Review: Clara comes up trumps
NZGT champion Clara van Wel has done so darn well she could call time on her music career now, and still come up trumps.
The folk rockster, much more mature than her 15 years, is one of those kids who would probably excel at whatever she turned to.
She has also won an award for lettuce hydroponics as a Marlborough Girls' College girl in Blenheim.
For now she is strumming her guitar and asking us in that melody, which I must admit has entrapped me, "where do you find love". Well, banking 100 grand and sitting in the left seat of a copper Corolla, which she is too young to drive, is a start on the love trail.
Her folks wasted no time hitting the stage last night to embrace their uber-talented folkster. Dad Alex is a Fairfax journalist, by the way, and no doubt has already pocketed the car keys.
She had taken a risk writing her own songs. But when she and the other two of the top three sang as a trio last night, Clara was the smoothest.
Evan Sinton, sporting shaving cuts, was happy with third. He was positively elderly at 17 when up against runner-up Jessie Hillel at 11. Adults didn't stand a chance against these nippers but somehow the out-of-tune Olivia Turner attracted enough grey votes to finish eighth.
Clara and Jessie have obviously been at this talent-questing since they left the cradle because they were so uninhibited. Most kids of that age are doing hop-scotch and blowing bubble gum.
Evan, with the unique magpie-squawking vocals, seemed straight out of his folks' Glendowie garage, a talent discovered.
But back to Miss van Wel. She could enter recording studios now, but not so smiley, tiny tot Jesse who somehow emits the sounds of a soprano.
There isn't a career path for a baby diva at age 11 so her mum, and her new fans in India, will have to wait. How could she do a duet with Pavarotti unless she stood on a giraffe?
I had issues with the texting wombles dismissing Palmy's Tawaroa Kawana and Logan Walker, both with great voices who should come again. The tattooed Mihirangi Fleming with her loop band had her fans but was just too loopy in the end.
So next year we're back, hopefully with three discerning judges rather than three happy clappers. Rachel Hunter was best on stage last night in a hugging cheongsam jiving to Tamati Coffey miming Psy's catchy Gangnam Style.
Finishers: 1 Carla van Wel, 2 Jessie Hillel, 3 Evan Sinton, 4 Jay Geeks, 5 Fletcher Oxford, 6 Dane Moeke, 7 Mihirangi Fleming, 8 Olivia Turner, 9 Dudley Fairbrass, 10 Tawaroa Kawana, 11 Logan Walker, 12 Zane & Degge.