In Case You Missed It: Here’s What Went Down at the Australian Idol 2023 Finale

Here's What Went Down at the Australian Idol 2023 Finale
Channel 7

And just like that, the “Australian Idol” 2023 finale is done and dusted after a 14-year hiatus. It was a gripping end after weeks of captivating performances and intense audience voting.

But it was Royston Sagigi-Baira who the country voted to be the next Australian Idol. The winner also received a recording contract with industry giant Sony Music and a whopping $100,000 in prize money.

24-year-old Thanakwith and Wagadagam man, Royston Sagigi-Baira, took home the Australian Idol, in the franchise’s first revival since 2009.

The grand finale saw three talented singers fight it out for the ultimate prize. Royston Sagigi-Baira, Phoebe Stewart, and Josh Hannan sang their hearts out. The trio showcased their unique music styles and impressive skill sets in a fierce battle for the crown.

In case you missed the final, here’s a recap of what went down.

The Finalists Reveal What the Win Would Mean to Them

Before the hosts revealed the winner, the contestants expressed what winning would mean to them.

“I have dreamed of this for my whole entire, small life,” Phoebe said.

“It means a lot to me and to be a good role model for people who have a dream and just want to pursue it – it means a lot to me.

“I know I am young, but it is what I want to do and hopefully I can do it for the rest of my life.”

Royston said he had worked hard to get where he was and wanted to show his fans that “it doesn’t matter where you come from, as long as you work hard you can follow your dreams.”

Josh said having the opportunity to perform on TV each week had been an “absolute dream come true”.

“I can’t wait to hopefully release some original music after this and just tour and perform for you guys,” he said.

The Top 2 are Revealed

The finalists took to the stage to sing their hearts out. Phoebe wowed the crowd with the Cher classic “Believe”. Josh had everyone clapping along to James Bay’s “Hold Back the River”. Royston rounded out the top three by singing “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt.

But three became two as we said goodbye to Josh Hannan.

“I’m just so grateful for everything, and proud to be getting up here every single week,” the singer said.

“Thank you to everyone else who voted for me, thank you very much – this is not the end for me.”

Jessica Mauboy and Harry Connick Jr Take the Stage

It was a jam-packed night as Harry Connick Jr and Australian pop icon Jessica Mauboy took the stage. The former Idol contestant and current coach on “The Voice Australia” sang her new single ‘Right Here, Right Now’.

The Winner Revealed and a Clumsy Fall

Before the winner was revealed, each finalist had a chance to look back on their Idol journey, from their first nervous audition to making it through to the Top Two.

As the finalists made their way on stage for the final verdict there was another jaw-dropping moment when 15-year-old Phoebe tumbled down the stairs as she approached the hosts. The room fell silent with lots of gasps and shocked faces.

Royston rushed to help her up and the teen took it in her stride, joking that someone should make a meme of the embarrassing moment.

“Good role models don’t to that, guys. That’s not a good example. Continue,” she laughed.

After trying to brush that awkward moment off, it was time to get down to business.

“After thousands of auditions, countless weeks of competition, and millions of your votes at home, it all comes down to these two onstage,” Ricki-Lee said.

“Australia, you voted, you decided… The winner of Australian Idol 2023 is Royston!”

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.

Related: The 2023 “Australian Idol” Winner Has Been Crowned

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