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      16.04.2004 17:44
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      For those of you who have not seen Pop Idol before let me give you a brief brake down: ITV set out of a search of Great Britain looking for a Pop Idol! They held open auditions up and down the country and with the help of four judges from the music industry they had to get from thousands to just one! Once they have got 12 finalists the series really begins, for a 12 week run we watch each contestant put through their paces singing for the chance to be a Pop Idol. Each week they are given a theme this year?s themes included: A song by your Pop Idol. A song from the year they were born. Disco. A song by Elton John. A Beatles Song. A Christmas Song. Judges Choice. As you can see a variety of different styles, enabling them to show of their talents. At the end of each singer?s performance the four judges give comments on their performance. Once these have been given it then goes to public vote. The public get to phone and phone for the person they want to leave. Each week one person leaves until they have one person left who will be crowned Pop Idol. Last year I stayed at home on the final of the Pop Idol results, who was the winner going to be Will or Gareth? I myself was a dedicated Will fan from the begging! There is something about him that is quite unique, his voice has his own style and was different from that I have heard before! This year however I wasn?t so enthralled. This year my favourites got voted out towards the beginning of the contest! Out of the final 10, I personally was unimpressed with the line up of talent. Being a Performing Artist and having been to drama school I know a lot of very talented singers and performers. As I turned the television on waiting to be entertained by some amazing singing I was deeply disappointed that Simon Cowel, Pete Waterman, Nikki Chapman and Dr Fox thought that this was the best Britain had to offer! None of the contestant
      s really had the ?X? factor required to be a Pop Idol! They could sing and they all had talent but not enough to be super stars! None of them had anything different to give; they didn?t have anything that has not been done before! As far as I am concerned looks has nothing to with it! It?s not what you look like that matters it?s whether you can sing and entertain! I don?t think you can say ?You don?t look like a Pop Idol? Because at the end of the day what does a Pop Idol look like? My favourites: Roxanne: A young girl at 16 Roxanne had a star quality, she was fun and bubbly, and she shone above the rest especially considering her age. Roxanne had a similar look to Diana Ross with the same hair and glamour to match! The week Roxanne left was a real shock! Kim: Kim like Michelle was also a larger lady! But what keep had the Michelle didn?t was attitude! Kim got up on that stage and gave it some welly! She chose good powerful songs, which the judges criticized her for saying she was ?Karaoke?. The week that Kim decided to do a Ballard by Elton John she unfortunately got voted out! She took a chance and in my eyes sounded fab! Chris: Bless Chris a little cutie from lancing! Dr Fox told him he looked like a vicar! But my god could that boy sing! What a voice, in my eyes Chris should have won! He was a different singer with an excellent voice! When I heard him sing it sent a shiver down my spine! His rendition of Winter Wonderland was beautiful! The Two Finalists: Mark: Mark a young brummie lad shocked everyone including himself when he ended in the final two! Mark was an excellent entertainer, but I have to say more of a Butlins redcoat than a Pop Idol! If you ever wanted a definition of the work ?Cheese? Mark from Pop Idol is it! Michelle: Michelle a Glaswegian chick was hot favourite from the beginning! Simon Cowell, the main judge liked her from the start! He pulled her through much to the dislik
      e of fellow judge Pete Waterman! Pete did not like Michelle?s image and said she was not his Pop Idol! Regardless of Michelle?s image and weight she stayed in the game! But as I said before it is not about the look but the talent! Or at least it should have been! Michelle won Pop Idol! Yes she could sing but she was not the best by any means! I think part of the reason Michelle won Pop Idol was because everyone kept saying they wanted to change the image of Pop! And Michelle fitted the bill! If that was the case I think Kim should have won! Anyway I have waffled on and on about lots of random points! So to sum up I think Pop Idol has died a death! It is not about talent any more! There are so many talented people in the world a lot more talented than the few the judges selected! And I just find the whole thing a mockery of the Pop industry! P.S Just a quickie to say that the show is hosted by Ant and Dec who are the best! They are very entertaining and the main reason I tuned into watch the show!

