Blind woman booted off NZGT
An Auckland woman believes she was kicked out of New Zealand's Got Talent (NZGT) because she is blind, and has complained to the Human Rights Commission.
Singer Marie Jayet made it through the first two rounds of auditions for the TV talent show, receiving a standing ovation from a live audience during a filmed performance in July for her rendition of You Light Up My Life.
The 47-year-old also got the all-important "yes" from the judging panel of Rachel Hunter, OpShop singer Jason Kerrison and UB40's Ali Campbell.
NZGT is billed as New Zealand's biggest talent show and searches for performers across the entire entertainment spectrum.
Having been put through to the next round, she then, three weeks later, received a phone call from the show's production company, Imagination TV, saying they had too many singers and she would not be advancing in the competition.
"They said it was down to the wire, and they wanted [places] for the singers they had left, plus magicians and dancers," says Jayet.
"But sure as you're born, bet your bottom dollar, the singers they have left will be fully sighted, who will read their lyric scores and music scores, whereas I don't need to read any such scores.
"They just eliminated me. They found it easy to throw me out, me being the odd-ball for the TV industry."
The singer says she was told other contestants had also been telephoned and told they had been eliminated.
Jayet, who describes the decision as "gut-wrenching", has taken her claim to the Human Rights Commission in an attempt to reclaim her place in the competition.
She says all she wants is the chance for the public to vote for her.
Attempts to contact Imagination TV for comment were unsuccessful.