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Pair battle for win

JESS ETHERIDGE
Last updated 05:00 03/12/2013
NZGT
BUDDIES: Rock singer James Lee, left, and Ethan Scharneck are in the final of New Zealand’s Got Talent.

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A rockstar chef and an 11-year-old with moves like Michael Jackson will go head-to-head in the New Zealand's Got Talent finale.

James Lee and Ethan Scharneck are good mates but know only one can win the national talent quest.

They performed for the last time in the televised grand final on December 1. Public votes will decide this Sunday who is crowned the 2013 winner.

Ethan, of Oteha, has been dancing since he was two years old, mastering his King of Pop moves with the help of dad Gino and brother Valdon, 15.

Learning Michael Jackson's signature move, the Moonwalk, took three hours, Ethan says. Years of hard work led to his heart-warming audition for the national talent show earlier this year.

Judges Jason Kerrison, Rachel Hunter and former Michael Jackson student Cris Judd gave Ethan a standing ovation. Mr Judd and Ethan swapped moves on stage.

"It was like dancing with Michael Jackson," Ethan says of the experience.

Albany chef James Lee sang Iron Maiden's Run To The Hills in his audition.

The rock singer, affectionately known as Heavy Metal James, says he has been looking after his voice and practising his headbanging moves for the final.

Twenty years separate the two as Ethan, who loves maths, points out.

But they are backing each other to win.

Ethan says he will be happy if his singing friend wins because of his impressive four-octave range.

The sentiment is shared by Mr Lee, who says he is Ethan's number one fan.

New Zealand's Got Talent's grand finale screens on TVOne December 8 at 8.30pm.

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- North Shore Times

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