Australian Idol - Season Synopsis - Season 1

Season 1

When Network Ten paid $15 million for the first season of Australian Idol they anticipated it to be a critical and financial success like it had been in other countries such as the UK and the USA. When the show aired for the first time in August 2003 it was a ratings bonanza attracting diverse ranges of viewers, from people wanting the crazy auditions to people who wanted to hear great voices. The audition process went through several major cities in Australia including Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Darwin. Sooner or later Australian Idol became the most popular TV show in the country with more ratings than major events such as the AFL Grand Final. The Grand Final at the Sydney Opera House attracted more than 3 million viewers. It was listed as the ninth highest rating TV show in Australia in the past century in 2007. The eventual winner of the competition was Guy Sebastian with Shannon Noll finished in 2nd place.

Guy Sebastian has released seven top 10 albums, with six reaching the top 5, including a #1. His first six albums all achieved either platinum or multi-platinum accreditation. His seventh album Armageddon was released in October 2012, becoming his second album to peak at #2 and has been certified gold. His debut album Just As I Am was accredited 6x platinum and sold in excess of 480,000 units. Beautiful Life, Closer to the Sun, Like It Like That and Twenty Ten were all platinum sellers, with The Memphis Album reaching double platinum. He has also released 14 top 15 singles, with 11 reaching the top ten, including six #1's. Sebastian is the only Australian male artist in Australian music history to achieve six #1 singles, and is third overall for all Australian acts. His debut single Angels Brought Me Here was the highest selling single in Australia in 2003, reaching 4x platinum accreditation. It won the 2004 ARIA for Highest Selling Single, and in 2010 ARIA announced it was the highest selling song of the previous decade. "Like It Like That" the title track from his 5th album reached triple platinum and was the highest selling Australian artist single of 2009. "Who's That Girl", Twenty Ten's only single reached 4x platinum accreditation and won the 2011 ARIA Award for Highest Selling Single.

"Don't Worry Be Happy, the lead single of Sebastian's seventh album Armageddon has also reached 4x platinum. The third single "Battle Scars" featuring Lupe Fiasco debuted at #1, becoming his sixth #1 single in Australia. It has reached 6x platinum certification. In total, Sebastian has been awarded 36 platinum and four gold accreditations for albums and singles in Australia, the highest accreditations for any Australian Idol contestant. Sebastian's first single reached #1 in Malaysia, Singapore, The Philippines, Indonesia and New Zealand. Sebastian achieved a second #1 on the New Zealand Charts with "Who's That Girl", and reached the Top 10 with his debut album and three other singles, and has six platinum and two gold accreditations there. In September 2012 Sebastian became the first Australian Idol contestant to chart in the US, when "Battle Scars" debuted at #73 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and #23 on the Billboard Hot Digital Songs Chart. "Battle Scars" also reached #12 in Norway. During his career Sebastian has received 17 ARIA Award nominations. 13 of these nominations, including six peer voted ones, have been received since 2010.

Shannon Noll has released five top 10 albums. His debut album That's What I'm Talking About gained 5x platinum accreditation and his second album Lift reached 3x platinum, both debuting at #1 on the ARIA charts. His third album, Turn It Up, peaked at #3 and achieved platinum accreditation, His fourth album No Turning Back: The Story So Far reached #7, with his fifth album A Million Suns peaking at #8. Neither of these albums gained accreditation. Between 2004 and 2007 Noll released ten top 10 singles including three #1's, and he is the only Australian male artist to have achieved 10 consecutive top 10 singles. Since then he has released seven more singles, with two reaching the top 50, the highest one peaking at #26. "What About Me" was the highest selling single in Australia in 2004 and he received ARIA nominations for highest seller for it and his debut album at the 2004 Aria Awards. He also received nominations for best pop release for his second album Lift and a highest selling single nomination for its lead single "Shine" in 2006. "Don't Give Up" a duet with Natalie Bassingthwaighte was nominated for highest selling single at the 2007 ARIA Awards. He has a total of 17 platinum and three gold accreditations for albums and singles in Australia. Noll's first single "What About Me" also reached #2 in Ireland and #10 in New Zealand, with his debut album peaking at #31 in NZ.

Paulini who came fourth has released two albums as a solo artist, One Determined Heart which reached #1 and gained platinum accreditation, and Superwoman which peaked at #77. She has also released four top 50 singles including the #1 "Angel Eyes", a platinum seller which was nominated for highest selling single at the 2004 ARIA Awards. In 2007, Paulini was nominated for "Urban Music Awards" for "Best R&B Album" & "Best Female Artist" for Superwoman. Paulini was also a member of The Young Divas, who released two Top 10 albums and four Top 50 singles.

The other top 5 contestants in season one were Cosima De Vito who came 3rd, & Rob Mills who finished in 5th place. After Idol it was these five, the Final 5, who were the most successful out of the Top 12. Other Idol contestants from Season 1 to release music were Levi Kereama, Rebekah LaVauney, Peter Ryan and Courtney Act. All of these independent acts achieved limited success.

Date Bottom Three
22 September
Matthew Chadwick
Peter Ryan
Kelly Cavuoto
29 September
Cle Wootton
Lauren Buckley
Kelly Cavuoto
6 October
Kelly Cavuoto
Rebekah LaVauney
Levi Kereama
13 October
Levi Kereama
Paulini Curuenavuli
Shannon Noll
Bottom Two
20 October
Rob Mills
Cosima De Vito
27 October
Paulini Curuenavuli
Guy Sebastian
3 November
Cosima De Vito
19 November
Shannon Noll
Guy Sebastian

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