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        23.12.2003 19:54
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        Now let me get this straight, I never saw any of the first series of Pop Idol. I think that that's an important point to make whilst I try to preserve the little bit of credibility that may remain after writing this particular epistle. Just to prove a point, both Will Young and Gareth Gates are as obscure to me as a South American Bolas would be in the middle of Norwich. Notwithstanding, I do think that Will Young's latest single is quite catchy although both the aforementioned probably belong more in the murky depths of a Eurovision song contest as opposed to any manufactured presence in a world dominated by manipulators and deceivers. So it was that I flitted in and out of the Pop Idol final. For those self-respecting, upstanding individuals that choose not to watch this pulp fiction, Pop Idol is a concept based on a series of auditions for 10000 (I think) wannabes who get whittled down to an eventual winner via a series of rounds. The real draw is the caustic comments made by the panel of judges who take seeming delight in reducing this year's budding Maria Carey or Justin Timberlake into last year's cabaret window cleaner not even good enough to star in Peter Kaye's Phoenix Nights. It's this pernicious malevolence that inspires thousands, nee millions to join a rolling bandwagon that concludes in a 1 against 1 showdown in front of a studio audience (all holding silly placards imploring a vote for their favoured candidate). But this year has been different hasn't it? From the plastic pop clones that are Will Young and Gareth "I did Jordan" Gates to a voting public determined to go against the grain and elect a King or Queen who breaks the mould. Trouble is, with the supposedly independent company collating the millions of texts and phone votes, how would you know whether they have really called it as it is? I mean, it's so uncanny that the apparent favourites have been voted off each week in floods of te
        ars. I still can't believe that I've taken in so much of this irrelevant nonsense when there have been more noble causes to pursue. In a time when Saddam has finally been tracked down to a bunker in Tikrit, here I am along with millions of others arguing about whether Sam is really Jamie Oliver trying to launch an alternative career and how come Andy Scott Lee is the only one who actually looks like a rock star and yet is so laid back that he probably still doesn't realise that he's been voted off. Hopefully, sis has more time on her hands since the break up of Steps and might call him to alert him to the next round of auditions already planned for next year (assuming Ant & Dec survive a jungle experience with Gazza) An essential element of Pop Idol is the seasoned comments made by 4 judges who know the world of pop inside out. Poor old Pete Waterman has suffered an almost Bobby Robson type of absent mindedness during this series. Classically, he told the only decent singer in the last 12, Chris Hide, that nobody should attempt "White Christmas" and yet this song was chosen by the judges for him to sing. Still, his on screen love affair with the starry eyed Simon Cowell has entertained the viewing public although the loaded Mr Nasty did get told off for continually taking the Micheal out of poor old Pete, finally trying the patience of Ant & Dec by leaning back and starring at Mr Waterman during his latest ramble. You have to say, Simon Cowell is an astute man. Already the 3rd highest paid star on American TV, his collection of articulated put downs whilst smarming like the rich bloke he is has captured the imagination of women (without any depth) the globe over. His sparring with Kate Thornton has uttered subliminal messages of "do me on a bed of fifty pounds notes" although SC can clearly have his pick of the ladies whilst practising his next round of insults on the quiet with the winker, Anne Robinson. Nicky Chapman continues to plough the middle ground with her pretty demeanour and generally nice comments although Dr Fox has become cheesier than a packet of Jacobs lost in an Edam factory. Ironically, one of his biggest insults has been to accuse some contestants of being too cabaret whilst looking like he would fit into one of Martin Fry's glittery ABC suits better than the aforementioned himself. So to last Saturday night. Needless to say, the result was never in doubt. With 10.6 million votes cast (10.5 million by top 12 contender, lovely Kim who split them evenly as she didn't want anyone to lose), Simon Cowell's bank balance was very appreciative of all those teenage girls furiously texting whilst keeping their telephones on constant re-dial. The vote was never in question. How on earth people managed to convince themselves that the screechy porker from Scotland, Michelle (apologies to rotund ladies everywhere) could actually sing just typifies the mass hypnosis possible with this kind of project. OK, she has a booming voice but then she has a booming frame to generate it and am I the only one that finds her singing whiney and distinctly Scottish when