Australian Idol

X Factor New Zealand judge and Australian Idol winner, Stan Walker, performed at the opening of Destiny Church’s new facility on Friday.

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nz-idolAlmost ten years ago, the auditions for the very first season of New Zealand Idol took place.  It was momentous for a number of reasons, but mainly because it launched a number of projects for us, including Throng.  In the last couple of days, an old post from 2007 has been resurrected by someone wanting a fourth season.  Apparently there was a Facebook campaign.

There were rumours recently that Channel Ten in Australia were considering bringing back Australian Idol after announcing the return of So You Think You Can Dance.  Ten weren’t ruling it out but it appears they have now, for the time being.

Bringing back NZ Idol would be fun but highly unrealistic in the current landscape with The X Factor on TV3 and New Zealand’s Got Talent being highly rating for TVNZ.  However, if NZ On Air won’t fund a third TVNZ season of NZGT, would they fund a returning fourth season of Idol? Continue reading »

Former Australian Idol judge Jay Dee Springbett has been found dead in a Sydney hotel in what police say isn’t a suspicious case.

The 36 year old featured on the seventh and final season of the show as a last minute replacement for sacked judge Kyle Sandilands, who was forced to leave his role after a controversial radio stunt involving a young girl hooked to a lie detector and asked about inappropriate questions.

Described as boring, Springbett stood by his morals.

“I’m not here to be a clown. I’m here to unearth talent.” the Sony Records senior director said at the time.

To the news, former host Andrew Gunsberg tweeted;

“I’m completely sidelined by the news of Jay Dee Springbett’s death,”

The investigation continues.

Source: TV Tonight

(Story courtesy of Throng.com.au)

New Zealand Australian Idol runner up Emily Williams has released a new song for the people of Christchurch.

The new song, called Never Alone, was penned after Emily heard about the 6.3 quake. On her Facebook page she wrote:

this song is for all who has lost a friend,famz keep ur head up an carry on…xox

Never Alone - Never Alone - Single

8:30pm Friday, November 27 on TV2

It’s the biggest episode of Australian Idol yet, as the show reaches its grand finale – tonight on TV2.

It’s been a long road for the Idol contestants, but it all comes down to one night. The last two remaining contestants have done all they can to secure the votes they need to win, but only one person can take the glory.

This special episode takes place in the majestic Sydney Opera House, and the final 12 contestants will reconvene to perform again. Also taking to the stage are some worldwide Idol alumni – previous winner Wes Carr will be performing, and Jordin Sparks and Guy Sebastian (American Idol and Australian Idol winners respectively) will perform their new single. The impressive line-up also includes flamboyant British pop star Mika.

The finale is sure to be a memorable event, with Andrew G hosting the star-studded show, and American jazz sensation Michael Buble joining Marcia Hines, Dicko, and Jay Dee Springbett to preside over the performances. New Zealanders will be hoping that Kiwi Stan Walker has done enough to impress the Australian voting public.

Talking to tvnz.co.nz, Stan says he’s come a long way since the first audition earlier this year. “It’s awesome, I didn’t think I would get to this point at all,” Stan reveals. “I’ve really grown a lot. I’ve got stronger in my character, and musically I’ve come to appreciate lots of different styles.”

To secure a spot in the final, Stan plans to be creative and take some gambles in his song choices.

“I think I [need] to be consistent, hold on to what I represent and keep on pushing the boundaries with music, and doing what people haven’t done before. A big part of standing out and being a great artist is taking risks and doing things no-one has ever tried.”

Stan, who is of Maori decent, and hails from Tauranga originally, says he is proud of who he is and where he’s come from. “Every chance I can get, I always try to make it known to the world who and what I am. I’m so blessed to be from such a strong culture. Anything I can be a part of back home (our Maori, our language) I’m all for it, man.”

For more from Stan’s interview, go to www.tvnz.co.nz/australian-idol.

If you have missed an episode, Australian Idol highlights will be available free online 12 hours after the show has aired on TV2. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘ondemand’ button.

Good luck if you’re a New Zealand fan of Australian Idol who is looking forward to watching the 5 day delayed Grand Final on Friday night.  If we didn’t just spoil it for you by saying that Stan Walker won, then no doubt one of the newspapers, radio or TV news already has.

