Lorde has returned to where it all began.
The singer, real name Ella Yelich-O'Connor, made a special trip to her former school Belmont Intermediate on Auckland's North Shore today to judge the annual talent quest.
Lorde performed in the same competition - Belmont Idol - at age 12, and a video of her performing Warwick Avenue by Duffy was later shown to Universal music representatives.
She was signed to the label as a result.
Lorde was called last as the judges walked on stage with the hall erupting into screams and cheers.
Belmont principal Nick Hill said Lorde, 17, initiated the visit once she found out it coincided with her return from New York this morning.
The school's water polo team saw her in a limousine as she drove home, he said.
But Lorde's appearance at the school was a surprise to everyone. Staff only found out this morning the Takapuna teen would attend, Hill said.
Belmont's teachers were all big fans of Lorde, he said.
The singer was adamant the focus was on the school's performers, and she did not want to speak to media.
Contestants would get the chance to speak to the singer after the competition.
- North Shore Times
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