Dancing with the Stars judge Julz Tocker and one of the stars of the upcoming season, former Shortland Street star Kerry-Lee Dewing are staying positive while in isolation limbo in the wake of the news Three has put a hold on production during the current lockdown.
DWTS joined a list of shows that are adapting their production schedules in light of the Covid-19 alert level being raised to level 4. Today was the day the show was due to announce the names of all 12 stars, but the media roll-out was put on hold. Dewing was the only star with whom all publicity could not be totally pulled, so will be the solitary announcement for now.
Dewing and Tocker were both already in isolation due to restrictions on international travel arrivals. Tocker, after coming from his home in Los Angeles and Dewing from her new home in Australia.
The former Ferndale local is in isolation at a cottage in Dairy Flat and the judge is holed up at the Heritage hotel in Auckland. Both feel a sense of relief that New Zealand has done the right thing with lockdown.
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"This situation we're in as a country is far beyond the show," Dewing tells Spy. "At this point, it's out of our hands and absolutely about doing whatever needs to be done to ensure the safety of New Zealanders. I'm trying to be optimistic about the future of the show and, in the meantime, hope that this isolation presents an opportunity for society to reset.
Tocker tells Spy it is "scary as hell right now for me, being between countries".
"But I know I feel way more safe being in New Zealand right now," he says. "I LOVE MY COUNTRY! I'm very proud of our government and Jacinda Ardern for moving so fast to get on top of this."
Tocker has been in self-isolation for a week. He left LA early to make sure he was back in NZ and do the self-isolation in time for the show. His co-judge Camilla Sacre-Dallerup did not make it into the country in time.
Tocker says LA was going crazy and he was worried, not about Covid-19, but how the general public was acting, he says it felt like The Purge was about to happen at any minute!
Tocker, who says coming home to NZ for DWTS is the highlight of his year, will start doing some Dance Classes from his Instagram @julztocker, to share some moves, help keep people's spirits up and help his itchy feet and body's need to move.
"By not being in my home in LA or with my family in Wellington, I really am in limbo at this time; it's a real test for me but it's nothing. I have a roof over my head and my family and friends are a FaceTime call away. We are all in the same boat here for the first time ever! All we can do is be kind and helpful to each other [at a distance]," he says.
Like all of us who would love to see the nation come together in watching a dancing show, both stars are hoping for the best, and no matter what, once isolation is over and the threat level is down, both are looking forward to being home and catching up with family and friends.