Dancing with the stars

Lopez, Tyler confirmed for Idol

Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler have both been confirmed as the new judges on American Idol after a special announcement overnight. The pop singer and Aerosmith frontman were formally introduced as the new additions to the show, joining original judge Randy Jackson.

Law & Order: Criminal Intent renewed for final season

A final season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent has been ordered by the USA Network, with original lead Vincent D’Onofrio returning for the last couple of episodes. Next year’s season will be the tenth and final for the spin-off.

Katy Perry joins Sesame Street

Sesame Street has enlisted the help of pop star Katy Perry in order to teach kids opposites. The singer reworked her song ‘Hot & Cold’ for the show which is celebrating its 41st season.

The Hoff fails at dancing

David Hasselhoff has proven he’s not quite as smooth on the dance floor as some would have thought, after he got the boot from the latest season of Dancing with the Stars in the US. The Hoff was voted off the show in the first week while former Dirty Dancing actress Jennifer Grey topped the leader-board.

The organisers of the Dancing with the Stars Live show scheduled for Vector Arena in August have had to can the event due to poor ticket sales.

The event was to feature the favourite couples from the popular TVNZ show in a special one-night performance where the celebrities would team up with their dance partners and take to the floor once again.

Past winners and runners up were to be featured including Tamati Coffey, Lorraine Downes, Shane Cortese, Norm Hewitt, Beatrice Faumuina and Suzanne Paul. Jason Gunn and Candy Lane were to host the event.

The promoters have apologised to fans and ticket holders, and have said that full refunds will be given.

Source: Stuff


When the Dancing with the Stars winners and runners-up reunite for a special evening at Vector Arena in August, there will be more than a few nerves out there on the dance floor.

Original series winner Norm Hewitt and last year’s champ Tamati Coffey are among those set to unite for a special night of dancing in Auckland later this year in what’s shaping up to be a celebration of the best celebrity dancers from One’s hit series.

Victorious in the first season of the competition back in 2005, ex-All Black Norm Hewitt claims he’ll be a tad rusty when he reunites with dance partner Carol-Ann Hickmore for the first time in five years.

“Even if I do a wee bit of a dance at a school I am reminded of how fit you have to be,” Hewitt says.

The ex-rugby player is looking forward to a showdown with Shane Cortese, though makes it known the bare-chested dances will remain in the hands of the actor.

Another champ feeling a little apprehensive about returning to the dance floor is TVNZ weatherman Tamati Coffey who picked up a Mirror Ball Trophy last year.

“My fitness has gone downhill. I’m now the telly-tubby,” he says.

Coffey claims to have not hit the floor since his victory in 2009 and says the outfits he wore during the show are still hanging at the back of his closet, untouched.

2006 winner Lorraine Downes shares the pair’s apprehensions about dancing again in front of a live audience.

“When it was first mentioned, my initial reaction was [thinking] of being dance-fit and having to put on the costumes and I thought, ‘can I do this again?’ It was 2006, it was a long time ago. I had a chat to Aaron and he was pretty encouraging, so I decided to go ahead.”

So if you are keen to see how the celebrities handle the dance floor again, clear the night of August 27 on your calendar. Hewitt, Coffey and Downes will be joined by Beatrice Faumuina, Suzanne Paul and Shane Cortese on stage in a special reunion of winners and runners-up of Dancing with the Stars at Vector Arena in Auckland.

Tickets available from Ticketmaster at a later date.

Source: NZ Herald

World Flight are offering the chance to spend an hour with a New Zealand celebrity at the controls of a Boeing 737 flight simulator as part of a fundraising exercise for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

The stars:
Beth Allen, Ido Drent, Dai Henwood, Renee Wright, Toni Street, Pippa Wetzell, Mike Puru, Andrew Mulligan, Jeremy Corbett, Paul Ego, Rodney Hide, Jono Pryor, Miriama Kamo, Neil Waka and Clinton Randall.

The auctions are live on Sella.  Check out World Flight NZ for more info.

In 2009, TVNZ still managed to turn a profit which, it has to be said, is a fairly praiseworthy achievement in the current environment.  But what about 2010?  What is TVNZ banking on that will return another dividend?

As revenue is directly related to ratings, it has been interesting to watch TVNZ deliberately remove what one would have expected to have been two of the most watched events of 2010.  Firstly, the 2010 Dehli Commonwealth Games, which they had the rights to but decided that the income would not have justified the expense.  Secondly, Tuesday nights Jason Gunn extravaganza Dancing with the Stars.

While the screening of these offers enormous revenue opportunities independently, they also provide TVNZ with lead ins to other shows and the ability to promote other TVNZ content.  So what do they have in store instead?  Are there any major television events that will reach the same audience and achieve a better result?

The only thing that has any potential may be Masterchef New Zealand.  The Australian version did incredibly well in Australia and has proved a worthy show for the pre One News time slot but when would it air here?  If it follows a similar format, where could it fit in the schedule?  Would it find space on TV One?  Would the pre-news time slot deliver enough audience to justify the expense?

