Adelaide tradesman lights up Australian Idol auditions

Harry Connick Jr, Meghan Trainor, Kyle Sandilands and Amy Shark reached the halfway point of their nation-wide search for the country’s next sining megastar in tonight’s Australian Idol

The auditions kicked off with 18-year-old school student Alivia Hollis, who detailed her family’s struggles after her dad walked out when she was only six. Her emotional performance of Kelly Clarkson’s Piece by Piece captivated the judges, earning Alivia the first Golden Ticket of the night.

After convincing his dad that he was made for music and not medicine, 27-year-old Kartik Kunasegaran decided he would try his hand at convincing the judges too. A Singapore Armed Forces Music and Drama Company alumnus, Kartik’s fun rendition of Treasure by Bruno Mars did exactly that, and won him a Golden Ticket.

Part-time baker and shoe shop worker Montana Lara, 24, brought more than singing talent to her audition when she impressed the judges with cookies she had baked featuring their faces. “A force to be reckoned with”, Meghan said as Montana’s effortless performance of Chains by Tina Arena found her a spot in Top 50.

Adelaide-based electrician James Vawser, 28, was encouraged by fellow tradies to try his luck on Australian Idol after singing at worksites for years. His electrifying rendition of James Morison’s You Give Me Something inched him closer to his dream of singing in front of a large audience after the judges handed him a Golden Ticket.

Sean Jeacle, a 25-year-old rock singer who Meghan described as “straight out of Stranger Things”, stood out from the crowd with his unique look and singing style. Performing Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell, Sam made his way to Top 50. 

Nerves got the better of 24-year-old Tessa Noll, the niece of Australian Idol legend Shannon Noll, as she auditioned with Meghan Trainor’s Like I’m Gonna to Lose You. Tessa lost the chance to perform on the same platform as her uncle when she failed to impress the judges, all of whom felt that despite her beautiful voice, she wasn’t ready for the competition.

Amy headed to Eton in North Queensland to audition local coal miner Damien Agius. Damien chose to sing If Tomorrow Never Comes by Garth Brooks, the song that was played at his brother’s funeral. Amy said: “Even if I didn’t know the backstory to the song I got serious lump in my throat, you really have a way of making people feel emotional. We are down a cowboy and I just found one.” 

Chandler Campbell, a 19-year-old voice actor, met his icon Harry Connick Jr and tried his hardest to impress him with Seth McFarlane’s Let’s Face the Music and Dance. While Harry was mesmerised by the crooner’s song choice, the three other judges were not as into it, but still gave the singer four yeses. “Good is good. Just because it isn’t my cup of tea doesn’t mean I can’t see how good it is,” said Kyle.

Plaid-loving student Emilie Sutter was bullied in primary school, turning to music to get her through hard times. Singing Kasey Chambers’ iconic tune, Am I Not Pretty Enough, Meghan was blown away by Emilie, stating: “You remind me of me. I used to play guitar but I wasn’t as confident as you are.” Kyle said it was the most enjoyable performance he had seen during the day and that Emilie “owned” throughout the whole performance. Emilie was the recipient of the last Golden Ticket in tonight’s round of auditions.


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