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Pops Ultimate Star

Meet Steve Broad

Older, wiser and more confident.

That's the Steve Broad New Zealand saw on Pop's Ultimate Star, and as the man admits himself, it was a completely different person from that who competed on 2005's NZ Idol.

Steve was 19 when he was on Idol, and had only been singing for eight months.

"I didn't have a clue, I was just a baby," he said.

"I went into the show (Pop's Ultimate Star) and completely played my own game.  I didn't think I would win. I had a few demons I wanted to face, confidence, nerves to work on.

"I achieved what I wanted for myself.

"I'm a lot less naive this time, a lot wiser. I hope I'm better than what I was like on Idol.

"I feel I left in the really fun stage. I'm proud of myself I gave it my all, did my best," he said.

One of the proudest moments of Pop's Ultimate Star for Steve came at the end of his time on the show, when his fellow contestants told the cameras who they wanted to stay out of him and Camillia. Four out of six of them said Steve.

"I was blown away. That's priceless stuff, it means more than $50,000."

Now he said he was going back to Invercargill, and was looking forward to getting back into singing professionally, which he has been doing full-time since Idol.

The best part of that was the opportunity he had to encourage other people to follow their dreams.

"For me the thrill is in getting back and talking to kids and saying to them 'I want to hear you sing'."

And as for his top three on Pop's Ultimate Star?

"I love all the contestants, but I would love to see Joe, Ben and Emily hammer it out for the title.

"As people I respect them so much. They made this ride much more enjoyable, I look up to them so much."

Asked what life behind the scenes was like, and whether anyone had particular demands for crazy things in their dressing rooms, he laughed, and finally admitted that Matt loved black jellybeans.

And he said Joe was "the funniest person in the world".

"Joe is probably the biggest, most well known face out of us, and I was really surprised how nervous she gets, and she is truly not playing the game.

Looking back on his time on the show, he said he had had great fun, and had no regrets.

"It was a completely different experience from Idol. I don't think the public can appreciate the pressure and intensity of the show. It's so much more than a singing competition.

"I've had a blast."