The X Factor is back!

Thursday, September 13th at 7:30pm
Friday, September 14th at 7:30pm

Multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning worldwide pop icon Britney Spears and singer, songwriter and actress Demi Lovato join L.A. Reid and Simon Cowell as judges on The X Factor USA, the hit singing competition series returning to our screens for its second season on Thursday, September 13th at 7:30pm on 3.

“I’m absolutely delighted Britney and Demi are joining us,” says Simon Cowell. “Britney remains one of the biggest stars in the world, she’s talented, fascinating – and I believe she knows exactly how to spot the X factor. Demi’s had an amazing career in music, TV and film for someone her age. She’s young, confident, and enthusiastic. I think it’s really important that she speaks to our younger audience. The new panel will be dynamic and will work really well with the changes we are making to the show.”

“I couldn’t be more excited to join The X Factor USA judging panel,” adds Spears. “I’m a huge fan of the show and now I get to be a part of the action. Simon and L.A. better watch out!”

“I’m so thrilled to join this legendary group of judges on The X Factor USA,” says Lovato. “To be able to spend each week with Simon, L.A. and Britney watching the best that America has to offer is truly a dream come true.”

The X Factor USA will see the four judges hit the road across America for a massive audition tour to find contestants who might have the ‘X factor’.
The new categories for The X Factor USA, as well as the judges assigned to mentor the categories:

Solo singers ages 12 to 16 – mentored by Demi Lovato
Solo singers ages 17 to 24 – mentored by Britney Spears
Solo singers ages 25 and over – mentored by L.A. Reid
Groups – mentored by Simon Cowell

This will culminate with a huge weekly LIVE show, where the singers will battle it out in front of the judges and the U.S. public.

But before this happens, make sure not to miss your first introduction to the thousands that tried out when The X Factor USA premieres with those sometimes more than just-a-little embarrassing auditions on Thursday, September 13th and Friday, September 14th at 7:30pm on 3.

Gillard releases statement after death of her father

Julia Gillard:

My father, John Gillard, passed away this morning in Adelaide.

He has battled illness in recent years but his death is a shock for me and my family.

Dad lived a long and full life. He was brought up in a coal mining village and left school at 14, but transcended these humble beginnings to become a man with a love of ideas, political debate and poetry.

Migrating to Australia in 1966, he studied for a new life in a new land and became a psychiatric nurse. For more than two decades, he showed his capacity for love and care to those most in need of help.

My father was my inspiration. He taught me that nothing comes without hard work and demonstrated to me what hard work meant as a shift worker with two jobs. He taught me to be passionate about fairness. He taught me to believe in Labor and in trade unionism.

But above all, he taught me to love learning and to understand its power to change lives. He always regretted his family background meant he had not proceeded on to higher education as a young man. He was determined that I had the opportunities he was denied.

‘One Million New Zealanders’ watched The Block finale

1,099,400 New Zealanders tuned in during last night’s two-hour finale of The Block NZ in which siblings Libby and Ben Crawford won the action-packed contest – and an amazing $237,000 – after a auction broadcast LIVE on TV3. (5+ cume reach.)

The sister and brother’s design flair and high standards of craftsmanship made them favourites in the contest, which saw four couples renovate four dilapidated houses with the goal of selling them at auction for the highest price.

The series has been a ratings success for TV3, and the final episode attracted an average audience of 491,600 Kiwis with viewership peaking at 628,500 in the final 15 minutes of the finale. (5+ average audience.)

MediaWorks acting Head of Programming Mark Caulton says the finale was a spectacular end to TV3’s biggest series of 2012.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the way Kiwis have embraced the show and the couples. The Block NZ has exceeded all our expectations.”

In the key commercial demographics, the finale won a 35.2% share in the 25-54 demographic, and was popular family viewing with a 34.3% share in the Main Household Shoppers with Children demographic.

The Block NZ was produced by Eyeworks Television for TV3. Foundation partners are Bunnings Warehouse, Kiwibank, Mazda and Wild Bean Cafe.

– TV3

Are you ready for The Ridges?

Wednesday, September 12th at 7:30pm

They are the most talked about mother and daughter duo in New Zealand; tabloid fodder and Twitter targets who are famous for being famous. But who are Sally and Jaime Ridge…really?

Vacuous, shallow, attention seekers who grace the Sunday gossip columns week after week? Or simply misunderstood? A dysfunctional mother/daughter relationship? Or a close parent and child who love spending time together?

Meet the real people behind all those headlines in this surprisingly candid, funny and heart-warming reality series.

The Ridges sees Sally and Jaime open the doors to their home and open their hearts to the cameras – in their words: “we have nothing to lose, and nothing to hide – know us before you judge us”.

The series starts as both Sally and Jaime embark on massive personal challenges. Sally has just bought a rundown, mouse-ridden 13 bedroom boarding house and needs to make it liveable for her family of four children to move in. Working with a limited budget, this single mother will have to draw on all her experience as an interior designer to pull it off.

Video request: The Ridges Vs Kath and Kim mash-up:

Meanwhile Jaime – a self proclaimed book nerd with zero fitness – is invited to fight in a high profile boxing event. With just five weeks to train for it and against her mother, and her agent Sara Tetro’s (New Zealand’s Next Top Model) wishes, the headstrong 18-year-old says “yes”.

What ensues is a highly emotional – and often hilarious – rollercoaster that threatens to drive a wedge between this previously inseparable mother and daughter.

The Ridges is an endearingly honest window into life on the celebrity circuit, the glamour of Auckland’s nightlife and the reality of those people we love to hate.

The Ridges Promo:

Make sure not to miss it when the series premieres on Wednesday, September 12th at 7:30pm on 3.

NZ boyband single out today

‘Come On Home’ the debut single from New Zealand’s hottest new boy band, Titanium is out today and is already at #1 on the iTunes chart!

The track, written by Vince Harder is about “reminiscing about those good times we have with our loved ones, and having them by our side”, Harder explains.

The boys, who already have a growing legion of fans (calling themselves The Titans) are hoping to see ‘Come On Home’ rocket to number one on the New Zealand singles chart.

“Making number one on the chart means everything to these boys,” says Emily Hancox, Marketing Manager for The Edge.

“They’ve put in the hard work, giving up their jobs and study which demonstrates their drive and commitment – and the $10,000 cash they’ll walk away with if ‘Come On Home’ makes number one on the official NZ chart released 5pm Monday 17th, may also be an incentive!”

TK, Haydn, Zac, Jordi, Shaq and Andrew who form the six members of Titanium were the lucky winners of a nationwide competition, The Edge Boy Band with KFC Krushers.

The single premiered on The Edge at 7.00am this morning the video for ‘Come On Home’ will be premiered on FOUR Live at 5.45pm today.

‘Come On Home’ is available for sale at all digital retailers now.

iTunes link