I really just want to listen to a decent singer instead? She's even managed to come through a weekly visit to the sick bucket just before straining out her latest big number that's got the crowd rocking and cooing as she belts out those high notes. Poor old Black Country, Mark never stood a chance. With a twinkle in his eye and a mediocre warble, it still beggars belief that he managed to get that far. Even, mini-rocker Sam could sing better than Mark whilst Chris Hide genuinely can sing but is hampered by a geeky appearance and weird sense of humour. Saying that, Pete Waterman did call that one right and you can't help thinking that if it had been down to the Walsall millionaire, Chris would have won. I guess that, ultimately, the thing I find most offensive about Pop
        Idol is it's unsubtle approach to milking a gullible public out of it's hard earned. With Pop Idol on tour, Pop Idol Christmas Single, Pop Idol album, Pop Idol games etc together with the millions extricated via a suspect weekly vote, the whole thing smacks of blatant mass mind control. Of course, I can't escape the trap myself, my daughter insists she wants the Pop Idol album for Christmas (bah). Will I be watching the series next year? Well, if it's got blokes like the gold-suited geezer who did a head roll on stage then sang an out of tune "Tainted Love" then I may well just do. Otherwise, a pendulous watch whilst being told that I'm getting very sleepy would do just as well. Thanks for reading Marandina (please don't sue me, I have no money) Pop Idol features on ITV1 & ITV2 both on Saturday nights and throughout the week when it's on. Series 3 due 2004.

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          20.11.2003 05:12
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          I think that pop-idol is a great show. It's really nice to see ordinary people getting the chance to show their talent to the world. The best thing about this series is the variety of people and personalities. As a society, we are too quick to judge people by their image. It just goes to show that what you 'see' isn't always what you get - take the two larger girls for example. No matter how hard you try - you always notice their size when you first see them. However, once they start singing, your pre-conceptions quickly diminish. They have the most beautiful voices and it's great that they are getting the same opportunities as everyone else! It's about time we were all equal! I think the worst thing about pop-idol is the harsh opinons from the judges. In some way, I guess they are preparing the 'winner' for some of what they may face when their pop career gets off the ground, however, some of the comments are ofetn over-the-top and damm right insulting. I wonder what effect this may have on those who are quite sensitve? Is it really good for your self-esteem to get so far to be told you are rubbish? I don't think so. But, this is the second series and most people are aware of what the judges are like, so they must be prepared for the critisism when it comes. I hope that those who really do have the true talent, will all be winners - one way or another.

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            12.09.2003 18:46
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            Pop Idol's back, and the wannabe popstars have now been whittled down to the final 50. Frankly it’s painful to watch, because the singing is so bad, very often anyway, and because the judging panel is so brutally honest about that to the poor kids trying their luck. For me the show really is more about the panel, as well – it even seems at times that most of the screen-time is devoted to them. So just who are they? Simon Cowell – famous only for Pop idols, and the US version of it, as far as I can tell. He’ll happily tell people they shouldn’t be there before they’ve even started singing, and even worse if he doesn’t like their voice – he’s used words like “diabolical” or recommended that they look for a job on a cruise ship or at Butlins rather than trying to become a pop star. Pete Waterman – ex club DJ, of Stock Aitken and Waterman, very famous producers in the 80’s, responsible for awful things like Kylie and Jason’s records, Rick Astley… the list goes on. Often, being on the panel just seems like hard work for him – something to be endured, whether he likes the acts or not. Nikki Chapman, a publicist – probably, when it comes down to it, the gentler, female caring side of the panel. More likely to say the best thing she can think of to the contestants than anyone else. Neil Fox - a DJ, apparently, I’d never heard of him before the show though. Can offer some quite constructive comments. At the moment, Pop Idols is streets ahead in the ratings war with Fame Academy, and I’d much rather watch it myself, I’d much rather watch Pop Idols than Fame Academy. They’re completely different shows, although both result in “new” popstars being introduced to the world. In my opinion Pop Idol, this series more than previous ones, has become about the panel more than the wannabe
            s. I thought it was OK then - now it's become very very average.

