So finally it's down to 2. Next week, Australia crowns their new Idol. I personally can't say who wins for sure.... Australia's Idol competition baffles me, but not in the same way Philippine Idol baffles me. It's not about the voting process here (or the ignorance of it). In Australia, it's really about the singing/singers.
A look back before we look ahead...
Last year, I thought Emily (girl on right in photo) was going to win it, having had one too many touchdowns from the most wicked of the judges [* A touchdown in Oz Idol is like when the judge has knighted your or something, or its like a seal of approval]. But when she failed to impress them in the FINAL TWO week because of poor song choice and poor performance, when she has been giving it her best weeks before that, the public choose Kate (the blonde) over her. Kate was a flawless singer, but she wasn't that good. She always played safe. And when it was time for them to go head to head, safe Kate seem to have done better than faltering Emily. So, the crowd chose to support her. It only took one bad performance and it ruined everything for Emily...well, not nearly everything. Where are Kate & Emily now: Kate's solo career didn't fly. She instead formed a band together with Emily and two other ex-Idol contestants, Rick-Lee & Paulini called the Young Divas.
Young Divas - This Time I Know It's For Real
Video by rushmush
#of touchdowns by Emily - between 2-3
# of touchdowns by Kate - none, as far as I can remember but I could be mistaken
It was the year I discovered that there was a program better than American Idol. It had the tremendous talents of Casey and Anthony. Casey was your typical angsty 16year old. Her journey through this contest was amazing. She came to the competition not really expecting to make it very far, and also not expecting to wear a dress, make-up and shoes with heels! But this became a process for her. Casey grew up before my very eyes --- as a teenager and as a performer. What's amazing about her is that she has a very intense and soulfoul voice, she sings from the heart. Which is probably why Australia chose her over a much more "marketable" Anthony. Anthony was matinee-idol material. What Anthony lacked in height (he's really short!) he makes up for performance. The judges however didn't like him all that much until his fabulous rendition of Pavarotti's version of The Prayer. That one made Oz Idol history. Still, it wasn't enough to win the votes, it was close, but in the end Casey won. Where are Casey & Anthony now: At that time she won, Casey seemed to be "artistically", the better choice. But alas, it all came too soon for her. The teenager was dropped by her label after her contract expired. Because while she was the chosen one, the votes didn't convert to people buying her album. Anthony on the other hand, also pursued a recording career and became a top-selling recording artist. I think he's also an award-winning artist in Australia, and his songs continue to top the charts.
Anthony Callea - The Prayer
Video by ksyting
#of touchdowns by Anthony - between 2-3; and one GRAND ROYALE TOUCHDOWN
# of touchdowns by Casey - between 4-5; and one given early in the semi-finals
I have not seen the first one, Guy Sebastian's year (2003) to even attempt to make a blog entry. So now we go to the present crop...
A 30-year old crooner of Irish heritage vs. a 16-year old pop belter with Indonesian heritage... these are Australian Idol's top two. Damien, who has a stirring falsetto voice, was called butt ugly by one of the judges but they all agreed he has an amazing voice, a talent for music (he writes songs and plays guitar) and could possibly win it. Jessica, who sounds like Whitney Houston/Christina Aguelera, was called a fatty in the earlier episodes, but grew to become a classy and beautiful lady on the show (thanks to a team of style experts!) and was the first to receive a touchdown this season.
Jessica I like because personality-wise she's very engaging, bubbly and infectious; talent wise, here's the proof below:
Jessica Mauboy - Beautiful
Video by jbsbah
Download audio here
Damien I like because he works hard and knows his music very well; talent wise, here's the proof below:
Damien Leith - Wicked Game
Video by oldyahlep
Download audio here
- Jessica's very mainstream, very current, very hip and clicks with the younger crowd --- those that would ask their parents to buy Jessica merchandise.
- Damien's a hit with the likes of me, old, not so hip and too lazy to buy the merchandise, but appreciates good music (so will just d/l instead, LOL!)
One of the judges said Damien has the international appeal and Jessica has the popstar appeal. It's anyone's ball game. Results next week...
#of touchdowns by Jessica - around 2
# of touchdowns by Damien - about 3
If you would like to listen to more of the contestants from OzIdol 2006, visit this site for the audio files.