Australia has chosen its Idol! Royston Sagigi-Baira, 23, from Cape York in Far North Queensland was crowned the winner of Australian Idol
Royston fought back tears as Idol hosts Ricki-Lee and Scott Tweedie announced he had won the coveted Australian Idol title and the ultimate prize – a recording contract with industry giant Sony Music and $100,000 in prize money.
Taking his place in Idol history and acknowledging the support of his family seated in the audience, the proud indigenous singer said the win would change his life.
“I just want to say thank you so much to everyone who voted for me. Thank all this mob up here, all my family and friends for coming. Everyone who’s been voting, thank you so much!,” said Royston, before performing his new single, Invincible.
Australian Idol judges Harry Connick Jr, Meghan Trainor, Kyle Sandilands and Amy Shark celebrated Royston’s win, praising his time in the competition.
“Your journey through the process has been one of the greatest I’ve seen. It’s been cool. It’s going to be fun to watch your career. I’m proud of you, man, really proud of you,” said Harry.
Meghan added: “You win at always picking the perfect song for you. You’re ready. You’re so…I can’t speak tonight. You are amazing. I love you.”
Phoebe Stewart, 15, from Busselton in Western Australia was named the competition’s runner-up after her performance of Elton John’s Your Song reduced the judges to tears.
A stumble down the stairs didn’t stop the teenager from thanking everyone who had supported her.
“I just want to say thank you, everyone, and for not laughing too much when I fell down the stairs. Seriously, this has been the best. I’m so proud of myself and everyone. This has just been a gift. I’m just so grateful for everything.”
The Grand Finale show opened with a powerful performance of Ed Sheeran’s Celestial featuring the Grand Finalists Josh Hannan, Phoebe and Royston, supported by the other members of Idol’s Top 12.
The three Grand Finalists then returned to the stage to perform their chosen solo song before hosts Ricki-Lee and Scott announced Josh would be the first artist to leave the competition after securing the least viewer votes.
On leaving the competition, Josh said: “I’m just so grateful for everything…thank you to everyone else who voted for me. Thank you very much. This is not the end for me.”