Read our recap below!
This is it Australia, tonight we find out which final contestants will make the top twelve of Australia Idol. Already through is Anya Hynninen, Amali Dimond, Ben Sheehy, Royston Sagigi-Baira, Maya Weiss, Phoebe Stewart, Sash Seabourne and Harry Hayden. Grammy® award-winning artist Harry Connick Jr.; Grammy® award-winning singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor; eight-time ARIA Award-winner Amy Shark and top-rating broadcaster Kyle Sandilands are tasked with choosing the final four vocalists to go through, and Connick Jr. still has a touchdown up his sleeve. From the get-go everyone is urging him to use it asap.
Sharin Attamimi. Image: Supplied.
Tonight’s first contender is Sharin Attamimi, who cites her father as her biggest inspiration. He introduced her to soul and R&B as a child and fuelled her desire to become a performer. Connick Jr. has previously questioned the authenticity of her performance, finding her speaking voice and singing voice to lack connection. She’s singing Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, bringing some theatricality to her performance. Vocally, I think she sounded great, her tone and strength really suited the song. Parts of her stage presence and performance however felt rehearsed, almost like it was ticking through her mind to ‘walk this way’, ‘wipe a tear away here.’ Connick Jr. thinks you could hear more of Attamimi’s authentic voice, but the arrangement was too stock standard. He receives boos from the crowd and tells them, “y’all need to save your energy, you could be doing that all night.”
Joshua Hannan. Image: Supplied.
With his performance Joshua Hannan is stepping out from behind instruments, to showcase stage presence. He’s performing JOJI’s Glimpse Of Us, and is feeling nervous without the security blanket of an instrument. He shouldn’t be, because he delivers an incredible performance. A touchdown worth performance in my opinion. His emotive vocals capture the songs tender nature, and whilst the songs arrangement remains the same Hannan makes lovely melodic choices that show his own musicianship and understanding of song structures. He receives a standing ovation from Trainor, and the judges lapped up the performance. Shark says he deserves to top the ARIA charts, and Connick Jr. commends his ability to interpret the song. Sandilands thinks he could play him on the radio tomorrow, and Trainor wishes she had another touchdown to throw his way before saying, “if this doesn’t work out, like let’s write you know? Let’s do a song, you’re so great. But it’s gonna work out!”
Jasey Fox. Image: Supplied.
Host Ricki-Lee starts grilling Connick Jr. about when he’ll use the touchdown, and I’m surprised he didn’t for Hannan. But we move on, and next to take to the stage is Jasey Fox. When we last saw him, he gave a stellar performance of ABBA’s Does Your Mother Know, so I’m excited to see what he has in store tonight. He’s bringing the energy and choreography back, for his take of MIKA’s Grace Kelly. There’s no doubt he has great stage presence, but I think tonight he fell into what Connick Jr. thinks of Attamimi, during the verses it sounded like he was putting on a voice. I know it’s quite a theatrical song, but with MIKA there’s more authenticity in that respect. Fox’s falsettos weren’t as strong and were sharp at times, but in the grand scheme of things it was a good performance. Sandilands says he hopes his newborn son grows up to be entertaining and fearless like Fox, which is quite a wholesome remark from the tough judge, and Trainor seconds the sentiments. Connick Jr. thinks he’ll “strike fear into the hearts of everybody else in the competition,” with his fierce abilities as a performer.
Noora H. Image: Supplied.
Noora H is reflecting on the power and importance of her inclusion within the competition, recalling back to her last performance and seeing young muslim women in the audience and feeling the weight of being a role model for them. This week, she wants to shed the habits she picked up as a TikTok vocalist and make a connection with her audience whilst singing Olivia Newtown John’s Hopelessly Devoted To You from Grease. Again, I find Noora’s vocals waiver in her lower register and wish that was something Idol’s vocal coach would work on with her. Because when she reaches those higher notes, she’s phenomenal - her buttery tones shine through and she delivers an engaging performance. It has been great to watch her confidence grow as she’s progressed throughout the competition, and whilst this wasn’t my favourite performance of hers, it was still a solid presentation of her artistry. Sandilands things she brought a great gospel quality to the song, and Shark is scared to watch the footage back as she says, “I reckon I look, just look like an idiot because I couldn’t take my eyes off [you].” She also has a different tone to anyone else in the competition, which will keep things nice and dynamic.
