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The cast of Taskmaster NZ season four (Photos: TVNZ / Design: Archi Banal)
The cast of Taskmaster NZ season four (Photos: TVNZ / Design: Archi Banal)

Pop CultureMay 30, 2023

Who are the contestants on the new season of Taskmaster NZ?

The cast of Taskmaster NZ season four (Photos: TVNZ / Design: Archi Banal)
The cast of Taskmaster NZ season four (Photos: TVNZ / Design: Archi Banal)

Meet the five new funny people competing to win the Taskmaster’s heart.

Taskmaster NZ is arguably the funniest panel show on television, and this week TVNZ announced the five brave comedians who will compete in the show’s upcoming season. The series sees contestants perform a variety of meaningless challenges in a valiant effort to impress stern Taskmaster Jeremy Wells, aided and abetted by Wells’ hapless assistant Paul Williams. Anything can happen on Taskmaster NZ, but you’re always guaranteed an hour of wonderfully ridiculous, joy-filled television. 

All the joy: Taskmaster Jeremy Wells and his assistant Paul Williams (Photo: TVNZ)

After all, this is the show that brought us floating brussels sprouts, the world’s tallest skyscraper made of soap, and the cursed symphony of David Correos’s legendary rap meltdown. This season, Sieni Leo’o Olo (aka Bubbah), Dai Henwood, Karen O’Leary, Melanie Bracewell and Ray O’Leary will battle it out at the Taskmaster ranch, but only one can join previous champions Angella Dravid, Laura Daniel and Josh Thomson in Taskmaster NZ winning glory. 

TVNZ are yet to announce the season four premiere date, and the only hint they’ve dropped about the upcoming drama is that it will involve getting married, leaving New Zealand and blowing out candles (hopefully all at the same time). It’s more mysterious than the time Chris Parker hid a body for 72 days, so let’s meet the intrepid funny people joining Taskmaster NZ’s coalition of chaos this year.  

Sieni Leo’o Olo, aka Bubbah

It’s our beloved Tina from Turners! Comedian Sieni Leo’o Olo (also known as Bubbah) has appeared in Sis, Guy Montgomery’s Guy Mont Spelling Bee and Alice Snedden’s Bad News. When she’s not holding ornamental frogs in the Turner’s car park, Bubbah is explaining her drunk haircut antics in this First episode. FYI, drunk haircut antics is the exact vibe Taskmaster NZ is going for, so we’re predicting a top five finish here.

Dai Henwood

New Zealand comedy legend Dai Henwood has ruled our screens for yonks, starring as a team leader on 7 Days and hosting everything from Dancing with the Stars NZ to Lego Masters NZ to Family Feud NZ. The man who created P-Funk Chainsaw should feel right at home among Taskmaster NZ’s funky mayhem, because while Lego Masters NZ might have 2.5 million bricks in the brick pit, it would never ask its contestants to build the tallest tower out of toilet rolls and then throw a shoe at it. Funk, indeed.  

Karen O’Leary

She’s the star of Wellington Paranormal, she tackles tricky topics on Patrick Gower Has Issues, and she stormed the beaches on Celebrity Treasure Island. One day Karen O’Leary will have a show of her own, but until then, she’s one of two O’Leary’s featuring on season four. As a former early childhood teacher, this O’Leary should ace the craft challenges, like the season one classic “draw a map of New Zealand using Marmite” task. Long live O’Leary, long live the yeast spread.  

Melanie Bracewell

This New Zealand comedian is doing big things in Australia, including being nominated for a Logie award for her work on comedy show The Cheap Seats. Bracewell won the Billy T Award in 2018 and appeared on Patriot Brains here in Aotearoa, but her biggest Taskmaster NZ advantage might be that 1) she used to work with Jeremy Wells at Radio Hauraki and 2) they both have “well” in their name. Is this an omen that things will go “well”, or just another of Taskmaster NZ’s baffling mysteries? You decide. 

Ray O’Leary

Some love Ray O’Leary for his sterling work on 7 Days and Have You Been Paying Attention, while others admire his firm dedication to wearing a suit and tie in every situation. Having already appeared on Taskmaster season three as Josh Thomson’s doppelganger, O’Leary is bringing some big short-sleeve-shirt game to season four. Like David Correos lifting two bottles of milk over a microwave for 84 minutes, we love to see it.

Season four of Taskmaster NZ drops later this year. Taskmaster NZ seasons 1-3 are available to stream on TVNZ, as well as seasons 1-15 of Taskmaster UK.

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