General: Interview with Dom

Submitted by admin on 28 May, 2006 - 10:33am

As New Zealand braces for another round of warbling wannabes, we talk to the face of NZ Idol, Dominic Bowden.

Hi Dominic, so here we are again. Another year, another idol. Another round of auditions for thousands of people who think they can sing. How will you cope?

Well, to be honest I've been looking forward to getting under way for a while now. We sat down at the end of last year and talked about how we could make the show better. There's going to be more at stake; we've got $50,000 on the line plus a recording contract and a brand new 2006 Daihatsu SUV. Then there's the whole new line up on the judging table with Megan Alatini, Ian Stables and of course the return of the old statesman Frankie Stevens. Our judges have been pretty good buddies for the past two years, but believe me that's all about to change.

We've had the first idol, what was his name again. Oh yeah, Ben Lummis. Then we had Rosita. But we haven't heard much from either of them since the end of the TV series. How are their careers going?

There is no other opportunity like Idol for young talented kiwis to sing to a national audience. It's the original and you just have to look overseas to see that this phenomenon keeps going. The most important thing is that each series we make of the show is a step up from the year before and on a show like Idol it comes down to the talent, and New Zealand is full of young gifted people looking for a vehicle. What better way to put yourself out there than to get the chance to sing to 800,000 people every week?

Does NZ care what happens to its Idols after the cameras stop rolling on finals night? I mean, is being NZ Idol a bit like being a Miss World, once your year is over that's it for you and you might as well run off to marry Bruce Forsyth or appear on Dancing With the Stars.

It is what you make of it. I think it can be quite difficult to be plucked out of obscurity and then be scrutinized by the nation. A lot of the time on the last two seasons our idols have made decisions about their careers that have seen them not wanting the national spotlight. The other thing is that it's impossible for any artist, no matter how famous to keep up the level of exposure that a show like idol provides. But in saying that, Kelly Clarkson from American Idol disappeared after winning the show. She went away to work on her music and her styling and re-launched herself – now she is one of the biggest artists in the US. Idol made her a household name and she capitalised on that recognition, so again, it is what you make of it.

Who stands out in your mind as the best and worst contestants yet? And who is most memorable?

Best for me personally was Big Dave from series one – that man can sing – and the worst, well there are too many to name but a personal favourite of mine was Mr "Na na na na na" – he rules. As for memorable, the contestants I've really enjoyed are the ones not afraid to take the piss. The cookie monster – nice option, the cow girl – well done, I mean it's not rocket science – we're making a TV show. Personally I hope we see a lot more of that this year, put it out there, have a laugh. My pick for our winner this year is someone that the public can laugh with and I bet it will be a contestant that certainly doesn't fit the past idol mould. I think that's what people want, they want a point of difference, someone on a completely different page than all our idols from the previous two seasons.

What song do you think will be the most popular at the NZ Idol auditions this year, in Christchurch or nationwide?

The song I feel might be a little too popular and could give me nightmares is You're Beautiful by Jimmy Blunt.

You know what would be great, is if we got some quality acts like that Finnish monster group that just won Eurovision. What are the chances of uncovering that kind of talent in the Idol queues?

The one comment that I heard a lot last season, was that the talent had really improved from series one and that's what we expect them to say about series three. We want everyone in the show this year to enter with a different attitude. Forget about what they've seen, the audience wants more, more attitude, more confidence, more originality and that's what we hope to give them.

Doesn't the very fact that you win NZ Idol screw your chances at a long-term music career? It's not cool, is it?

Idol has been the biggest New Zealand made music show ever. Both seasons have been completely huge rating shows for TV2, you can't argue with those numbers and the reason it's so successful is the public are in control, it's their show and it's their idol.

You've become a bit of a TV idol yourself, especially among the female demographic. Is that tiresome? Can you go out and buy a bottle of milk without being mobbed?

I really enjoy chatting to people about the show, what they like, what they don't like, it's a privilege. The core of the idol audience is kids, and I love kids' honesty and loyalty towards the show, it certainly makes the immense amount of work we all put into it worthwhile.

Of course it's not only NZ Idol you're famous for. Celebrity Treasure Island, Squirt, the Girlfriend Model Search Competition. Do you worry that you've peaked? Any plans to head overseas?

I've been overseas for four months since Idol 2 finished and it's great to have a break and escape the madness of the show, but I'm raring to get back into it. The great part about this job for me is the unpredictability. I have my favourites early on, I think everyone does, but rarely do you find that they're the ones that deliver, it's the ones that come from nowhere that really capture the imagination of the country and it's great to be centre stage for the action.

What's the best bit about being you? And the worst?

Working with a great bunch of talented kiwis for the last six years. I think that's something people forget, that on all the shows I've had the opportunity to work on there are dozens, sometimes hundreds, of people behind the scenes making sure it all goes to plan. The worst thing is that being a foot taller than most of the contestants results in some very creative camera work.

Last words?
Go the Crusaders.


I love Dom! Good interview-

I love Dom! :D
Good interview- yay for Stuff :p

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