Bobby Holmes. Image: Supplied.
Halfway through the episode, Bobby Holmes is reliving the days when he and his brother performed in a band together by singing Bruno Mars’ Locked Out Of Heaven. It’s a great performance and shows his personality, but he didn’t do anything to spice the song up. He’s a natural performer and his vocals were strong, but a different arrangement could’ve been nice. The judges then go on to say they miss seeing him perform with his brother, Angus Holmes, who also auditioned. At this point, Holmes has been through four stages of Idol auditions, so why are the judges only now deciding they think he’s stronger as a duo instead of a solo artist? Truly bizarre. Sandilands at least backs him up as a solo artist, but still thinks Holmes isn’t ready for the top twelve. And then Trainor pulls out the age line, so I think it’s safe to say Holmes’ Idol journey will end tonight. He’s a class act though, thanking the audience, the band and also his brother at home.
Angelina Curtis. Image: Supplied.
Connick Jr. is feeling the pressure to deliver a touchdown and takes the opportunity to shout out Idol sponsors Tim Tams before Angelina Curtis performs Paramore’s The Only Exception. She dedicates the song to her parents relationship, citing her father moving countries for love. Her crystal clear vocals cut through and once again Curtis has us all mesmerised. Her undeniable talent shines on stage in such an effortless way. My only critique is that I would’ve loved to see her sing an octave higher in the songs bridge, the jump down low was a bit disjointing, but apart from that she delivered a flawless performance. “You don’t even need this show,” says Shark, and Sandilands said he could see that performance on the GRAMMY’s stage. Connick Jr. asks the band to play a “big old C7 chord,” building anticipation before asking them to play more chords leading up the scale until they reach the “loudest F7b5 chord you have, and Dan I want you to crank up the distortion to ten because that… is… a… touchdown!” What a showman. And with that, Curtis is the final recipient of a touchdown and has made it to the top twelve.
Peter Kara. Image: Supplied.
What a tough act to follow, and its Peter Kara’s task to do so. Some past commentary from the judges has left him feeling hurt, but Kara is one of those vocalists that I know is going to deliver each time he steps on stage. His full and robust vocals are faultless, and tonight he’s taking on Sam Smith’s Diamond. The song choice allows him to show a more playful and bubbly side, when compared to the more power ballads he’s performed so far. There’s such a Euro-sounding quality to his voice that would perfectly flow above a simmering electronic soundscape to soundtrack the beachside clubs of Europe. Kara delivered a great performance tonight, but I’m not sure it was his best foot forward. He sounded great, but I don’t think it was the right song, or rather arrangement, for such a vital stage of the competition. Connick Jr. liked that Kara presented a more relaxed and carefree vibe, and Sandilands deemed it effortless. But Shark and Trainor both thought the performance fell a bit flat when compared to previous performers. We end the night with Sara Houston, who gives one of her best performances throughout her time on Idol. She sings Nelly Furtado’s I’m Like A Bird, and it suits her voice so well. She has a great presence and it’s nice to see the full package of her artistry on stage. The judges all love it, Connick Jr. and Shark commend her on her power, courage and strength, referencing her health battles. “You will forever be the most, the strongest woman who has ever stepped foot on an Australian Idol stage.”
Sara Houston. Image: Supplied.
It’s time to see which four contestants will progress to the top twelve. Angelina Curtis is already through, having scored a touchdown from Connick Jr. and I think Joshua Hannan and Noora H will also progress. For me, the final spot is between Peter Kara and Jasey Fox. The judges reveal that Hannan, Noora and Fox will be joining Curtis in the top twelve. And just like that, we have our top twelve. Next week, we’ll see Anya Hynninen, Amali Dimond, Ben Sheehy, Royston Sagigi-Baira, Maya Weiss, Phoebe Stewart, Sash Seabourne, Harry Hayden, Joshua Hannan, Noora H and Jasey Fox compete for Australia’s vote. It’s gonna be exciting folks!
Watch Australian Idol on Channel 7 Sunday night at 7:00pm AEDT. Stream it on 7 Plus.