In a few days, TVNZ announce their line up for 2010 and I for one am incredibly intrigued to see just what they have lined up to deliver another profit.

TVNZ has decided against commissioning a production of Dancing With The Stars in 2010.

The decision has been made, reluctantly, because the current market conditions do not support such an expensive show.

Despite its huge popularity the cost of mounting the multi-million dollar, BBC-format production has made Dancing With The Stars a very marginal venture for TVNZ – even in strong market conditions.

In a recessionary environment the network can no longer absorb losses made by big-budget productions.

TVNZ is treating the decision as a ‘rest’ for the programme, and will re-evaluate the situation for the following year.

If market conditions have improved significantly, TVNZ will look to re-establish the show in 2011.

Provisional amounts have shown that $433,053.81 was raised for charity this year in TV ONE’s hit show Dancing With The Stars.

Dancing With The Stars winner Tamati Coffey’s chosen charity, Rainbow Youth, will receive a record amount from the series, $259,990.79. UpsideDowns Education Trust, the charity represented by 2009 series runner-up Barbara Kendall, will receive $99,009.02 and semi-finalist Josh Kronfeld’s charity, Koru Care Otago, will receive $37,276.01.

Geraldine Brophy’s charity, Arthritis New Zealand, will receive $24,795.53; Rebecca Hobbs’ New Zealand Spinal Trust $6,664.74; Chris Hobbs’ Ronald McDonald House $3,256.69; John Rowles’ Project Hope Foundation 1,425.81; and Lizzy Igasan’s Go Red For Women (The National Heart Foundation of NZ) $635.22.

The money was collected through the public-vote mechanism in Dancing With The Stars.*

Jeff Latch, TVNZ Head of Television, says “Dancing With The Stars has once again shown its ability to appeal to New Zealanders of all ages, and Kiwis have shown their willingness to support celebrities raising money for their chosen charities, even in challenging times.

“In its fifth year, Dancing With The Stars continues to be a success. We’d like to thank all those involved in the show for their incredible commitment and enthusiasm, everyone who watched the series, and all those who voted.”

Dancing With The Stars has now raised more than $1.75 million for New Zealand charities.

Dancing With The Stars is a BBC Worldwide format.

* After telecommunications and service provider charges are taken out of the cost of voting, all remaining money goes to the contestants’ nominated charities. Neither TVNZ nor BBC Worldwide retains any money from the viewers’ votes. The text and phone votes are tallied up by an independent service aggregator company, not TVNZ or the series producers. The voting system is based on the international format for Dancing With The Stars, and combines 50 per cent of the judges’ vote and 50 per cent of the viewers’ vote to give the final result.

In Brief

  • The Samoan Government will sue TVNZ over a ONE News item about gun running and drugs in Samoa.
  • There’s plenty more Tony Veitch saga analysis and letters to the editor, if you’re still interested.
  • Sunday Star Times interviews Brendan Telfer, now home from hospital, a month after collapsing with a brain haemorrhage.  He’s hopeful he’ll make a full recovery.
  • Petition to get Samantha Hayes to dye her hair red again.
  • Shane Cortese (Outrageous Fortune) is starring in Cats, the musical, which starts in June in Auckland.
  • Sale St bar in Auckland has created a Susan Boyle cocktail.  It costs $16 and contains vodka, wild strawberry and sour rhubarb liqueurs, blossom water, cranberry juice and mixed berries.

Dancing with the Stars

Tamati Coffey talks to Sunday News about his grandparents, ANZAC day and being gay:

“I’ve been out to my family and friends and everybody that knows me.  It’s never been a secret.  I came out when I was about 15 and I have never, ever hid that.”

Spy says: “Rumours from behind the scenes at Dancing with the Stars… suggest not all was as hunky dory as suggested.  In fact, I could have sliced the air with a knife when I spoke with one precious lovely about an alleged encounter with the spouse of someone on the show.  Rumour has it said spouse plucked up the courage to articulate certain anguishes at the celebratory after-party on Tuesday night, and this did not go down well with the lovely. Allegations in public of hanky panky are no good for the image.  Her response to me: ‘It was all a storm in a tea-cup, really.'”

TV Highlights this week

Stars in their Eyes is back for a second season.  This time the public can vote!  The 45 contestants include a caravan-park resident, a paramedic, a man who calls himself “the Billy Elliot of Rangiora”.  Producers promise a lot more talent in this second season and more modern artists.

Trading Houses mixes reality shows “Wife Swap” and “Changing Rooms” and asks “would you swap your spouse for a better house?”.  Two wives trade husbands and houses for four days while they do up two rooms in the other’s house with a $10,000 budget.  In the first episode well-known record producer Tracy Magan swaps with Manurewa mum Carmel Williams.

Sonny with a Chance starts tomorrow on Disney Channel.  Star Demi Lovato (16) is said to be the next Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana.  She plays an ordinary girl whose home-made internet videos win her TV fame on a kids’ comedy show.  She has her own album out, “Don’t Forget”.

