NZ Idol 1: Singing Bull

Submitted by admin on 6 June, 2006 - 3:16pm

It was cold and damp at Rugby League Park last Sunday but Canterbury Bulls utility Lee Fidow was not yearning for the warming studio lights of the New Zealand Idol auditions at neighbouring Addington Raceway.

Fidow, 25, was the last South Island survivor in the 2004 Idol contest and just missed out on making the final 10. He still enjoys singing as a hobby but has no more Idol ambitions.

"One of the girls that was in my heat went in again last year, but I just don't want to go back there," said Fidow yesterday. It's not hard work, I reckon it's easy. But it's a popularity sort of contest. Little kids have a big influence on it (by texting votes)."

Fidow now directs his musical interests towards being part of the band Que and has returned to the sport in which he showed considerable promise while at the Aranui High School sports academy.

"We played in four finals against St Paul's (Auckland), and won one of them. I stopped playing league after I left Aranui because I went up to Auckland to do performing arts," he said.

During his non-league playing days Fidow ballooned to 135kg. But he had his weight well under control before entering Idol, and a full pre-season preparation with the Bulls last summer has trimmed him to a fit 98kg.

"Straight after Idol, when I didn't make it, I started playing league again. I think it was my way of working out the frustrations. I was supposed to get picked up for one of the Bulls games last year. But I got injured the week before I was to come up and that ended my season" he laughed.

Playing in the centres, Fidow scored 19 tries for Celebration Lions during their first premier season in 2004. He registered another nine tries last year before a leg injury sidelined him. The Bulls again called on Fidow, a bricklayer, when they were building their summer training squad and he made the final cut when the Bartercard Cup began in late March. His was no gentle introduction to the national competition. Fidow was fullback for the opening match against Auckland (previously Mount Albert) Lions at North Harbour Stadium in a Monday night televised replay of the 2005 grand final.

"I didn't like (fullback) at the start but as more games went on I started enjoying it. You get lots of ball," he said. Fidow made the most of that possession, running in four tries in his first five appearances.

"Lee has become a great option. He's been outstanding at fullback, outstanding at centre, and today he was outstanding when he went into the second-row. He's been a bit of a find." enthused Bulls assistant coach Brent Stuart after last Sunday's game.

Head coach Phil Prescott said Fidow had given him confidence that he could handle virtually any situation, praising his handling, tackling, and strength. The Bulls have won their last six games, the second-longest winning streak in the franchise's seven-season history, after losing away games to the Auckland Lions and Wellington in the first three rounds.

"I want to take it all the way this time," said Fidow, not only of the August 6 return date with the Lions in Christchurch but also in reference to the play-offs from late August.

THE PRESS - 2 JUN 2006

I remember him I think I

I remember him :) I think I voted for him once actually :O

Who? You voted for who?

Who? You voted for who?

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