Talented young singer and musician Tyree Wall is the latest local to take a shot at fame on Māori Television's new talent show 5 Minutes of Fame next week.
The show, which screens on Thursdays at 8.30pm, is hosted by Turanga Merito with judges Pere Wihongi and Bella Kalolo. Two vocalists compete against each other in one of four categories per episode – teen, female, male and group. There are eight performances per heat and a total of six heats; only four category winners per heat progress to the quarter-finals.
Next Thursday (June 24) in the teen section Taupō-nui-a-Tia College student Tyree, singing 'Ordinary People', competes against Kapowairua Waitai from Kaitaia with 'Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing'.
His appearance follows two other sets of locals three weeks ago, Dynasty and Darlene Marshall of Tūrangi and Lucian McDermott of Taupō.
In the end, eight contestants will compete in the final of 5 Minutes of Fame before the top four – a teen, a female, a male and a group – face off to win the overall title. Category winners and overall title winner share a prize pool of $15,000.
To take the plunge and audition was a huge step for Tyree, who only last year was so shy that he did not like other people to see him singing. But his confidence has grown and the judges liked his video audition of the song 'Tennessee Whiskey' so much that he was invited to do a live audition and then was selected for the finals of 5 Minutes of Fame.
With the support of his music teacher and uncle David Wall, who is teaching Tyree vocals and guitar, he had three days to learn a new song before he and mum Caela were given the rock star treatment - flown to Auckland and put up in a hotel.
Almost as soon as they arrived Tyree had three rehearsals with the live band plus recording the video interview ("that was really awkward") and going through wardrobe, hair and makeup, interviews and photographs. He also had to balance rehearsing with saving his voice.
Tyree says before the taping of the final performance, which had to be done in one take, he was incredibly anxious. He couldn't eat breakfast and his nerves were on high alert.
"I was so nervous I was about to spew."
But he was calmed by the arrival of a carload of his cousins, who had arrived for a surprise visit and to watch him live.
"That really helped. They just didn't even make me that nervous anymore."
When it came to the performance in front of the judges, Tyree's proud family say their boy absolutely nailed it, looking relaxed and sounding good, with both David and his wife Carol Wall crying with pride while Tyree was singing.
"He just let go when he performed, it was really cool," says David. "He looked relaxed, he smiled on stage and did everything that they told him to do."
"It was cool [during the song]," Tyree says. "Everyone just smiled and it just makes me feel more confident and supported and I got lots of applause at the end."
Tyree can't divulge the outcome of the heats but says the whole experience of being on television has made him "way more confident". His next project is to make his first album and he is already hard at work on the second song for it. He is also learning piano to add to his musical repertoire.
■ You can catch Tyree Wall on Māori Television's 5 Minutes of Fame, screening at 8.30pm on Thursday, June 24.