Bostwick's Box: Still My Idols
NZ Idol: A Celebration Thursday June 24 7.30pm TV2
Ladies and gentlemen, and of course boys and girls: Announcing the NZ Idol Idolised Tour 04. Seven of our top ten Idols including crowned King Ben Lummis will travel the length and breadth of New Zealand in July playing 15 shows in 17 days. With a glowing smile, Ben says "It's our way of saying thanks for the support and giving back to New Zealand through performance."
Quirky Idol Judge Paul Ellis has taken hold of the tour reins and become self-appointed camp leader. And, by the looks, he's raring to show off his seven beauties. "I wouldn't say I'm the Dad of the group but there's definitely a family feeling here... It's important that we do this because the whole of New Zealand voted. The tour is our way of thanking everyone for being an amazing audience."
Each show will feature Ben singing songs from his debut solo album One Road, signature songs from Sela, Dave, Eddie, Luke, Camillia and Michael, and a few show stopping surprises. According to host Dominic Bowden speaking about the towns and cities set for an Idol take-over, "They're gonna eat it up!"
Now this is all very exciting but what about a bit of good old gossip? Such as, why only seven? Well, the main reason being that Paul Ellis and event organiser Tracy Magan didn't want to overcrowd the tour. Jessie is unavailable due to commitments with the musical Evita allowing the return of Sela to help bolster the girl department. And as for Robin and Filipo, their absence is related to their Idol ranking, I think.
What about record deals? Paul Ellis is quick to answer over the top of Camillia when the question of label interest is posed directly to her. It seems there is much a-brewing beneath the surface but an air of "hush hush" is enforced. Michael has already signed with BMG, the label also behind Ben, and work is underway to release his album before the end of the year, I suspect in time for Christmas.
Luke has put his teaching career on hold as he tries his hand at being the next Tony Robbins, giving talks on confidence to kids. Meanwhile, most of the rest have happily gone back to their usual ways, at least for the moment. Eddie is again pumping gas on the Coromandel. When I ask if he's been able to up gas sales with his celebrity status, he answers, "No but I have sold a lot more lollipops to young girls and given lots of autographs."
NZ Idol will return to the small screen on TV2, Thursday June 24 at 7.30pm for a concert preview. NZ Idol: A Celebration will give viewers a taste of what to expect when Idol hits the road in July but to let the cat out of the bag, the concert was actually filmed on the Idol stage four days after the final, so don't expect a drastic new look.
As New Zealand readies itself for a nation wide Idol onslaught, I sit counting my lucky stars. Finally meeting and talking with the Idols is a special experience. Deep down I feel a little star-struck - the power of the little box lives on.
Afterwards, someone asks me if there was anything different about Ben, and I have to say yes. Apart from freshly zigzagged lines in his head and a cream jacket that says half 2004, half 1970s pimp - a confident yet not cocky air of 'I am the winner' certainly surrounds him. He glows more radiant than the rest and answers each question with an ear to ear smile (his teeth are so clean) - I suppose that's what you get when your single sells 4 x platinum, the highest ever selling single in New Zealand.
And on top of this Paul Ellis is quietly rapt, "You're number 1 Ben, you're still number 1."
1st Auckland - Bruce Mason Centre
2nd Whangarei - Forum North
3rd Auckalnd - Aotea Centre
4th Hamilton - Founders Theatre
5th Tauranga - QE2 Stadium
7th New Plymouth - TSB Stadium
8th Taupo - Great Lakes Centre
9th Hawkes Bay - Pettigrew Arena
10th Palmerston North - Regent Theatre*
12th Wellington - Events Centre
13th Nelson - Trafalgar Centre
14th Christchurch - Town Hall
15th Timaru - Theatre Royal
16th Invercargill - Southland Stadium*
17th Dunedin - Town Hall
Tickets from $40 at Ticketek except * from Ticket Direct
I want to go, but I dont have $40 and I have no one to go with, also I have no way to get there *cries*