ORIGINAL POP STARS: Finding TrueBliss in ours 40s
New Zealand Woman's Weekly|April 12, 2021
THE TRAILBLAZERS RELIVE THE DREAM ALL OVER AGAIN!
Karyn Henger
It’s been 22 years since TrueBliss burst onto New Zealanders’ TV screens to become one of the nation’s most memorable girl groups. And although Keri Harper, Joe Cotton, Megan Alatini and Erika Takacs are no longer willing to wear PVC, they still perform together whenever they can – and love doing so.

Now in their forties, the four women formed TrueBliss along with Carly Binding on the world-first reality-TV series Popstars in 1999. The band split up a year later and Carly went on to pursue a solo career, but this foursome remained firm friends and now they’ve returned to the stage.

To celebrate the return of Popstars to the small screen this week, they’ve gathered for the Weekly to recreate their first album cover, but their obvious excitement at seeing each other suggests a good catch-up may have been the number-one reason they said yes. The return of Popstars has sent them on a trip down memory lane.

“It makes us feel so old,” says Keri, who was 19 when she appeared on the show. “A lot of the contestants are around the 16- or 17-year-old mark. They weren’t even born when TrueBliss was formed. We make a guest appearance on the show as mentors and before we met the contestants, we were worried they wouldn’t even know who we were. Thank goodness they’d done their research!”

On a more serious note, Erika adds, “I was super excited to hear Popstars was coming back. It’s about time. I was a bit anxious about how they were going to execute it because when we did it, it all felt very rushed, but our introduction to the set left me impressed. The production value was really good. They had a great crew, and it looked the way it should have when we did it.”

‘A lot of the time, we didn’t even have enough money to pay for food or rent’

The group has bittersweet memories about their whirlwind year together as New Zealand’s first made-on-TV pop group. “We got shoved into a situation that nobody had ever been in before, and everybody was flying by the seat of their pants,” says Joe. “Although it was exciting, every night I was going home to sleep on one of the production people’s floors because I’d just got on a plane to come to Auckland and do this, I didn’t know anybody, and I didn’t have anywhere to live.”

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