New Zealand Idol
NZ Idol, more commonly known as New Zealand Idol, was the New Zealand version of the Idol series originated as the hit British TV series Pop Idol. New Zealand first saw the Idol format when TV2 aired American Idol 2, which garnered impressive ratings. After Australian Idol also received good ratings in New Zealand, TVNZ decided to order the first season of NZ Idol, which was broadcast on TV2. After the third season in 2006, TVNZ made a decision not to fund or broadcast a fourth season, thus placing New Zealand Idol on indefinite hiatus, with no plans to run a fourth season.
- 1 Season one
- 2 Season two
- 3 Season three
- 4 Pop's Ultimate Star
- 5 Criticism
- 6 NZ Idol in the charts
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The competition was tough in the final few rounds of NZ Idol but it was finally whittled down to the top ten. Nine of these were voted in by the public through three heats (Camillia Temple, Ben Lummis and Filipo Saipani; Michael Murphy, Luke Whaanga and 'Big' Dave Houma; Robin Johnson, Sela Mahe and Eddie Gaiger). Jessie Cassin was added by the judges as a wildcard. Ben Lummis eventually won the competition despite being in the bottom 3 in the first, third and fourth round of the competition, while Michael Murphy who eventually came second in the season had not been in the bottom 3 at all. Camillia Temple, the oldest contestant at 28, who had been a favourite to win, ended up in third place.
Ben Lummis released his idol-winning single "They Can't Take That Away" which spent 7 weeks at #1, selling over 40,000 units. His Album 'One Road' debuted at #1 on the album charts, selling over 30,000 copies. His second single, "I Love You Love Me" failed to make radio playlists and the single was shelved. His video for the single, however, did play on video music channels.
Semi Final Qualifyings
- Top 24
Format: 3 out of 8 making the final each week plus one Wildcard
|22 February||Camillia Temple||Ben Lummis||Filipo Saipani|
|29 February||Michael Murphy||Luke Whaanga||Dave Houma|
|7 March||Sela Mahe||Robin Johnson||Eddie Gaiger|
Bottom three statistics
|15 March||Contestant's Choice||Filipo Saipani||Eddie Gaiger||Ben Lummis|
|22 March||Homegrown Hits||Sela Mahe||Robin Johnson||Jessie Cassin|
|29 March||Disco Hits||Jessie Cassin (2)||Eddie Gaiger (2)||Ben Lummis (2)|
|5 April||Ballads||Robin Johnson (2)||Eddie Gaiger (3)||Ben Lummis (3)|
|12 April||British Invasion||Eddie Gaiger (4)||Luke Whaanga||Dave Houma|
|19 April||Soul Hits||Dave Houma (2)||Camillia Temple|
|26 April||Rock Hits||Luke Whaanga (3)||Camillia Temple (2)|
|3 May||80s Hits||Camillia Temple (3)|
|10 May||Grand Finale||Michael Murphy||Ben Lummis (3)|
Auditions for the second series of NZ Idol began in June 2005. The show was once again hosted by Dominic Bowden, with Jackie Clarke replacing Fiona McDonald, who was pregnant with her first child, as one of the three judges. The nine that got in by public vote were: Nik Carlson, Frank Andrews, Jesse O'Brien, Rosita Vai, Rongo Brightwell, Keshia Paulse and Shelley Paikea. Teresa Bergman, failed to make the top nine, eventually being asked back by the judges in the wildcard, and winning the wildcard vote. Keshia Paulse, who was one of the favourites to win the competition, was voted out unexpectedly in the second round. Rosita Vai was the eventual winner of NZ Idol 2 and the first female contestant to win the competition. Rosita had not been in the bottom 3 in the whole season. Nik Carlson from Masterton came second, while Steven Broad finished in third place.
Rosita released her single "All I Ask" which spent two weeks at #1 and went platinum. However her debut album Golden only reached #15 without being certified and spent only three weeks in the top 40 album chart.
In 2006 Ashley Cooper has enjoyed success with her single "I Want You" debuting at #19, eventually peaking at #11 on physical sales and very little airplay. Also in 2006, Robert Arnold, who had auditioned unsuccessfully for all three seasons made it to #1 in the New Zealand charts as part of Boyband – a radio station stunt – three weeks before Matt Saunoa hit the top.
While these singers got to high places, there were many wannabe applicants that did poorly. One of note was a certain Liz Shaw, who came not just to audition but to also try to take over host Dominic Bowden's presenting job, only to spectacularly fail.
The series once again proved a ratings hit in New Zealand, but Sony BMG were reportedly unhappy with the format and reviewed their role in the program.
Format: 3 out of 8 making the final each week and one wildcard
|25 July||Keshia Paulse||Steve Broad||Frank Andrews|
|1 August||Rosita Vai||Shelley Paikea||Ashley Cooper|
|8 August||Nik Carlson||Jesse O'Brien||Rongo Brightwell|
Bottom three statistics
|22 August||Shelley Paikea||Ashley Cooper||Nik Carlson|
|29 August||Keshia Paulse||Nik Carlson (2)||Teresa Bergman|
|5 September||Ashley Cooper (2)||Frank Andrews||Steven Broad|
|12 September||Frank Andrews (2)||Rongo Brightwell||Steven Broad (2)|
|19 September||Rongo Brightwell (2)||Jesse O'Brien||Steven Broad (3)|
|26 September||Teresa Bergman (2)||Jesse O'Brien (2)|
|3 October||Jesse O'Brien (3)||Nik Carlson (3)|
|10 October||Steven Broad (4)|
|17 October||Nik Carlson (4)||Rosita Vai|
The third (and to date, last) season of NZ Idol began screening in July 2006. Dominic Bowden returned as host, and judges Paul Ellis and Jackie Clarke were replaced by Iain Stables, a popular radio DJ from the ZM radio station, and Megan Alatini, a former member of girlgroup TrueBliss, the first band created from the popular TV show Popstars. This left Frankie Stevens as the only original judge. In addition to a recording contract, in series 3 contestestants are also in the running for a cash prize of $50,000 and a Daihatsu SUV. The maximum age limit to enter was increased from 28 to 30. Another key difference in the third season is the inclusion of a live band in the top ten shows. On 31 May 2006, South Pacific Pictures announced that SonyBMG was to discontinue its association with NZ Idol.
