Two Te Rerenga School sisters the winners of nationwide Seven Sharp Competition

14 Sep 2021

Two Te Rerenga School sisters, Rosie (10) and Stella (8) James, are the winners of a nationwide Seven Sharp video competition with their impersonation of Hillary Barry and Jeremy Wells, hosts of the popular TVNZ1 current affairs programme.

The sisters live on a beef farm at Te Kouma south of Coromandel Town with their parents and two younger sisters. The family are keen Seven Sharp viewers.

Mum, Jenna, says one of the things Rosie and Stella did during the most recent lockdown was to learn how to make and edit video clips. “When they heard about the competition, they just knew they had to enter,” she says. 

The first stumbling block the sisters had to overcome was to decide who will be impersonating who. “There was a fair amount of arguing going on, but in the end Rosie played Jeremy and Stella was Hillary,” says Jenna.

The sisters were in agreement that the 30-second video would be a compilation of some of the best Seven Sharp moments. In order to determine what to include, they spent hours watching online segments of the programme. “In the end they captured quite a lot of footage and then inevitably quarrelled about what to include in the final version,” says Jenna. “But once the disagreements were overcome, the girls’ entry was quite special.”

Among the moments captured in the video are Hillary’s attempt to cut Jeremy’s hair during last year’s lockdown and Hillary’s comment that she was “…a bit underdressed for Ponsonby…”

There was more to the entry than just video footage. Rosie and Stella also painted a studio background and dressed the couch they were sitting on to match the Seven Sharp version.

Jenna says once their entry was submitted, Rosie and Stella were on tenterhooks to hear how they have done. On Friday, 27 August, the day the winning entry was announced, they received a call to say they were in the top five and comedian Rhys Mathewson would like to interview them via Zoom. “They were super excited,” says Jenna. “When Rhys touched base with them, it didn’t take him long to break the news that they were actually the winners. The girls’ reaction was amazing. I was super proud.”

Once they knew they had won, Rosie and Stella immediately made a plan to make sure dad, Tristan, would be watching Seven Sharp that evening. Without giving the surprise away, Jenna also told some family and friends to make sure they were in front of the television to watch the sisters being interviewed. “As soon as the segment aired, our phone started ringing,” says Jenna. “Everyone was so happy for the girls.”

For their effort, Rosie and Stella won $10,000 worth of Panasonic products. “Everything arrived a few days ago, says Jenna. “A brand-new fridge, TV, soundbar, microwave, bread maker and vacuum cleaner. It’s pretty cool.”

Te Rerenga School principal, Mary Kedzlie, says she’s very impressed with the quality of Rosie and Stella’s video. “I think they nailed Hillary Barry and Jeremy Wells perfectly,” she says. I’m so exciting for them to win the Panasonic products too.”

The Seven Sharp segment where Rosie and Stella were announced as the winners of the competition can be seen on the Te Rerenga School Facebook page.

Pictured: Te Rerenga School students, Rosie (left) and Stella James, as Hillary Barry and Jeremy Wells in their entry impersonating the presenters of the TVNZ1’s current affairs programme, Seven Sharp.