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 … ”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.