On 21 August the top 9 was officially announced. Aroha Robinson, Ashlee Fisher, Clinton Randell, Indira Moala, Kali Kopae, Matthew Saunoa, Rebecca Wright, Victor Sulfa and Toni Baird. On the same night the 3 wildcards were announced. The host, Dominic Bowden stated that the viewers had 12 hours to choice their 10th person to make up the final 10. The 3 wildcards were: Ben Hazlewood, Lenken Isaac and Wiremu Hohaia. On 22 August Ben Hazlewood won the wildcard vote. It had been announced that the top 10 was not going to release a single, like previous seasons.
On 29 October Matt Saunoa won the competition without falling into the bottom 2/ 3 throughout the whole season. Although betting agency Centrebet had Indira Moala favourite to win . His debut single "Hold Out" was written by James Reid from The Feelers. The single charted at #1 in the first week, but failed to reach gold status (at least 5,000 copies sold), and dropped the following week to #3.
Semi Final Qualifyings
Format: 3 out of 6 making the final each week in another city + one Wildcard
|7 August||Christchurch||Clinton Randell||Kali Kopae||Ashlee Fisher|
|14 August||Auckland||Indira Moala||Toni Baird||Victor Sulfa|
|21 August||Wellington||Rebecca Wright||Matthew Saunoa||Aroha Robinson|
|22 August||Wildcard||Ben Hazlewood||Lenken Isaac||Wiremu Hohaia|
Bottom three statistics
|28 August||Victor Sulfa||Ashlee Fisher||Toni Baird|
|4 September||Ashlee Fisher (2)||Kali Kopae|
|11 September||Clinton Randell||Kali Kopae (2)|
|18 September||Rebecca Wright||Indira Moala|
|25 September||Toni Baird (2)||Ben Hazlewood|
|2 October||Kali Kopae (3)||Aroha Robinson|
|9 October||Ben Hazlewood (2)||Aroha Robinson (2)|
|16 October||Aroha Robinson (3)|
|29 October||Indira Moala (2)||Matthew Saunoa|
Pop's Ultimate Star
Many previous contestants later appeared on Pop's Ultimate Star, along with other New Zealand celebrities.
Complaints have been made in regards to a variety of production issues including the lack of a live band in seasons one and two, the lighting and the sound quality.
Concerns have also been expressed about the apparent lack of ongoing opportunities for Idols after the show. Most notably, three months after winning New Zealand Idol, Lummis' music label, Sony BMG dropped him.
Various New Zealand musicians have openly criticised the show, and refused invitations to appear on it. Boh Runga stated that she "would rather lick the inside of a toilet bowl than appear on Idol." TV Guide stated that the show had lost around 100,000 viewers since the first series, and that "if NZ Idol was a horse, you would have to shoot it. It really is that lame."
NZ Idol in the charts
- (2004) NZ Idol 1 – Greatest Moments – #4 NZ
- (2004) NZ Idol: The Final 10 – Homegrown – #3 NZ (Gold)
- (2004) Ben Lummis – One Road – #1 NZ (2 weeks) (4x Platinum)
- (2004) Michael Murphy – No Place to Land – #22 NZ (Gold)
- (2005) Rosita Vai – Golden – #15 NZ
|From Season one:|
|2004||NZ Idol: Final 10||"Yesterday Was Just The Beginning Of My Life"||#4||Gold|
|2004||Ben Lummis||"They Can't Take That Away"||#1 (7 weeks)||4x Platinum|
|2004||Ben Lummis||"I Love You Love Me"||-||-|
|2004||Jessie Cassin||"Another Suitcase In Another Hall"||-||-|
|2004||Michael Murphy||"So Damn Beautiful"||#1 (1 week)||Gold|
|2005||Michael Murphy||"Music Without A Song"||-||-|
|2005||Michael Murphy||"How Good Does It Feel?"||-||-|
|2006||Ben Lummis||"Gotta Move"||-||-|
|From Season two:|
|2005||NZ Idol 2: Final 10||"Dedicated To The One I Love"||#5||-|
|2005||Rosita Vai||"All I Ask"||#1 (2 weeks)||2x Platinum|
|2005||Nik Carlson||"I Believe in a Thing Called Love"||-||-|
|2006||Ashley Cooper||"I Want You"||#11||-|
|From Season three:|
|2006||Matthew Saunoa||"Hold Out"||#1 (1 week)|
- Trevett, Claire (1 June 2006). "Record giant scratches NZ Idol". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 1 June 2006.
- Cook, Stephen (2 September 2006). "Kiwi music stars snub NZ Idol". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 6 October 2006.
- Smithies, Grant (17 October 2006). "Pass the hankies - Idol is nearly over". The New Zealand TV Guide / Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 5 December 2006.[dead link]
- NZ Idol – Official Site
- NZ Idol – at the Internet Movie Database
- Pop's Ultimate Star – Official Site