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              01.12.2002 05:31
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              I don't care that it's in the wrong category, and I don't care that it's short, and I don't care that I hardly even watched any of it anyway, I'm writing here and that's that. I'm usually out at the pub or having a gargle in a mate's house on saturday nights, but I've seen enough of it through my beer goggles to have an opinion on the talent on offer in this series. It wasn't much to be honest. The boys, well anyone can see that they are a mile better than the girls. In the final stage of the boys selection the one who was knocked out was the least talented singer, so that was fair enough. I don't particularly think any of them are great, or that they'll make a great 'boy band' if such a thing can exist, but with the backing they'll receive they will do well. The girls were, in the main, dreadful. There were only two with any real talent, Javine and Sarah. The other four finalists were distinctly average, well the Irish girl Nadine was OK I suppose, but the other three didn't deserve to be in the same room as Javine and Sarah let alone in the same group. Javine was voted out. All I can say about that is that it must have been a fix, there's no other explanation. Throughout the series she was outstanding, a brilliant voice and a very sexy girl, what more could a girl group ask for? The TV people can say what they want, but there is no way on this earth that the British public cast more votes for ANY of the other five girls let alone all of them. Javine will be a superstar, of that I have no doubt. She'll get a record deal in the next day or two, that is if she didn't have one before tonights show. Is that the explanation? Was she offered a deal to keep her out of the group because she'd show the rest of them up for what they are? If that is the case they've made a blunder anyway because Sarah will do that. The group would have been good with Javine
              AND Sarah both carrying another three, but not one of them alone. Something untoward happened tonight. The truth of it will probably never be known, but as far as I can see the British public who spent their hard earned money voting in this farce were taken for a ride, their votes counted for nothing because the decision was made elsewhere. I can't see any other reason for such a ridiculous decision. Can you?

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                01.09.2002 01:25
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                Pop idol is the best programme in the past year or so. It is even better than eastenders and Corination Street You just get to see quite a lot of people singing and it’s a funny programme as well you see how badly people can sing which I bad some of them. Its on Granada mostly about 6:30pm on a Saturday was. I am glad who the final 10 where because I think they were the best but I was a bit sad that will won because I like gareth will has a better voice but gareth is fitter. Gareth is 18 and from Bradford. Will’s first single was evergreen then light my fire now a duet with gareth The long and winding road. Gareth’s first single was unchained melody then anyone of us now duet with will I think that it will do well with 2 very good singers. I thought the show was very good, they did a tour that was brilliant live I went to watch this year I couldn’t ask for more and I hope all of them will do well Darius Danesh will really do well with his voice because he actually has written his own song not a cover of someone else’s like Will and Gareth. They went through thousands of auditions and the judges were Nikki Chaptman, Simon Cowell and Nigel. Nikki and Simon also featured in popstars a couple of years ago and coming soon popstars the rivals boy band and a girls band.

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                  30.04.2002 00:00
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                  Jessica Garlick - Come Back A Song that was sang espically for Eurovision. Even though it didnt really do well in the charts I really liked listening to this song I really think it is in the genre of Pop and Comes brilliantly sang by a sensational artist as Jessica. The Song has powerfull Lyrics, and shows a great extent in Jessicas Voice - Very Catchy. Excellent Song. Gareth Gates - Anyone Of Stupid Us A Really good song sang by a great singer. I guess Gareth Gates now speaks for it self. A Really good song with excellent powerfull lyrics that capture Gareths voice and show it off. The B- Side is really good too''Forever Blue'' I really like that one. All in All the song shows off Gareths sensational Voice - Very Catchy. Excellent Song.

