One of the biggest reality competition shows that kicked up not long after the new millennium was easily Australian Idol. It’s given us the likes of Young Divas, Shannon Noll, and the glorious locks of Osher Günsberg. But what of the people who slipped through our memories the moment they left the stage? You bet your sweet ass we looked into it.
With some not getting one of Mark Holden‘s famed touchdowns, we thought we’d have a bit of a snoop around to see what some of the forgotten Australian Idol top twelves from seasons gone by. Finally, my Instagram sleuthing skills are used for something productive.
What Are Former Australian Idol Contestants Doing Now?
Dan Spillane – Season 3
After being knocked out in fifth place back in 2005, Dan Spillane has popped across Sydney in wedding bands and working the room at the Orient Hotel in The Rocks. He was also one of the 100 judges in the short-lived Aussie version of ‘All Together Now’, which was canned after one season in 2019.
The lad’s still got a good set of pipes on him, I can tell you that for free.
Kelly Cavuoto – Season 1
After leaving the first season of Australia Idol in eighth place, Kelly Cavuoto went on to co-host Video Hits (RIP) with Axel Whitehead, feature a bunch in Dolly Mags from the mid-00s (which you know I’ve been pouring over this year.)
According to Wikipedia – which we all know is a very good and true source of information – Kelly adopted an orphan from Vietnam at…some point in time.
Hope she’s well.
Take a moment to whisk yourself back to 2004 with this very-clearly VHS taped interview from Kelly’s time on Video Hits.
Roxane LeBrasse – Season 3
After Roxane LeBrasse made Australian Idol history back in season 3 by becoming the first-ever 13th finalist, she’s been working in the industry with a few big names like Guy Sebastian, Blackstreet, and Justice Crew.
Roxy released her debut album, 1809, in 2018 (!) and she announced this week that she’s got more new music to release in 2020 (!!!)
Laura Gissara – Season 3
Laura continued with her music for a few good years after she was eliminated from the third season back in 2005, even being in the studio working as recently as mid-2016.
But from what I can see on her social media, she stepped away from her creative career back in 2017 when she was due to have her second child. Calling it her ‘maternity leave’ from music, she hasn’t posted since but said that she’ll be “back in good time.”
Her last single was ‘Rock My Way‘ from back in 2014, and it was…well it was extremely 2014.
Cle Wootton – Season 1
After auditioning for the debut season with Machine Gun Fellatio‘s Pussy Town (which is a powerful move that I must respect), Cle Wootton ended up getting the boot in tenth place.
Since her Idol stint, she goes by Cle Morgan, and has been working stages across Australia in musicals like The Ramones-inspires ‘Gabba Gabba Hey’ in 2004, ‘Hairspray’ in 2007, and most recently in the Aussie productions of ‘Matilda The Musical’ and ‘Harry Potter And The Cursed Child’.
Reigan Derry – Season 4
Though Reigan Derry got the chop from season four in eleventh place with a cover of a Karnivool song (my GOD), she’s kept herself pretty busy since her season in 2006.
She formed the pop group Scarlette Belle with former Scandal’Us member Tamara Jaber and Hayley Aitken in 2007, which dropped to a duo with Tamara in 2008 and eventually broke up in 2011. Reigan then went and tried her luck again on X Factor in 2014 and came in fourth place.
Most recently, she’s featured on a Bomb’s Away reboot of Des’ree’s ‘You Gotta Be’ in late 2019, which cracked the Billboard charts and had an, ahh, interesting video clip.
This. In 2019. Why.
Kate Cook – Season 7
Kate Cook, who was a fan favourite for entering into the competition with ‘Make You Stay’ – an original song dedicated to her late mother – sadly passed away at the age of 36 in early 2019. At the time, the SMH reported that she was found in bushland near her Lowood home in Queensland after her friends had become worried about her whereabouts.
In her season of Australian Idol, she came in sixth place, and went on to release her debut country EP, Come A Long Way, in 2013, and won an Independent Music Award and an Oz Music Award for the single, ‘Give The Girl A Spanner’.
Levi Kereama – Season 1
Another fan favourite, Levi Kereama sadly passed away after an accident in Brisbane in late 2008, not long after he had performed at Parklife festival. After getting a wildcard into the first-ever top 12 alongside Idol royalty like Shannon Noll, Guy Sebastian, Paulini Curuenavuli, and Rob Mills, Levi ended up finishing in sixth place.
After Idol, Levi picked up a record deal with his RnB group Lethbridge, which he formed with his three brothers back in 1997.
Mark Da Costa – Season 5
After being eliminated in ninth place in the fifth season in 2005, Mark Da Costa was pinned as being one of the Idol contestants who was involved in the Great Vote-Rigging Scandal of 2005, alongside Marty Simpson, and the falsely-named Ben McKenzie.
Since Idol, Mark has been playing shows fronting cover band The Black List, who seemed to be active and playing events until around 2014.
Please enjoy this deeply and definitely cringe compilation promo video for them.
Courtney Murphy – Season 2
After making it to the final three alongside Anthony Callea and Casey Donovan (and besting Em Rusciano and Ricki-Lee Coulter in that elimination), Courtney Murphy resumed his band, Murphy’s Lore, with his brother Chris. They mostly play private events, weddings and Eagles covers sets now, with the odd pre-game performance at Wildcats games in Perth.
Here’s a bootleg video of them playing Uptown Funk to a moshpit of children.