The top four contestants were announced on Popstars this week and one has strong connections to Northland.
They are TJ Zimba, 21, Skye Hine, 16, the female trio A.R.T. and 20-year-old Christabel Williams.
Although living in Auckland, Williams has close family in Whangārei whom she regularly visits. Wednesday night's episode saw the top six whittled down to the final four, saying goodbye to Northlander Avya Grace Trotter.
Trotter, 20, from Mangawhai, has a style of soulful pop and cites Brooke Fraser as her biggest inspiration.
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On Wednesday the six contestants showcased their original music in front of an audience and Popstars' panellists: singer/songwriter Kimbra, Zed frontman Nathan King and R&B/pop recording artist Vince Harder.
Harder said of the acts: "Each of these top four artists has shown something different in each performance so far, it's exciting to see what they are going to bring next, and where to from here for each of them."
The final four, who are competing for the title and $100,000 prize, must now write and record a brand-new single that they will then perform in front of a live audience before it is released on nationwide radio, for all their Kiwi fans to get behind.
The finalists will release their new singles on Friday and will perform these original tracks at the iconic Powerstation music venue that night, with celebrated producer, singer and rapper Kings also taking the stage. Grammy award-winner Kimbra is set to delight the crowd with the world premiere of her new single "Replay" off her upcoming fourth studio album.
New Zealand kicked off the first series of Popstars in 1999, documenting the establishment of a five-piece girl group True Bliss. From there began the Popstars reality TV series format sold to over 50 countries and inspired the Idol franchise. More than 20 years later it has come full circle, with New Zealand debuting its second series of Popstars, albeit revamped, this year.
Unlike series one, it is not a documentary following the formation of a girl group. Instead, series two focuses on individual artists — both solo artists and groups, with no gender or upper age limit. The series places its emphasis on original songwriting from the performers themselves.
Next week on the show, a who's-who of New Zealand music royalty arrive at the Popstars Villa for a special VIP performance show, hosted by ZM's Bree Tomasel. This is a chance for these artists to get in front of key industry heavyweights and show them they've got what it takes, before releasing their new singles.
Popstars screens Monday-Wednesday, 7.30pm, on TVNZ 2 and on TVNZ OnDemand.