A MAN found guilty of manslaughter following a "rampage of violence" successfully auditioned for New Zealand's The X Factor, with judges putting him through to boot camp.
Shae Brider was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in jail for his role in the killing of 16-year-old Jeremy Frew in Wanganui in 2004.
Brider, who was 19 at the time, was one of four youths charged with Frew's death, following what prosecutors described as "a rampage of violence".
In last night's episode of The X Factor, producers filmed a special back story segment, in which Brider recalled his troubled past.
"I met some dudes and we went to a bonfire," he said. "There was a commotion with two of them and one of them stabbed the other one and he ended up passing away."
Brider admitted he served six years in prison but no further context was given to the story.
As Duncan Greive of The Spinoff wrote: "Brider framed the incident as though it were a miscarriage of justice, that his mere proximity to those tragic events were enough to get him jailed for six years.
"That would be a cool X Factor story - a triumph of a man done wrong by life and by the justice system given another shot by the power of song."
But court documents reveal a different story.
"You were simply looking for people that you could assault," said Justice Miller at sentencing.
Brider successfully appealed his original conviction before a retrial found him guilty again, and saw him sentenced to a longer prison term.
At the time, Frew's mother Donna Travers spoke out saying she felt re-victimised by the second trial.
Travers moved to Australia to get away from Wanganui and her son's killers, who she said had never shown any remorse.
Last night's eipsode saw Brider perform a reggae version of Eminem's The Real Slim Shady, which won the judges over, with all four agreeing to send him to boot camp.
When Brider revealed which song he would be singing, X Factor judge Stan Walker suggested the hopeful should sing the rapper's song Stan - a song about an angry fictitious fan who kills himself and his pregnant girlfriend.
The judges then laughed.
Brider's performance was well received, with Willy Moon saying he "found himself smiling".
Fellow judge Natalia Kills said she previously hated reggae music, but that Brider had changed her mind.
As he left the stage, the judges discussed how "likeable and natural" Brider was.
Brider said he was "rapt" with the outcome.
TV3 has yet to respond to the NZ Herald's request for comment.
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