The bootcamp stage of X Factor New Zealand is over for the final 24 contestants on the upcoming TV show - and next up they're off to the judges' retreats.

But where those destinations will be are still a mystery, as is which judge will be mentoring which group.

One thing's for sure, the wannabes will be hoping they are headed for some luxury accommodation. Because on the American version of the show they get to hang out at LA Reid's flash pad, or Simon Cowell's opulent - some might say garish - mansion as they sing to impress their mentors in a bid to make the final cut.

Perhaps the producers of the TV3 show will give the judges' retreat stage a uniquely Kiwi spin, like sending Stan Walker's group down to his marae in Mt Maunganui for a sing-song and some kapa haka practice.


Maybe Ruby Frost's lot could head over to her flat and hang out with her flatmates. New Zealand-born Daniel Bedingfield could take his wannabes back to his turangawaewae up north.

Which leaves Mel Blatt who is, no doubt, staying at a lovely Auckland rental which the wannabe singers would most likely be more than happy with. But we'll have to wait and see; the on-screen date for the show is yet to be announced.

Meanwhile, word also has it that in recent weeks while Blatt has been sightseeing, taking in Hobbiton and Bethells Beach among other places, Bedingfield made a quick business trip back to the US in between X Factor filming, and his latest video for Secret Fear, in which he appears naked, screened last week as part of the SXSW film festival in Austin, Texas.

- TimeOut