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                    29.04.2002 00:03

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                    WOW! What a TV Show Pop Idol Is. This show is proving to be One of TVs Most Entertaning show. The other night it picked up the BAFTA for Best Entertaning Show. Micheal Parkinson didnt come up this time and Pop Idol won. Pop Idol is winning awards everyday for outstanding achievement. Now thats its over it isnt - The Contestants are realesing CD SIngles every week,Videos Being Realesed, Concerts, Tours. There is no stop to how sucessfull this TV Show really is And its gripped the nation. Saturdays are now different for me now. I was nearly in tears when they said thats it now theres no more pop idol. I am now devasted!, but since theres so much of Pop Idol going I am managaing. William young what a winner! Sold 2 Million CDs Already and has a great voice and superb talent. He is very polite. I want him to win Best Male Artist in the BAFTAs Next year - Robbie Williams Lay OFF!. Gareth is good but in my opinon William Young's much better and very sucessfull. So anyone not bought anything Pop Idol Merchandise, CD, Tapes, Videos you need to Pop Idol Rocks - I am looking forward to the new series!.

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                    31.03.2002 18:39
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                    I actually used to quite like pop idol on Saturday evenings with Simon Cowell's ability to make me laugh, just by wearing his trousers too high and his constant bickering with fellowe judges DJ Fox and Pete Waterman but now it all seems like one big stupid idea. It has left us with two pop star wannabes who both release covers, one more successful than the other, but both adding nothing to the original...at all. And isn't that the point of cover versions to give a whole new edge to the song, something new that makes it different in some shape or form to the original and what made that successful. Take Marilyn Manson's 'Tainted Love', he has taken Soft Cells classic, slowed it down and turned it into something sinister and creepy that sounds nothing much like the original as he did with 'Sweet Dreams' a few years back. I actually quite feel sorry for people featured in such talent competitions and also the contestants of reality TV shows such as the dire 'survivor'. The press is so fickle nowadays, as are the music buyers' in general and you are the latest big thing one day or the latest paper selling craze and then the next day, people get bored of you and decide that they like Westlife again which makes me feel sorry for will and gareth who have been catapulted into super-stardom and will, in a few months, weeeks perhaps fall from grace and be left begging for invites to events that even D list celebs can get into. This is the same with Big Brother, it sometimes spawns a few likeable characters who get their fifteen minutes of fame but are then so used to the fame that when they finally get forgotten amongst the hoardes of fresh new faces it will be a big shock to them. People that I expect to last in the limelight after their appearance on a reality TV show are very few...just one in fact and that's Brian who was in Big Brother 2 - his wit and Irish Charm has landed him a job as presenter of S
                    M:TV live. Please stop with the talent contests and reality shows (except big brother which I can just about cope with)!!!

