Renee taking her talent nationwide
She sang her heart out in her audition for New Zealand's Got Talent, and Upper Hutt's Renee Maurice is promising something special for this weekend's grand final.
The 22-year-old singing teacher got through to the final after impressing the judges in the semi with her rendition of the ballad Wind Beneath My Wings.
"I had just done X Factor and got as far as the end of the boot camp round, but I was disappointed I didn't get any further," she says.
"I was still looking to break into the business and share my talents with other people."
She will compete against 11 other acts in the final this Sunday for the prize of $100,000 cash, including fellow Upper Hutt local Rob Innes and 22-year-old Cruize Karaitiana from Masterton.
"It's nice to have a couple of people from my area here. It's nice to think that we could stay in touch and maybe keep performing when we all get back home again."
As the winner from the first week of semifinals, Maurice has had a bit longer than some of the other finalists to prepare.
"I have had quite a bit more time to get used to it. It's been an anxious wait because I just wanted to come up and do it and just get it done."
While her work as a singing tutor has helped her with preparation, it hasn't stopped all of the nerves, she says.
"I still get very nervous but that's a good thing because it means you care about your performance. It drives you forward to keep improving."
Maurice has proven she can belt out the big ballads, but says she has something a bit different in store for her final song this weekend.
"I wanted to do something that would be outstanding and showcase all I had to give. It's something very different than I have done previously. I can only do it twice at practices because I give it everything – I leave my whole self out on the stage."
The grand final of New Zealand's Got Talent is this Sunday at 7.30PM on TV1.
The Dominion Post