Pop superstar Ricky Martin is set to give Kiwi songbird Jackie Thomas the biggest break of her career.
The Puerto Rican pin-up flew into New Zealand on a whistle-stop visit to Auckland to film a performance of his new single Mr Put It Down that will be broadcast in the March 30 episode of X Factor NZ.
Martin — a judge on The Voice Australia — appeared blissfully unaware of the row over sacked judges Willy Moon and Natalia Kills. He preferred to rave about Thomas, the 2013 winner of X Factor NZ.
He said he had never even heard of Kills and Moon, nor their on-air meltdown.
"What I do know is Jackie Thomas is outstanding and I am looking forward to working with her," he told the Herald on Sunday yesterday.
Martin has asked Thomas to be his support act when his One World global tour kicks off next month with gigs in Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton and Christchurch.
"I want to meet Jackie and check out the vibe and if the chemistry is good, maybe we will do something in the studio together. [We] could perhaps record a single."
Martin's Kiwi dates will be his first since he rocked Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium in October 2000.
He promised to take fans on a journey back through his monster hits such as Livin' la Vida Loca, She Bangs and Shake Your Bon-Bon.
"The last time in New Zealand will always be special to me as it was the end of a successful two-year tour," he said. "I also did my first skydive while I was here."
Martin said he would be bringing his 6-year-old twin sons, Matteo and Valentino, with him for the shows.
"As a single father I like to take my kids everywhere with me and maybe I will let them see me do a bungy jump this time."
Tour dates: April 17: Auckland's Vector Arena; April 18: Wellington's TSB Bank Arena; April 19: Hamilton's Claudelands Arena; April 21: Christchurch's CBS Canterbury Arena.