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The X Factor NZ: goodbye to Cassie

Kelly Betrand blogs about The X Factor NZ.

If you know me at all, you’ll know I’m an exceptional driver.

Sure, I might take corners a little quickly and for some reason speed cameras seem to have a deep attraction for my little silver Toyota Levin, but I am brilliant.

I think it comes from watching many episodes of Top Gear. I am New Zealand’s Jeremy Clarkson, minus the potbelly, chain smoking and (hopefully) the arrogance.

So, it makes sense that the lovely people at Ford decided to give me the new Kuga to test drive for a week.

It’s the car the winner of The X Factor NZ receives as a prize – the one that features on the ads with the contestants so loveably singing Che Fu in the back seat – so I was a bit apprehensive about taking it, even though as I’ve said above, it couldn’t be in safer hands.

(If you ignore the big scrape on the side of the house where I might have slid my Levin a little too close to the wall. Not my fault, incidentally.)

“So, I don’t have to sing in it, do I?” was the first question I asked the PR lady on the other end of the phone.

She assured me I didn’t.

“Oh, awesome, let’s get in the back and sing!” my flatmate yelled with glee the second I pulled in the driveway.

“Are you going to put this in your blog? Man, I just write this thing for you,” he said. “I should be getting the car.”

While he could keep dreaming, I gingerly started testing the many buttons.

Heated seats, which were both amazing and slightly disconcerting (it does kind of feel like you’ve peed yourself if you’re not used to the sensation), sunroof, a boot that comes up by itself, gizmos that mean if you go out of your lane (not a problem for me, obviously) it puts you right back in, and a whole lot of other things that I couldn’t figure out how to work but were equally impressive.

In short, I felt what it was like to be the winner of The X Factor NZ for a week. Have to say, I rather liked it. Shame about the singing part of the whole thing though.

This week’s elimination does put rest to the question that bugged me since the start of the competition – what would happen to the car if Cassie won?

While that’s now redundant, I have never heard so many stories of little girls crying at their favourite being eliminated. Our editor Louise’s youngest was bawling her eyes out, and our online editor’s little girl’s face crumpled when Dom finally got to the results.

So, it’s down to New Zealand’s sweetheart, Greymouth girl Jackie Thomas, Christchurch charmers Moorhouse, alternative Palmy boy Benny Tipene and Canterbury crooner Whenua Patuwai.

The judges have been working extra hard with their contestants this week, and although the Weekly tore them away from the acts for an afternoon last week for a glamorous photoshoot (see this week’s issue) their focus is purely on making sure their acts take the prize.

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