Anele Mdoda is a South African radio DJ best known for her on-air partnership with Grant Nash, having worked for a year together on Highveld FM before moving to national radio when they took over the 12pm-3pm slot on 5FM in March 2008.
She was one of the celebrity contestants on the fifth season of the SABC2 reality dance competition Strictly Come Dancing, from September to December, 2008. Her professional dance partner was Brandon Eilers.
She began her radio career as a DJ at the University of Pretoria in 2004, where she was studying politics and international relations. There she met Nash and the pair discovered an on-air chemistry.
Mdoda was hired by Jo'burg radio station Highveld FM in 2007. Needing a co-host, she suggested Nash as her partner and the pair hosted a successful weekday evening show for a year.
In March 2008 the pair were poached by national broadcaster 5FM. They took over the timeslot previously held for many years by the F & Martinengo Show, hosted by Ian F and Sasha Martinengo.
Anele was rated as "the hottest thing on local radio" by South African radio legend Alex Jay in a September 2008 interview.
Anele was the co-host (with Rob van Vuuren) of the SABC2 reality competition SA's Got Talent, based on the British "Got Talent" format, from 2009-2010. The duo was replaced by Tats Nkonzo when the show moved to e.tv for Season 3.
In 2012 Anele was a judge of the Miss South Africa pageant. In the same year she was announced as one of the three judges for the Mzansi Magic reality competition Clash of the Choirs South Africa, which aired in 2013.
Also in 2013, she was the host of the M-Net docu-reality series Dream School SA; and in 2014 was once again a judge for Miss South Africa.
Strictly Come Dancing
Anele's Strictly Come Dancing 5 Blog
Anele was one of the 10 celebrity contestants in the fifth season of SABC2's Strictly Come Dancing reality competition, in 2008. Her coach and partner was Brandon Eilers Le Riche.
The first two weeks of the competition were non-elimination rounds, with the judges scoring dances by the male celebrities in Week 1 and the female celebrities in Week 2.
In Episode 3 - the first elimination episode - Anele and Brandon performed the Quickstep to Liza Minelli's "Cabaret". Apart from charming the audience, the judges thought the couple utilised the whole dance floor and complimented them on their light, convincing footwork.
Lillian Phororo suggested work on Anele's shoulder line and for her to finish her arm lines.
They scored 24/40, which placed them in the middle of the pack, and were safe from the dance-off.
In Episode 4 the couple scored 29/40 for their Jive, which the judges found to be sparkly, light and energetic. The radio personality with the attitude and matching big personality did not disappoint. She was, however, cautioned to be more flighty in her movements.
Their score placed them joint third with Adil More and Robynn Soules.
The following week - in Episode 5 - Anele and Brandon found themselves in last place after the judges scored them 23/40 for their Foxtrot, which lacked precision timing. Anele's topline was all wrong and that there were too many errors with the footwork, according to the judges.
In the week leading up to the episode Anele injured her ankle, which made rehearsing difficult.
Nonetheless, viewer voting saved Anele and Brandon from the dance-off and once again they were safe.
Week 6 was a frenetic affair, after racing driver Gugu Zulu was saved from certain elimination by rabid fan voting. The judges and presenters made their disapproval known before reluctantly voting actress Hlubi Mboya off the show.
In amongst the chaos Anele and Brandon put on their best performance of the competition, scoring 28/40 which was good enough for joint second place with Garth Collins and Hayley Bennett.
In Episode 7 Anele and Brandon scored a respectable 26/40 for their Viennese Waltz, although judge Dave Campbell remarked that Anele seemed to be “hanging on to a merry-go-round that was spinning out of control”.
Their score placed them second to last and for the first time Anele and Brandon ended up in the dance-off, against Gugu and his partner Sarah Cooper.
The judges voted unanimously to keep Anele and Brandon in the competition - these were their choices:
Tyrone Watkins: Anele (with a warning to pull up her socks next week)
Salome Sechele: Anele (for understanding dancing and the potential to be in the final)
Dave Campbell: Anele (because of the vibrancy she brings to the show)
Head judge Lilian Phororo did not have to exercise her deciding vote.
Episode 8 was the first occasion where the final five were expected to bring two flawless attempts to the dance floor, from a selection of styles chosen from the Latin and Ballroom genres.
Brandon chose Evanescence's "Bring Me To Life" for his Rumba with Anele, but the dance turned into disaster when Anele fell flat on her face.
Judges applauded her courage and professional conduct when she got up to "let the show go on", but also found her paces bland.
Dressed in a creamy dreamy gown for her second dance, the Waltz, she redeemed herself.
The judges scored the couple 24 for their first dance and 26 for their second, to give them a combined score of 50/80, which put them in last place.
Once again they were forced into the dance-off, this time against Garth and Hayley. Once again the judges voted unanimously to keep Anele and Brandon, the vote going as follows:
Tyrone Watkins: Anele (for her natural rhythm)
Salome Sechele: Anele (for her discipline and timing)
Dave Campbell: Anele (for understanding exactly what is expected in this competition)
Lillian once again did not have to excercise her deciding vote, immediately eliminating Garth and Hayley from the competition.
The following day, however, a computer error was discovered and it turned out Garth and Hayley should not have been in the dance-off in the first place. They were thus reinstated on the show and nobody was eliminated in Week 8.
In Episode 9 there were three couples in the dance-off: Cindy Nell and Jonathan Broadway, Garth and Hayley and Anele and Brandon.
The judges unanimously chose to keep Cindy and Jonathan, thereby eliminating Anele and Brandon along with Garth and Hayley, on 27 November, 2008.
STRICTLY COME DANCING 5 GALLERY