It’s that time of year again when Spy gets out the crystal and magic 8-balls, reads the tarot cards, consults the tea leaves and looks up into the stars to try to predict who will make our headlines in 2019.
Samantha Hayes joins MAFS cast
Our astrology chart tells us the lure of reality TV will escalate for Newshub presenter Samantha Hayes.
Seeing her co-host Mike McRoberts shake his booty on Dancing with the Stars NZ, Hayes will reflect on that time away from the news desk last year when she was triumphant on the show. With the best timing, a producer from Three’s Married at First Sight NZ will ask: “Sam would you be interested in joining the MAFS cast?”
“Where’s the honeymoon this year?” she asks.
“Antarctica,” replies the producer.
“Sign me up, third time on that continent should be a charm,” she says.
MAFS producers can’t believe their luck. Not since former Bachelorette Bel Clarke signed on for the first season of MAFS has the show had such great crossover appeal.
But who they match her with is the question. One bright spark in the production team suggests someone she already knows — a good friend — who, given time in the experiment, might turn into a love match.
Next minute, the phone rings for Netflix star and Hayes’ great friend David Farrier.
Raelene Castle to take over NZRFU
This one is a tarot card prediction, by one of New Zealand’s best readers. A female will take one of NZ’s most powerful positions with a golden cup card to boot. Eureka! It’s Rugby World Cup year, the Webb Ellis Cup is gold, and Australian Rugby boss expat Raelene Castle was spotted in Auckland before Christmas. After 10 years in the role, could it be adieu for Steve Tew?
Castle, 48, made her career in the male-dominated world of rugby league, and before her job as head of Aussie Union, was the CEO of Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs from 2013 until 2017, and for six years before this, was head of Netball NZ.
She has commercial savvy and would make easy work of establishing our national game's respect-and-responsibility policy. Last year, the very same pack of tarot cards predicted our victorious Women’s Rugby World Cup team would become a professional entity. In June, Molenberg signed an historic sponsorship deal with the Black Ferns and Black Ferns Sevens.
With Castle taking over the reins we see more bread for our winning women and a fresh fire in Castle's belly, taking Union into the next decade.
Sitting up in your arm chair? The cards also predicted the All Blacks making the final of the RWC.
50/50 Political Punt
A year ago, deputy opposition leader Paula Bennett asked Spy to tell her gastric band surgery story. A year on, she has lost over 50kg.
Next April, Bennett turns 50. The magic 8-ball tells us it’s 50/50 at the time of her half century that an anticipated leadership role will happen in her caucus. Bennett will again rule herself out of the National Party leadership race but will seek to stay on as deputy. Always the bridesmaid will happen again for Bennett. A woman will become leader, someone she has a lot in common with.
The double female force will get matching haircuts to secure the new blue brand, it will be nicknamed the Bennett Bob. Hordes of Kiwis will follow suit, including PM Jacinda Ardern and first man Clarke Gayford to stay on trend.
Tights and Caped Crusader success for Kiwi Stars
Kiwi stars are about to take over the superhero world and we didn’t need intel from another realm to help us with this one. The previews told us.
The Boys is due for release on Amazon in 2019 with NZ stars Karl Urban and Antony Starr and we can feel some serious binge-watching coming on.
Urban has channelled the darkness from his characters Judge Dredd and Skurge from Thor: Ragnarok and turned it into the role of Billy Butcher, the leader of a group of vigilantes who set out to take down corrupt superheroes, with a willingness to fight dirty.
One of those corrupt superheroes is played by Starr, who ditches any street cred he gained on Banshee, and instead is blonde and dare we say, camps it up, as a caped crusader.
Elisabeth Shue and Chase Crawford are among the cast and although it has been toned down slightly from the raunchy comic books, the show was developed by Hollywood funny man Seth Rogen, known for his dark sense of humour.
Celebrity Pet Reality Show
Sensing they haven’t quite hit their reality TV show quota, a think tank at MediaWorks comes up with an ingenious new reality show, Celebrities and their Pets. The show is a popularity contest between some of New Zealand’s best-known faces and their four-legged friends.
It’s spiced up with a little bit of a Love Island formula, where the winner and their pet have to be successfully love matched with another celeb and their pet.
The winners get bespoke matching Michael Hill diamond-studded collars and a year’s supply of IAMS.
Rabbits and guinea pigs are ruled out and a search will ensue for an equal mix of cats, dogs and celebrities.
Former Bachelorette and DWTS star Chrystal Chenery comes home for the show with her new French bulldog Julia Roberts, not realising her ex and the man that took custody of their dog Brucey — real estate man-about-town —Ricky Cave, has also been cast.
The show has a happy ending.
Dominic Bowden joins Celebrity Treasure Island
TVNZ reveals its Celebrity Treasure Island cast. Google has an influx of New Zealanders checking the names of celebrities and only one man of the screen is standing out: it’s former X Factor and E! Channel host Dominic Bowden.
After a year of making big bucks on the MC circuit, involving some enviable travel, Bowden’s body is already tropics-ready.
Bowden is a hit with viewers on the show and he leaves the influencers, former politicians, former Shortland Street stars, former sports’ stars and former reality stars in his wake. The final is between the man who made ‘pausing’ famous and former Bachelor Art Green.
The nation is torn between team Dom and team Art . . . Green throws the last challenge when he finds out the final will take on the final of Three’s DWTS in which fiancee Matilda Rice has secured a place. They can’t win on both Networks . . . he thinks.
Bowden wins and gets given a new hosting gig on Three’s new furry reality show.
Briefs from the tea leaves and a grapevine
Taika Waititi and Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie will get Golden Globe nominations for Jojo Rabbit.
The Great Pot Debate will turn A Lister on A Lister.
A big-name sporting couple will make headlines for their split.
It’s a baby girl for Dan and Honor Carter.Breakfast chairs will do some revolving — not clear here if it’s Three or TVNZ 1 but we see an unexpected job offer for a male.
A TV presenter wrangles themselves a spot on a major political party list.
Lorde will collaborate with Joel Little for old times’ sake.
Pop star Shawn Mendes will announce he is dating a Kiwi model or actress ahead of his NZ tour in November.
Wedding of the Year
Will it be an All Black wedding, or will a reality star’s nuptials sell more magazines and become wedding of the year? Beauden Barrett and Hannah Laity’s wedding next month is sure to be a glittering affair, with equal parts sporting royalty, Auckland socialites and plenty of bulging wallets.
Another wedding due is that of star-crossed Bachelor lovers Art Green and Matilda Rice. With Rice on Dancing with the Stars and as mentioned, a prediction that Green will be on Celebrity Treasure Island, we think a late spring-early summer wedding may be on the cards.
This wedding will feature A Listers and fellow influencers.
Both bridal couples are sure to make beautiful magazine wedding spreads, but we have sensed a wedding that would capture global headlines.
Just before Christmas, an American man from Oregon put an ad in the Herald asking parents to help set up his three handsome sons, “alas not married,” on some blind dates with Kiwi women while on holiday in Godzone over the Christmas break.
“We are not expecting, just hoping, to introduce our sons to nice NZ daughters,” he wrote.
Yes, that’s right, the blind dates could be happening now! Imagine folks, we could have our own version of US musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, (minus eight). Watch this space.