McDonald's Young Entertainers

McDonald's Young Entertainers was a New Zealand teenager talent reality series that ran from 1997 to 1999 on TVNZ's TV2 at 6:30pm on Sundays. It was hosted by Jason Gunn,[1] and endorsed by the McDonald's franchise. The show was inspired by The Mickey Mouse Club.[2] Leigh Evans was a choreographer.[3]

McDonald's Young Entertainers
Presented byJason Gunn
Country of originNew Zealand
Original languageEnglish
Original networkTV2
Original releaseMarch 1997 (March 1997) –
September 1999 (September 1999)

McDonald's Young Entertainers was broadcast in New Zealand from March 1997 to September 1999. Many episodes ended with a live cover of Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand) by Diana Ross. The show aired with high ratings among young audiences, but was cancelled within two years in late 1999.[1] Independent country artist Ainslie Allen appeared on the show.[4]

Super TroupeEdit

The show featured Jason Gunn as the host and a group of talented young teenagers as a regular troupe of singers and dancers. The young talents’ job was to make the three contestants that would appear on the show feel at ease while they were under tight scrutiny from the resident judges, including singer Tina Cross.

The troupe and the contestants all had to be aged 18 or under in order to be eligible for the show. Jason and the troupe would open and close each individual show with big production numbers, as well as performing cover of various songs during the show, individually or as a group.[1]

People from the troupeEdit

Featured youthEdit

McMillan Bergman was a semi-finalist on the show at age twelve.[6]

The show featured some New Zealand teenagers who are now famous, including television personality Drew Neemia[7] cricketer Ronald Karaitiana,[8] singer Hayley Westenra, Kiwi Asian actress Michelle Ang.[9] and concert pianist John Chen.[citation needed]

The show has been an inspiration to New Zealand performers.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Yates, Siena (October 24, 2012). "'Big Dane': big heart - and dreams". Stuff.
  2. ^ a b "Drew Neemia returns to his musical past". Stuff.
  3. ^ "Here we go again". Stuff.
  4. ^ "The Third Annual Aotearoa Country Music Awards in Palmerston". Pacific Scoop. August 12, 2019.
  5. ^ "Our day, our way". New Zealand Herald.
  6. ^ "What's On: Travel worth it for Kerikeri mum's starring role in Phantom of the Opera". The New Zealand Herald. 24 May 2019.
  7. ^ Corcoran, Sinead. "Flashback Friday: Where in the world is Drew Neemia?". Stuff.
  8. ^ Bidwell, Hamish. "Unheralded bowler finds a new starring role". Stuff.
  9. ^ "Anna Paquin, Rose McIver and the other Kiwi child stars who found adult fame". Stuff.

External linksEdit