Jeremy Wells left both co-host Hilary Barry and rock star Bryan Adams feeling super awkward when he finally learned the true meaning behind Adams' hit Summer of '69. The Canadian singer appeared on Seven Sharp on Tuesday night to promote his Shine a Light Tour just a couple of hours before appearing onstage at Auckland's Spark Arena, but instead fell victim to co-host Jeremy Wells' desert dry wit.
Things got off to a rough start when Wells claimed his "exhaustive research" had uncovered rumours that Adams had wanted Kate Bush to sing vocals on his Grammy Award winning 1991 single (Everything I Do) I Do It For You.
"That's not true," replied Adams. "It's a good story though."
Hoping to keep things afloat, Adams kindly threw Wells a lifeline, explaining the song's co-writer Michael Kamen had sent the music to a number of potential singers.
"Kate might have been one of the people," he said. "You can ask her if you ever interview her."
Co-host Hilary Barry then chimed in, seeking insight about how British pop star Ed Sheeran had supposedly helped inspire Adams' latest album, Shine A Light.
"No, what happened…" tried Adams, before a sheepish Barry admitted defeat in sighing: "we've got that wrong too."
Too nice for his own good, Adams refused to let Barry sink either, assuring her that she was "mostly right" - he had met Sheeran during a visit to Dublin, and after emailing back and forth the pair worked together on the album's title track.
Wells then took another run at the 59-year-old, recounting the opening verse of Adams' breakthrough 1984 smash hit Summer of '69, before masterfully laying a trap, asking how true the song's first-person account was given, "you were nine [in 1969]."
Adams took the bait, as he misguidedly attempted to explain: "It's not about the year. It's a metaphor. I never said 1969."
"Oh, it's a metaphor for THAT," Wells exclaimed, pleased the pair were now on the same page, while Barry's uncomfortable demeanour confirmed otherwise.
Adams was now caught in a silent rip between waves of awkwardness and embarrassment, so Barry helped drag the conversation sideways, asking about his love of photography.
"If the lens cap is off and the focus is on, it usually works out," Adams modestly explained.
Having captured several intimate and acclaimed photographs of his late friend, Amy Winehouse, Adams described the troubled performer as "a lot of fun", "a great character" and "a great singer".
"It's quite said that she's gone. At one point, when I was with her, I just thought she was going to go for sure. She was really frail."
With the interview having finally reached credible territory, Wells decided to steer Adams back out to sea, where he dredged up a question about his reputation as "a planker" (in reference to the bygone social media trend).
"I've been called a lot worse," Adams conceded.
The excruciating six minute interview eventually reached its cringeworthy conclusion with Wells counting through his "top-five favourite ever Adamses".
Wells awarded his guest second place among a quality field that also featured The Addams Family, actor Amy Adams, Kiwi NBA star Stephen Adams - whose sister, Olympic gold medal winning shot put star, Valerie - topped the rankings.
"He's our favourite Canadian after Neil Young, Celine Dion, Justin Bieber, Drake and Avril Lavigne," Wells explained during the segment voice-over.
At this point, Barry refused to be a party to Wells' cruel barbs.
"You promised. You promised me, you were going to put him at No. 1 – how awkward is that?"
Adams, ever the professional, took it all in his stride.
"I'm happy to be at No.2 and I'll work at my shot put," he offered, before adding: "Anything else embarrassing you want to throw at me?"
"Well, potentially," warned Barry, as Wells handed Adams a guitar.
"Is it in tune?" he asked wisely, before treating his tormentors to a rendition of Shine A Light to close out the show.