It was an overcast Sydney Sunday night that welcomed us back to the Sydney Opera House for the 2008 Australian Idol Grand Final. The Idol top 12 stumbled their way mostly tunelessly through this year’s Idol theme song ‘Can You Feel It’, the judges cowered beneath their umbrellas atop the Opera House steps and the finalists powered their way through the Foo Fighters.
And as the rain continued to fall, the man who made it to No.3, Mark Spano, then reprised his finals performance of the recent Kings Of Leon No.1 hit ‘Sex On Fire’.
Though Jessica Mauboy struggled with a slightly husky throat, her performance of new single ‘Burn’ sizzled. This girl is going places.
The male finalists made their way through the Stevie Wonder classic ‘Higher Ground’, before Sydney outfit The Potbelleez showed their worth, strongly performing a medley of their singles ‘Are You With Me’, ‘Trouble Trouble’ and ‘Don’t Hold Back’.
By the way, we don’t know who’s done Sydney weatherman Tim Bailey’s hair, but it might be wise to look for an alternate career elsewhere…
With voting closed, the female finalists then performed the Chaka Khan classic ‘I’m Every Woman’ – to varying degrees of success, but did we see Chrislyn pull her pants up live on-stage?
Kasey Chambers and her husband Shane Nicholson looked amazing and provided a splash of country to the night’s proceedings, with a rendition of their hit ‘Rattlin’ Bones’, later joined on vocal duties by finalists Luke and Wes.
And as the rain again started to tumble from the heavens, the top 12 then took to the stage to perform a stirring, choir-backed rendition of the Coldplay anthem ‘Viva La Vida’, as Sydney Harbour was lit by an explosion of fireworks.
After the pre-recorded package looking at his journey on Idol, bizarrely, Wes then re-visited his Michael Jackson moment (below left), with another version of ‘Black Or White’, once again with the trademark Michael Jackson dance moves, including the infamous ‘Moonwalk’. Surely he could’ve done the spell-binding ‘Get Back’ instead?
There was the obligatory pre-recorded package looking at Luke’s journey, from shearing sheep to losing his strange beard, becoming a father and ultimately becoming a singer. He then launched into the song made famous by Joe Cocker ‘Feelin’ Alright’.
And in news just in, we’ve checked the Sydney radar (we’re quite thorough, you see) and it looks as though the winners announcement might just be made beneath dry skies…
THE WINNER IS… WES CARR
The night ended with another fireworks display above Sydney Harbour and winner Wes Carr performing his debut single ‘You’, which hits the stores on Wednesday, December 03. Wes wins a record contract, a $200,000 artist development award, management contract and a new Mazda2.
* Thanks to David Knox at TV TONIGHT for providing us with the photos of tonight’s Australian Idol finale.