New Zealand guitarist and promoter Gray Bartlett is questioning how New Zealand's Got Talent can claim to showcase the country's top talent when it excluded an artist who could have won the show.
Dunedin singer Kylie Price last week withdrew from the TVNZ talent search programme after refusing to sign an exclusive contract required of semifinalists.
Mr Bartlett, who met Price during the TVNZ Find a Star competition which she won last year, said he had read the contract she had been asked to sign and believed it was "ridiculous", although she had made the decision to withdraw on her own.
"Many thought she'd win it hands down. Those last few notes [of her NZGT performance] ... she nailed it."
A TVNZ spokeswoman said last week the contract all semifinalists were asked to sign involved a Sony management deal and other recording agreements that were potentially part of the NZGT prize package which was a universal part of the show's format here and internationally.
Bartlett, who described his relationship with Price as that of a mentor, said controlling semifinalists for months after the television show was not fair on the artists.
Price was booked to appear as a special guest at the Hollies performance at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in February.
"That is an important step for a young girl's future and she felt she would not be able to do these things."
The show's organisers could not guarantee a tour of NZGT would take place and he doubted it would as New Zealand Idol tours had struggled to make a profit, Bartlett said.
Other than confirming her withdrawal from the show, Price has not spoken about her decision.
She earlier signed a contract requesting participants not talk to the media until 30 days after the final programme aired.By Rebecca Fox