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                      22.03.2002 04:46
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                      I don’t know what it is about these reality TV programmes but I find myself becoming increasingly addicted to each one that comes along. And so it comes as no surprise that I sat glued to the television for the past nine months on a Saturday evening watching in the nation’s search for its newest Pop Idol. We saw tears, we saw triumphs and above all we saw people make themselves to look complete arseholes. And it’s at the contestants’ expense that I can’t help but wonder if we’re all being duped by the makers of programmes such as Pop Idol. For nine long months, like your average pregnancy, we watched attentively as 10,000 were whittled down to ten and from the final ten the ultimate winner - Will Young. From its inception Pop Idol was going to be different from its Popstars predecessor – a totally different format and one that appears to have worked. Like a foetus in the womb we watched as the contestants went through various stages of transformation, being changed from the average man on the street to cult celebrity. Suddenly Gareth Gates, Will Young and not to mention Simon Cowell became household names. Each had a uniqueness about them that captivated the audience and drew on our imaginations emotions of admiration; of sympathy and in Cowell’s case an element of revulsion. Pop Idol was also different in that it was plugged on the whole concept of ‘you decide’ – the notion that Britain was choosing its Pop Idol. Of course it’s for this reason that I think we’ve been conned by the whole idea. Whilst Will Young may have landed himself a lucrative recording contract it is Simon Cowell and Simon Fuller (whose 19 Management company dreamed up the whole concept) that are the real winners of Pop Idol. Will Young it seems is the end product of one huge money making machine dreamt up by Simon Fuller that has made both him and Cowell a small fortune. Each phone call in the voting
                      polls – which on their own broke all records – was generating income. Sponsorship of the programme by Vizzavi saw huge royalties generated for Fuller and Cowell. More importantly is the recording contract given to Will, something all the contestants were made to agree to on entering the competition. The contract is clearly defined and what Will Young sings is something that is to be controlled by his manager Simon Fuller. Perhaps there’s nothing wrong with that you’re thinking, but when you consider that the music industry is sales driven its likely that he’ll be made to produce songs that will bring in the highest sales. Where the problem lies here of course is that profits clearly come in the way of talent. The potential exists therefore for the talent, which Will Young appears to have, being withheld at the mercy of generating income for his management company. If evidence were needed of how this works you need only consider the fact that the first song to be released by the winner was a cover version of a Westlife song – perhaps designed to boost sales of their album owned of course by Simon Cowell’s BMG label. Take Gareth Gates also – the young Bradford lad determined not to allow his stutter to get in the way of his fame. The argument had always been that Gareth would win in the end as the nation took sympathy upon him. Who can forget the occasions when Gareth would struggle to utter a sentence and the look of sheer frustration evident upon his face. Interesting of course is the fact that 19 Management were quick to sign up Gareth shortly after the winner was announced and he is certain be as big, if not bigger, than the actual winner. And so it begs the question as to the need for an overall winner when clearly there was more than one. Just look at the similarities in the covers of their respective singles and you begin to wonder what the point was in voting for either of them. With Hearsay ha
                      ving had a dismal run of success on the back of Popstars you cant help but wonder if the latest television generated celebrity will be a success or failure. Will Young hasn’t been far from the headlines since his victory back in February and already he has courted controversy with his revelation that he is gay. No big surprise of course to his many fans since he never openly talked of relationships or his attitude to women (or men for that matter). His early declaration of his sexuality makes me wonder if Will is someone who, whilst having been thrust into the world of celebrity, is desperate to hold onto all that is private and personal to him. Little is known of Will’s background other than his recent schooling and even on his website the diary section reveals little of Mr. Young’s personal life. Throughout the final week of Pop Idol, Will insisted he would not be turned into a typical celebrity remarking that he wouldn’t be throwing any tantrums like most of them do. And this is something I find humbling about the nation’s newest celebrity. Ultimately his success will be determined by the music he produces and it will be interesting to see how this pans out. Pop Idol is something we haven’t seen the last of and applications are already being accepted for a second series. With that in mind it’s obvious where the real winner of Pop Idol lies. Even if Will Young’s run of success is a short one Simon Cowell and his BMG counterparts are sure to be laughing all the way to the bank. The concept is a sure fire hit and already speculation is rife that it will be sold around the world. There is one certainty and that is we are certain to see Will Young for some time to come and whilst he might not appear a winner in financial terms he’s certainly a winner in our eyes.

