Those who saw David Seymour's performance on Dancing with the Stars back in 2018 will see him as an unlikely rock star. The poor thing was so stiff and unco-ordinated, you could see it visibly pained the judges to have to mark his performances. But he became a cult hero, apparently, among young men at the better schools and they voted him back on to the show, week after week, especially after his Twerk, which, if seen, can never be unseen.
He was finally voted off by the judges but made it through to the semi-final, thanks to public support.
There's no doubt that the Seymour Twerk will be right up there with the all-time eye-popping moments of Dancing with the Stars, along with Paul Holmes' interpretation of Michael Jackson's Thriller dance and, coincidentally, another Act Party leader's mortification.
Poor Rodney Hide dropped his dance partner on her head during an ambitious lift, scoring the lowest score in the history of the show. To his credit, he and his plucky dance partner, Krystal Stuart, returned for the finale and managed to execute the dance and the lift without incident, so fair play. (All of these dances are able to be viewed on the internet should you wish to disappear down a rabbit hole this Sunday afternoon.)
But there was another eye-popping television moment featuring Seymour this week. The leaders' debate on Wednesday night hosted by Paddy Gower had all the snap, crackle and pop that the previous leaders' debate lacked.
The Labour Party leader brought her A-game this week and National Party leader, Judith Collins, rose to the challenge.
Watching our leaders' debate made me so glad to be living in New Zealand after watching the horror show that was the American Presidential Election debate earlier in the day. Both our female leaders would have wiped the floor with those bumbling old men. Both women had some zingers and it was a pretty even contest – although Ms Collins' matronising "What for, dear?" should have earned her a yellow card.
The moment came when the leader of the National Party was asked if she thought David Seymour, the leader of Act, would make a good deputy Prime Minister. Judith Collins replied emphatically that, "He'd make an excellent deputy Prime Minister," to which Jacinda Ardern let out an involuntary "Jeepers." Echoing, no doubt, the thoughts of the nation.
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Seymour appeared on my radio show the morning after the debate as part of our build-up to the election and I think he must have thought "Jeepers" too. He assured me he had no interest in accepting the baubles of office – he'd turned down being a minister in John Key's government because he thought he would make more of an impact outside of Cabinet. We had a wide-ranging discussion and he certainly impressed my listeners although, to be fair, he had a receptive audience.
Generally, Act does well when National's in disarray and an argument could be made that that's the reason for Act's rise in the polls this election. However, after listening to Seymour respond to a range of questions concisely and coherently, without the benefit of notes or minders, I'm inclined to think that David Seymour is doing well because of David Seymour. He assured me, and the listeners, that any MPs he brings in with him should the polls translate into votes will be capable politicians - he's been putting them through their paces in a training school for the past six months.
So hopefully we won't see a repeat of the Alliance and New Zealand First debacles. Those kids who voted for Seymour back in the DWTS days may well be voting for Seymour in their first general election but whatever the reason for Act's rise in the polls, David Seymour has worked - and twerked - hard for his gains.