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Hayley on Good Morning America (Intro)
February 12th, 2004

This photo arrived from Steve Abbott, Hayley's Manager, moments before the program aired.
He comments:

"Hayley just before going on to the GMA programme this morning, 12th April 2004."

Also interesting to note that the label from the bottle of water has been removed. :-)

All images on this page may be enlarged

Report from Steve MacDonald - 20040412

Hayley Westenra -- Good Morning America

I set my alarm last night for 6 a.m., thinking it would surely allow me ample time to get to New York City's fabled Times Square where the studios for ABC's "Good Morning America" are located.

Just as the new day dawned the alarm rudely sounded. Ouch. In a state of semi-wakefulness I somehow managed to be ready and out the door by 6:30. The walk to the Square -- just over a mile away -- would take me no more than 20 minutes.

When I arrived at 44th and Broadway I saw that there were dozens of people waiting to get in, so humbly I took my place at the end of the queue. One by one they entered the ground-floor studio after first emptying pockets and passing through the metal detector.

When I finally got within 6 places of the door the guard announced that they were full and that no one else would be allowed in. My heart sank.

I lingered around on the sidewalk, having to content myself with viewing the show from the large windows that looked in on the fun. But I wasn't alone: there were a good two dozen of us still milling around outside, pretty much in the same boat.

At about 7:10 the show started (the earlier minutes were consumed by local news) and those of us outside could only imagine how "included" the studio audience must've felt to our "left out in the cold."

Then at 8:00 a miracle or sorts happened: Five people in the audience left and that meant five new people could now go in! I bolted to the entrance but wasn't quite fast enough to be among the elite five. My heart sank even lower, until a few minutes later when yet another person exited. Now for the real miracle: The sentry then signaled that I could finally come in.

I walked into a standing-room-only set and stood near the back. I had a perfect sight-line to the stage where Hayley would be singing. After being there for just 15 minutes Hayley was announced to the studio audience and walked onstage looking at least four times more radiant than any photograph you've ever seen of her.

She greeted the crowd, the musicians and the show's camera crew and stood around onstage chatting with GMA staffers for a few minutes before taking a microphone and singing just the first verse from Pokarekare Ana in her hauntingly beautiful voice. This was called a "bumper" -- a teaser that would show in the minutes leading up to her actual appearance. Bumper or not, the audience were stunned at what they just heard and gave her an immediate ovation. Hayley then posed for pictures and autographs for a minute or two to pad the show's visuals on her introduction.

About 20 minutes later her segment was set to begin. Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson entered the stage area to do the interview. I'll let the video of this speak for itself. Suffice to say, this was a triumphant performance that sounded impossibly good up close.

After the show ended we all cleared out onto the street. I strolled around the corner and noticed several limos lined up by the side door. A small line of autograph seekers had already formed. I had my copy of Pure in tow so I figured, why not? About ten minutes later the door swung open so Hayley and her entourage could leave. She noticed the line and immediately reached for her marker and began signing away.

When she reached me I was a bit too tongue-tied to say anything half-way intelligent so I mumbled something to the effect that I thought she sounded better live than on record, not knowing if she'd take that as a compliment or not, but she graciously said "thanks." I told her and her manager that I was friends with Keith and Simon, the masterminds of HWI, and they seemed pleased enough at that. I asked Abbo it he would kindly take a picture of Hayley and me, which he did without complaint.

After seeing Hayley perform so magnificently on what is essentially her American television debut I have no doubt whatsoever she will be a full-fledged star this country in the months ahead. There's just too much talent to be anything less than a superstar of the highest calibre.

Steve MacDonald (USA)

GMA Multimedia

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