHER, in Africa and abroad, is that it creates its own stars from the minute housemates step into the spotlight,” says M-Net Africa Managing Director Biola Alabi. “The show is built on the idea that, given the chance, anyone can be a star, anyone can find themselves shot to stardom. So this year, we’re honoring this essential element of the show directly in the title, putting the concept of rising stars and dreams of stardom right at the front of what is a challenging, fun, dramatic game.”

She continues, “Of course, we’re thrilled that we can kick off BIG BROTHER STARGAME with an international star whose incredible talent is making him one of the hottest names in music today. J.Cole is fast becoming a superstar, an amazing artist who is taking the world by storm. We are very pleased that he will be performing for the very first time in Africa on our stage!”With J.Cole’s visit facilitated by Los Angeles based One Entertainment (who facilitated Busta Rhymes’ appearance last year), the 27-year-old star is scheduled to perform three songs, to be revealed closer to the time, at the launch of BIG BROTHER STARGAME.  He will also be filmed for a special insert on Channel O during this time talking about his work, life and ambitions.

Born in Germany, Jermaine Lamar Cole, popularly known as J. Cole, was raised in North Carolina and is now based in New York.  He is signed to Jay Z’s influential Roc Nation record label, which also represents songstress Rihanna, and his debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story has gained him worldwide attention. Determined, creative and gifted, the producer/rapper has collaborated with Beyonce, Trey Songz, Missy Elliot, Drake and Elle Varner among others. He’s also appeared on Jay Z’s Blueprint 3 album on the hip hop anthem ‘A Star is Born.’

Plus, right on schedule, M-Net has also given fans a first look at the new BIG BROTHER STARGAME logo, showcasing a bold new identity for 2012 with a retro inspired yet futuristic style.

A large curved font highlights the new name in a deep red garnet color, while the iconic Big Brother eye gets a liquid platinum finish with a glittering gold mirror-ball at its centre. Adding to the logo is a glossy accented space pushing forward between the eye and the new name, perhaps hinting at a series focused on movement, progress and speed. Only time will tell….

M-Net and series producers Endemol have promised thrills in the Stargame with more twists and turns.

In a press release, M-Net also confirmed that Grammy nominated American rapper J. Cole will perform during the launch on May 6.

“One of the main reasons for the success of Big Brother, in Africa and abroad, is that it creates its own stars from the minute housemates step into the spotlight,” said M-Net Africa Managing Director Biola Alabi.

She says the show is built on the idea that, given the chance, anyone can be a star and that anyone can find themselves shot to stardom.

“Of course, we’re thrilled that we can kick off Big Brother Stargame with an international star whose incredible talent is making him one of the hottest names in music today. J.Cole is fast becoming a superstar, an amazing artist who is taking the world by storm,” said Alabi.

With J. Cole’s visit facilitated by Los Angeles-based One Entertainment who facilitated Busta Rhymes’ appearance last year, the 27-year-old star is scheduled to perform three songs during the launch and will also be filmed for a special insert on Channel O.

Born in Germany, Jermaine Lamar Cole, aka J. Cole, was raised in North Carolina and is now based in New York. He is signed to Jay Z’s influential Roc Nation record label, which also represents songstress Rihanna, and his debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story has gained him worldwide attention.

Determined, creative and gifted, the producer/rapper has collaborated with Beyonce, Trey Songz, Missy Elliot, Drake and Elle Varner among others. He’s also appeared on Jay Z’s Blueprint 3 album on the hip hop anthem ‘A Star is Born.’

Meanwhile Katenga Kaunda has said they have received about 100 completed forms and they were looking forward to having more people during the auditions.

“At the moment we have got close to 100 forms but we are sure we will see more people during the auditions. I just want to call on people to enter the Stargame and I am sure this is the time for Malawi to win,” she said.

With contestants doubling up to enter the series in pairs this year and with US$300,000 prize for just one winner, the stage is set for 91 days.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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