Has this team got talent?

04:00, May 16 2012
Members of Blenheim's Shontae Under 16 team march towards the room where they are to be auditioned at the New Zealand's Got Talent tour auditions held at the Nelson School of Music on Friday evening.

The audacious Shontae Under 16 Marching Team will know in 34 days if they've got talent.

The only marching team known to have entered a nationwide TV talent search, the girls got plaudits for showing such gumption.

And they were quite the celebrities in Nelson that day.

Shontae auditioned for New Zealand's Got Talent in Nelson on Friday as part of nationwide auditions for the TVNZ programme. Finalists for the series will be announced on June 18.

Shontae's's two-minute audition piece started with some house music, Halloween meets Nightmare on Elm St, and finished with Christina Aguilera's Candyman.

Coach Julia Virtue said the team entered because it's coming towards the end of the season and they needed a project to keep interest up.


"We didn't know if marching teams could apply but sent a video of the girls competing in the nationals. The producers came back and said absolutely we could enter.

"We were the only team in the South Island at least – not so sure about the North."

The 10 members of the team had a really good day she said, appearing on TVNZ's Breakfast programme that morning and being recognised on the street of Nelson later in the day in their Shontae hoodies.

The performance was up to the mark, too. "It was a lot of fun.

"Our routine was really modern and the judges came up later and made really good comments."

The team was one of 200 auditions at the Nelson School of Music on Friday, in a schedule which went all day from 7.30am.

The judges, who were scattered around a room rather than sitting at a desk, Ms Virtue said, included former Chick Suzanne Lynch.

New Zealand's Got Talent will be hosted by Tamati Coffey. No date has been set for its screening.

Team members are: Lizzie Pirika, Ashlee Downs, Tyler Rawson, Alison Fraser, Cassie Jobi, Chloe Cross, Rochelle Herkt, Star Broadbridge, Anna Thompson and Zoe Frost.



The Marlborough Express