Those of you familiar with the X-Factor format will know it runs on a pretty basic formula.
Take scores of aspiring - largely delusional - singers, put them in front of a panel of sugar and spice judges and watch them implode.
Two years ago, the first season of X-Factor NZ had most of the elements locked in - including the requisite perma-tan host.
But it lacked one vital component of the tried-and-true formula: Bad Cop. There was no one to channel Simon Cowell's withering smirk and bring a voice of reason to proceedings.
With Stan Walker, Mel Blatt and Ruby Frost on the panel, life was like The Lego Movie. Everything was awesome. (Or rather Oooooooar-some when Walker was involved.)
This time around, producers have ditched the sweet-but-bland Frost in favour of two imports - husband-and-wife duo Willy Moon and Natalia Kills.
And in them, we may just have found our missing ingredient.
Expectations were low after a series of, frankly, ill-advised public appearances last year. Moon came across as a charmless dullard who smiled less than Posh Spice. As for his wife, it seemed there were cut snakes less bonkers than her.
But last night's debut proved first impressions can be deceiving. True, Kills is quite bonkers, or at least pretends to be.
But her husband is the real dark horse - surly, scathing and utterly contemptuous.
Sure, some people may think it was harsh when he interrupted a pretty 14-year-old who was belting out Jessie J's Mama Knows Best, forcing her to switch songs mid-warble. I, however, was grateful.
Then came heavy-rock band On the Ledge - disguised as IT helpdesk assistants - who had barely begun their wailing rendition of, well, who knows what, when Moon cut them off.
"Guys, guys, guys," he said, distressed. "If I was on a ledge right then, I would definitely be contemplating jumping off."
Yes. Yes! This is what we've been missing. A cold, hard reality check amid the contrived nonsense of this reality format.
Or at least it was, until the producers - ever slaves to the scripted formula - attempted to create that X-Factor staple, The SuBo Moment.
Enter Joe Irvine from Invercargill, a melancholy soul and gardening salesman, singing Bohemian Rhapsody with gusto (if no real musicality, timing or tone).
A true villain would have told Irvine his talents were found wanting.
Instead, Willie Moon gave in to the crowd's cheering, jumping onstage to hug the jubilant wannabe.
It felt forced and false and everything I was beginning to think (and hope) he wasn't.
Stick to the honesty, Moon, and we'll all be the better for it.