From which group will the X Factor winner come?
TV & Radio
Stan Walker, I didn't mean to nearly run you down. It was you wasn't it? At about 10pm on Saturday standing in the middle of Wellington's Kent Tce, chit-chatting on your phone?
I think it was you because I also saw you on a flight from Auckland to Wellington on Saturday afternoon. I couldn't say hello because you were on the other side of the plane, against the window. You looked nice though. The shorts were probably ill-advised, but I forgive you.
So, just don't go standing in the middle of the road talking on your phone. I don't want to be locked up for running down the nation's favourite X Factor judge.
I digress. It's the first night of judges' retreat on the X Factor and, shock of shocks, Daniel Bedingfield (Ratty) is on the phone inviting Greymouth songstress Jackie Thomas back (click here and go to the second last par).
Where are the retreats? Rarotonga (girls), Mahurangi (groups), Sydney (boys) and Queenstown (pensioners - the over 25).
Oh, and there are guest celebrity judges to help out: Natasha Bedingfield joins her bro, Pink (Ruby) Frost gets Guy Sebastian, Walker is joined by soulful Kiwi Hollie Smith and S Club 7's Rachel Stevens (there ain't no party like an S Club party - get that out of your head) plonks down next to Melanie Blatt on the cougar couch.
Blatt and Stevens are up first, eyeing up the SBWs (Moorhouse). Someone pass the cougars some cold water. The bands rattle by, with Blatt worrying about how Voltec - who advised them to wear leopard print to a cougar party? - can be marketed.
Across the Tasman Whenua Patuwai belts it out. Fletcher Mills is angular of face but is that enough? Country boy Liam Kennedy-Clark (he really is a boy) has Sebastian's support. He tells Pink Frost to go with her gut - she's so thin though, how will that work?
Then Pink Frost wants to show Sebastian something. Yep, it's dirty, another shameless piece of product placement.
Whoosh, we are in Raro with the Bedingfields. Natasha looks quite pained sitting so close to Ratty.
Eden Roberts assures the camera that music is all about the words and meaning... worthy. And wrong. In this kind of competition, it's about aping what people know.
It's better than Maddie Bradley though, she hopes they felt the music. And equally as icky is the look on Ratty's face when Cassie Henderson begins singing. I think he is just happy with her performance, but it's a bit creepy.
Thomas, the recall girl, isn't quite on song. The Bedingfield's wince in unison, Natasha's make-up nearly cracking (Wougsy, an X Factor fan in the deep south, are you doing the same?).
And, finally, my word circle is nearly complete. We started with Walker in the middle of the road and now we return there with the pensioners in Queenstown.
Stan, my man, they are all going to get run down.