TV preview: New Zealand's Got Talent

By Ricardo Simich, Andy Pickering

Rachel Hunter is the one to watch in the first episode of NZ's Got Talent on TV2 tonight.
Rachel Hunter is the one to watch in the first episode of NZ's Got Talent on TV2 tonight.

Want to know why Rachel Hunter is judging NZ's Got Talent? Well you're about to find out.

She is the most talented performer in the first programme in the new series which airs on TV One tonight.

Reduced to tears by one performer, she joins another on stage for a boogie, showing off her long legs in skyscraper heels.

Dressed in a selection of in-season and vintage pieces from top designers, including Zambesi and Helen Cherry, she's looking as sizzlingly hot as ever.

The TVNZ version is much better than Prime's attempt four years ago.

Imagination TV, producers of Masterchef, has given the show an international feel with lots of wide helicopter shots of Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland where the auditions take place.

The series is being pitched as a variety show for all the family and, based on the first episode, it delivers.

There's not as much banter between judges compared to overseas formats, but their rapport may improve as the show evolves.

There are cringe-worthy auditions, but when that happens, host Tamati Coffey acts like a clown thrown into a bull ring.

The talent's ages range from 7 to 91 and include a horror-film fan magician, a sword swallower and an amazing group of male Maori dancers. Further highlights are an SBW lookalike who brings tears to Hunter's eyes with a Rod Stewart song, and a middle-aged dancer with no discernable talent, who inspires Hunter to join him on stage.

Insiders say Hunter's overuse of the word "awesome" in feedback needed direction early on. End result? Awesome.

New Zealand's Got Talent, TV One, 7.30 tonight

- Herald on Sunday

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