Alex Casey dissects the most exciting and enticing New Zealand pop culture news of 2019.
I know, I know. This story could just be the headline and it would probably win an award. This story could just be a tweet and it would get upwards of 10 likes. But, folks, it’s pure hell out there and we need to savour our wins where we can get them. Breathe in, breathe out, and repeat after me. Dane Rumble. 3D Printed. Erin Simpson. And Zac Franich’s. Wedding. Ring. Don’t believe me? Talk to the Woman’s Day article.
Every part of this phrase is good. Every part of this phrase is pure. Every part of this phrase is important. Allow me to break it down for you piece by piece.
Fact: every couple of months or so, someone, somewhere in New Zealand shoots up in bed in the middle of the night wondering what the hell happened to Dane Rumble. Originally a member of Fast Crew, the hip hop outfit that brought us ‘I Got’ and ‘Suburbia Streets’, Rumble then went on to have an illustrious solo career (‘Cruel’ is a major T). He also never took his sunglasses off, with high level sources claiming he even wore them in his sleep.
Then, sometime in 2013, Rumble disappeared.
“Being recognised was something that never sat right with me,” he told Stuff of his disappearance in 2018. “It was more just a subconscious mental thing where I was like, ‘Are they talking about me?’” When the sunglasses stopped being an adequate disguise, he did what any hermit would do and moved to Sydney to start a luxury engagement ring line called Culét. Which leads us here, to 2019, when he got the call up from good showbiz friend Erin Simpson.
If you can put aside the risks to national security, personal safety, health and the fact that 3D printed sex bots are probably going to kill us all, then 3D printing is actually pretty funny. And to think, it was only 34 years ago that Weird Science made a hot lady out of nothing but a computer, a Barbie doll and some saucy Playboy cuttings. Dare to dream, kids.
For all the potential smut and terror, Dane, Zac and Erin are using 3D printers for good. For love. For holy matrimony. How you 3D print out gold and diamonds is beyond me, but rest assured that as soon as I find out it is 100% over for each and every one of you bitches. “They’re a little bit out of the ordinary, Erin told Woman’s Day. “We worked together really closely on them and when we were finished, Dane was like, ‘Are you sure? This is a man’s ring!'” A sliver of joy in a Cruel, Cruel world.
Where to even start with Erin Simpson, New Zealand’s original slashie. She’s a TV personality, influencer, singer, artist, cookbook author, MC and GC. Never forget the time that she invited a death metal band to play on her after-school children’s television show, forcing confused children to mosh to their guttural screams. “They did promise us there were no swear words in the song,” Erin told me last year, “but I couldn’t make out a single thing they were saying.”
Erin’s recent pivot to influencer has been a true joy to watch, providing a much-needed amount of messy bun chaos to an Instagram universe which is otherwise completely unattainable and poised. When Erin excitedly rips into a frozen McCain’s pizza that has just arrived on her doorstep, you feel it in your bones. She’s all of us. “She knows the truth they tried to so desperately tried to hide,” I wrote last Christmas, “The Erin Simpson Show never really ended at all.”
As if Erin alone wasn’t legendary enough on her own, she had to go and marry ex-Bachelor star Zac Franich. They first met at the VNZMAs in 2017, and by all accounts it was love at first sight. Look at that loving gaze from Zac! Speaking of Zac…
Our third ever star of The Bachelor NZ, Zac was the perfect person to return the franchise to equilibrium after the bitter, coin-based end to season two. The bronzed surf lifesaver brought with him a chill, slightly bewildered, energy – you always got the sense that he was happier in the sea than in front of a camera or on a red carpet. I also can’t overstate the importance of him keeping Lily McManus around till the final two, giving us maximum exposure to one of our greatest reality stars. Long may she reign.
Since The Bachelor NZ in 2017, Zac has given Dancing With the Stars NZ a good crack (wore a mesh vest), spoken frankly about his own struggles with depression and worked with various charities to raise awareness around mental health. These days, you can often find him snoozing in the background of Erin’s Instagram stories under a blanket. The man just bloody loves a guilty nap, and I will defend his right to do so until the day I die.
Where to begin with the glossy exclusive Woman’s Day wedding details? $10,000 worth of alcohol? Hand-painted umbrellas? A final rose at the altar? Samuel Levi AND Simone Anderson in the crowd AND Ben Lummis in the comments? Be still my beating heart. Don’t even get me STARTED on the fact that the reception featured both sausie rolls AND “party pies” AND came to a dramatic finale with Erin singing Lady Gaga’s ‘Look What I’ve Found’!!! Is this their wedding or my funeral? Really hard to say.
Forget The One Ring. Forget Lorde’s Onion Rings. Forget the MAFSNZ ring that sits proudly in The Real Pod museum. Erin and Zac’s wedding rings have shot straight to the top of the ring rankings and not just because of the 3D printing, or because of who 3D printed them. Zac told Woman’s Day that he drew up the signet design HIMSELF late one night, merging various Croatian crests together with the Simpson family lion to create the hybrid love beast. If that doesn’t scream Zerin, I don’t know what does.
Look, if you have any more questions about why this momentous news matters, you can find me under the hand-painted umbrella in the corner. In the meantime, I ask that you all join me in this final toast to the happy couple:
May your pies always be party
And your manner always humble
May none of us forget
Those rings were printed by Dane Rumble