Howick High’s idols, Pixie Bennett and Jason Hartman, in top 14

2009-02-19 00:00

Howick High could easily be mistaken for the set of High School Musical, given that two of their former pupils have made it into the top 14 of M-Net’s Idols.

On Monday night, the final 14 contestants were announced live on the subscription channel. Among them were Pixie Bennett and Jason Hartman — who both spent their entire high school careers at the school.

“I’m absolutely thrilled and excited to have been chosen for the top 14 from thousands that applied,” 24-year-old Bennett, who matriculated in 2001, said to The Witness yesterday.

“This is really a boost to my confidence as a performer, so watch this space.”

This was the first time that Bennett had entered the competition, which is in its fifth season. She was surprised (and grateful) to have made it thus far. Although she is sure of herself, she admits that she faces some stiff competition.

“This year’s group is a bunch of amazingly talented individuals, so I don’t know about winning,” she laughed.

Hartman (29) shares her sentiment.

“The difference with this Idols [competition] is that everyone here does not just want to be a singer,” he said. “This time, they’ve really upped the game because people were allowed to audition and perform with their instruments. We’re a group of musicians as opposed to just singers. The group has been through the woodwork. We live music.”

Hartman, who matriculated in 1997, is the oldest Idols contestant this year. He said his age played a big part in his decision to enter. “I’m 29. I just thought well what do I have to lose — and look where I am now,” he joked.

And the two can count on their former school’s vote — staff and all.

“We are extremely delighted that they’ve made it this far in the competition. They are both very talented musically,” said Howick High principal Rob Langley.

Langley said that ever since they first spotted them in the beginning of the series, the staff congregate every Monday to watch video recordings of their Sunday performances. “We have meetings … specifically to watch recordings of the show … ”

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