This is big news.  A kiwi beating an Australian.  Forget that it’s Idol and that given any chance to slate a local version of the show they would, just watch how the media in New Zealand feed off this over the next few days.

I predict a flurry of commentary about whether Stan’s win in Australia justifies another season of New Zealand Idol.  Or that if you want to make it big, you have to leave.

The fact remains, Stan’s win will be backed up by something no New Zealand Idol ever had – commitment to artist development.  Australian Idol has churned out more than 50 top 50 singles during its seven year run and Stan is now about to go and enjoy adding to that list.

Black Box, Stan’s single, will do well here and you can guarantee the same label that gave up on Idol in New Zealand will be more than happy to support this Australian winner.  Because he’s a kiwi?  No.  Because someone else has already done the hard work.

Congratulations to Stan on becoming the second non-Australian to win Australian Idol.

I haven’t really been a fan of Stan Walker on Australian Idol this year.  He’s done incredibly well to get to where he is but can he go all the way?  If it was New Zealand Idol, he would.  We love great vocals by boring singers.  Particularly when they’re plus sized – or is that average sized these days?

Stan has been the favourite for quite some time now but a very similar situation occurred a few years ago when New Zealand’s own Emily Williams was in the exact same position.  She too had been the favourite, with more than 50% of the vote at the top 12.  At the final result, Australia refused to allow a kiwi to take their crown.  Will the same fate befall young Stan in 2009?  Perhaps not.

Following Emily’s denial, Ireland’s Damien Leith took the next title which suggests that perhaps Australians have become comfortable with immigrants being their Idols.  Time will tell whether this acceptance is on offer to those from this side of the Tasman.

While I haven’t been convinced of his performance, the song he’s been given to release if he wins is outstanding.  In fact, possibly my favourite of all the winner’s singles I’ve heard.  The video is below.  Stan Walker – Black Box Lyrics

Anyone else finding Australian Idol quite cheap and nasty this season? It looks like they’ve converted the inside of a warehouse with what little money they have.

The quality of the ‘guest judges’ and the songs chosen by the contestants are questionable. Good Charlotte band members as guest judges?

It’s almost as bad as New Zealand Idol…

8:30pm Friday, November 6 on TV2

TV2’s favourite songsters will be taking a page out of their mentors’ books, to sing their way into the top four, tonight on Australian Idol.

Over the duration of the contest, the Idols have been treated to lessons by the best, including Harry Connick Jr and performance maverick Liza Minnelli.

While Connick Jr, acclaimed singer, actor, composer, and pianist got up on stage and showed them how it’s done, he was also just as happy to talk them through the art of performing, as Idol hopeful Kate Cook explains.

“He’s never lost for words and he gave us confidence and advice. He’s definitely a man who knows what he’s doing and he’s done pretty well!”

Legendary performer Minnelli, who has known the limelight her whole life as the daughter of Judy Garland, and who achieved fame in her own right with her Oscar winning performance in Cabaret (1972), held a workshop to improve the Idols’ song and dance skills, as well as imparting some career advice along the way.

“The workshop with Liza Minnelli was awesome,” says Idol contender Stan Walker. “It was wicked because we actually got to do a workshop… I got to experience Liza Minnelli, the teacher. She’s cool.”

Fellow contestant James Johnston agrees. “Meeting Liza Minnelli was pretty cool. She kind of acted back to me – I was singing to her and she was doing all these little lines in between the line I was singing, so that was cool having someone as big as her interacting with me. That was wicked.”

They’ve been shown the way by some of the world’s best, now it’s time for the Idols to put these lessons to the test and pull out their most polished performances, if they are to make it into the next round, and get one step closer to be becoming the next Australian Idol.

If you have missed an episode, performances from Australian Idol will be available free online 12 hours after the show has aired on TV2. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘ondemand’ button.

8:30pm Friday, October 9 on TV2

It’s Australian Idol time again and our final eight are starting to feel the strain as the axe drops left and right.

The show kicks off with another emotional elimination as one more Idol has that record deal snatched from their hands and is sent straight home. Then, the remaining contestants will sing for their survival as the pressure ramps up. Who will live up to the expectation and belt out a winning performance, and who will let their nerves get the better of them?

On hand to judge the performances are Marcia, Dicko and new boy Jay Dee. Presented by Andrew G.