TV Developments

  • Coronation Street may be sold to an independent production company to cut costs.
  • Flight of the Conchords may be made into a movie.
  • Chuck may be cancelled.
  • Sonia Grey is returning to work at Wheel of Fortune earlier than expected, only a month after giving birth.
  • On May 24, Juice TV will try and beat the world record for the number of people strumming a song.  They’ve chosen “Why Does Love Do This to Me?”.  The record to beat is 1951 Polish guitarists playing “Hey Joe” (Jimi Hendrix).

Blind items

“Which newsreader has been described on a website by an Old Friend as “like Hitler”?”


There’s an interview with Ricky Gervais in the Herald on Sunday talking about immortality, his work with Steve Merchant and his latest project, directing for “This Side of the Truth”.  Gervais says: “I do this for the fun, for the creative process, not to see my fat face on the telly.  It’s about bringing something into the world.  All my DNA is in the work that I’ve done.”

Dominic Monaghan talks to Sunday News about playing Wolverine in the new X-Men movie, Lost and his time in New Zealand for Lord of the Rings.

Sacha McNeil (3 News) shares a photo of her as a kid with Sunday.


  • Spy reports that a male Shortland Street star was reportedly seen kissing a well-known married past Shortland Street actress.
  • Ellen Pompeo (Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy) is pregnant with her first child.
  • One of the Kardashians is having radical plastic surgery – but it’s not Kim.
  • Jennifer Aniston is now dating Gerard Butler.
  • ONE News correspondent Tim Wilson‘s love life (or lack thereof) is discussed in Spy.  He’s said to be being groomed for the Close Up role, or another current affairs show of his own.

Congratulations Tamati and Samantha for winning Dancing with the Stars 2009!

“I’m stunned, I’m speechless right now, I’m, I don’t know…Hi to everybody at Rainbow Youth, we did this for you guys, it’s been about you the whole time,” said an overwhelmed Tamati on winning the title.

Tamati & Samantha or Barbara & Johnny?  The voting lines are now closed.

While we’re running this live blog, at the bottom of this post you’ll be able to find the live blog being run by GayNZ.com who are at the Langhom Hotel Ballroom with Tamati’s fans and those from Rainbow Youth.

Jason Gunn takes to the floor with a couple of songs.  Dancing in the Moonlightt and Night Fever.  It’s going to be a big night of entertainment so settle back and enjoy the show!

Jason reminds us that if the scores are tied at the end of the night then the winner will be determined by the one with the highest public vote.

Tamati Coffey & Samantha Hitchcock
Dance: Waltz
Song: What’ll I Do

Judges Scores
Brendan Cole: 9
Alison Leonard: 10
Craig Revel Horwood: 9
Paul Mercurio: 10
Total: 38/40

Barbara Kendall & Jonny Williams
Dance: Rumba
Song: The Way We Were

Judges Scores
Brendan Cole: 9
Alison Leonard: 10
Craig Revel Horwood: 9
Paul Mercurio: 10
Total: 38/40

The first of the eliminated couples takes to the floor.  Lizzy Iguson dances the cha cha and Chris Hobbs, the rumba with their partners.

Someone has taken a camera around TVNZ to get comment from some familiar, and some not so familiar, faces. Afterwards, Jason mocks those who were sitting on the fence and wishing them both luck.  Of course, he’d prefer you made a decision and voted.  Or vote for them both? Ka-chinnnnng!

Tamati Coffey & Samantha Hitchcock
Dance: Paso Doble

Judges Scores
Brendan Cole: 10
Alison Leonard: 10
Craig Revel Horwood: 10
Paul Mercurio: 10
Total: 40/40

Craig hated it.  Only because he couldn’t find anything wrong with it.

Perfect score!

Barbara Kendall & Jonny Williams
Dance: Quickstep
Song: You’re The One That I Want

Judges Scores
Brendan Cole: 10
Alison Leonard: 10
Craig Revel Horwood: 9
Paul Mercurio: 10
Total: 39/40

Josh Kronfeld joins the band to bring us back from the ad break with some harmonica.

Rebecca Hobbs, Geraldine Brophy and Josh Kronfeld, who shows some not to be performed at home lifts, make an encore appearance on Dancing With the Stars.

There’s some nice hip shaking and lip syncing from the cast of Mama Mia.

Last chance for our couples to impress

Tamati Coffey & Samantha Hitchcock
Dance: Freestyle

Judges Scores
Brendan Cole: 8
Alison Leonard: 9
Craig Revel Horwood: 9
Paul Mercurio: 9
Total: 35/40

Barbara Kendall & Jonny Williams
Dance: Freestyle

Judges Scores
Brendan Cole: 10
Alison Leonard: 10
Craig Revel Horwood: 10
Paul Mercurio: 10
Total: 40/40

Those were some incredible lifts.

That makes for an interesting result then.  After the judges scores, Barbara & Jonny have taken the lead with 117 – 113 over Tamati & Samantha.

Ronan Keating sings Time after Time.  Ronan says he’ll back next year with Boyzone for their world tour.

It’s time for the results.  Who will be the grand champion for 2009?  Apparently it’s the closest it has ever been.  It’s Tamati & Samantha!