The old boy's getting soft!
Veteran entertainer Gary McCormick has launched a stinging attack on the "ritual humiliation, cruelty and bullying" taking place on New Zealand television screens on Sunday nights.
McCormick's targets were the "nasty" judges of young talent vying for a spot in NZ Idol's second season.
The show has just finished national auditions that saw thousands of wannabe pop stars line up for the chance to have their singing talent noticed.
It was the harsh criticism meted out to the not-so-talented that worried McCormick. He said the show's producers ensured some of the really bad singers made it through the first round so they could be humiliated for the entertainment of the masses.
Judge Paul Ellis said contestants knew what they were getting into when they walked into the audition room, and the judges were just being honest.
McCormick did not accept that response. He cited Ellis asking one contestant: "Who told you you could sing?" When told it was the contestant's mother, Ellis said the woman must be tone deaf.
"[The contestant] was almost in tears," McCormick said.
"That's not my idea of a family-oriented talent show on a Sunday night."