17 February 2004 | Diverted Praise
Variety is the spice.
Early on in the semi-final stages of the Australian Idol competition the judges, and indeed the serious viewing public were worried that AI was going to be a competition of "boy band" singers. Luckily, and perhaps conveniently, by the time the Final Twelve had been decided there was a variety of different singing styles battling it out to become the winner.
Unfortunately the demographic of people watching this competition favoured looks and character over talent and for this reason contestant Rob Mills progressed further than he probably should have, and over performers who could sing better than him. This was further exampled when Runner Up Shannon Noll made it to the Grand Final with a weak voice, but large amounts of charisma and after the exit of Mills, the teenage girl fanbase.
The final twelve were all fine performers. Some outshone others. Some couldn't handle the schedule (Contestant Rebekah LaVauney fell apart for the majority of her final series, whilst Cosima De Vito had to withdraw all together), whilst others went from strength to strength (Winner Guy Sebastian was, by the end, far beyond the other contestants in performance). But what made AI the success what it was, was the controversy. Contestant Paulini Curuenavuli's dress which sparked a public outcry, Lauren Buckley's emotional breakdown when she was eliminated, a contestant's disqualification and Daniel Wakefield's withdrawal from the final series, giving Levi Kereama a chance to shine, and create controversy himself when he was eliminated. And who can forget everyone's favorite transvestite Courtney Act, who had every guy watching the show lusting after him until she was revealed to be, in fact, a guy. Can AI2 live up to this year? I'd have to say no.