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                        27.02.2002 01:07
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                        ***There is no where for me to write my opinion on Pop Idol in general, so please excuse the funny homing of it!I have emailed dooyoo in the hope of them creating a section!*** The highlight of my year was most definitely Saturday 9th February. The night one Mr William Young was crowned Pop Idol 2002! You may think me sad or weird, but I had been following this programme since October, and it really had taken over my life! I used to spend the evenings sitting in front of the TV laughing at the people that went though. We all remember the YMCA girl! For those of you who did not watch the competition, this girl thought she was going for an audition to be a television presenter. Once she found out that it was for becoming a Pop Idol, she thought she might as well have a go anyway. I was in fits of laughter when I saw this because she truly was awful! Then there was the guy who sang a Rick Astley song, written by Pete Waterman, one of the four judges. At the end of his rendition, Mr Waterman stated: “That is NOT the song I wrote”. I think you can guess just how terrible it was! These were my favourite of the most atrocious singers I have ever heard! Out of 10,000 participants, the judges managed to select 50 singers, who they thought would make successful pop singers. One week at a time, they took 5 singers and placed them in front of the 4 judges that they had previously met: Simon Cowell, Pete Waterman, Nikki Chapman and Dr Fox. All week, Pop Idol Extra, on ITV 2, watched the 10 rehearsing with their voice coaches and preparing for the big night at the end of the week, where they would perform to the judges, who would then give out their thoughts. This was always my favourite part of the programme! Some people were offended by the comments that these judges would come out with, but I really thought they were valid! Mr Cowell would really speak his mind, and tell people that they had awful voices, and how he did not kno
                        w how they ever managed to get into the final 50. Mr Waterman seemed only ever to say that the awful people were great and that the really good people were singing the wrong songs. Dr Fox would come out with classic analagies, my favourite being: “Your performance was like coming down on Christmas morning to a great big present. The biggest under the tree. Then you open it up to discover a pair of socks”. Ms Chapman would then go on to say things like “you look fantastic and your performance really showed some flair”. You could always rely on her to say something nice to the performer! Very quickly, the judges became famous for their nasty comments. The headlines talked about them, the radio stations talked about them, they were all over TV and everywhere you went people were talking about them. It was clear that this programme was becoming increasingly popular and taking over from the Eastenders catchphrase of: “Everyone’s talking about it”. You could guarantee that everyday of your life, you would hear or take part in at least one conversation about Pop Idol. After we had watched all 10 performers, and listened to the judge’s thoughts, the telephone lines opened for public voting. The votes were collated, and 2 of the 10 singers would go through to the final 10. It was a painful and tense process when we tuned in a little later to find out the votes. Ant and Dec, of Biker Grove fame, would tell you who came 4th and 3rd and then invite the person who came 2nd to join them, followed by the person who came 1st. Everyone looked very sad as they said goodbye to the other 8 people that they had become very attached to. If you then turned over to ITV 2, if you are fortunate enough to have digital TV of any kind, you would get Pop Idol Extra, hosted by Kate Thornton, who would then chat with the 10 contestants and show the favourite bits of their week. Down to the final 10 singers, the competition
                        got a lot more tense! The performances were now in front of a live audience, as well as being broadcast live on TV. These 10 youngsters, as well as becoming the best of friends, were fighting for the title of Pop Idol 2002. For each of them, they were very close to the start of their pop singing career. They knew, that no matter how far they got from now, they had a shot at a career in the chosen field. They were performing to the right people, performing regularly on live TV and really working hard to make their dreams come true. Every week, they sang a song each, and waited for the phone poll results to tell them who would be eliminated. One by one, they left the show. Each week one person left, and each week the left over singers became closer friends. Each week followed a theme: Your Pop Idol, Christmas, Burt Bacharach, Music from the Movies, Abba, Number 1 hits, Big Band, Judges Choice and finally to perform the singles that would be released. This gave the people at home, and the judges, a chance to see how these singers could adapt to different styles of music. The stronger contenders shone through clearly, and were able to adapt their singing to any style. The weaker voices became obvious, as they were unable to sing the songs demanded from them. We had to sit through a painstaking process of hearing the results. One by one they were told if they were safe, or if they were one of the 3 people to join Ant and Dec on the sofa of doom. Once on the sofa of doom, the selection process went through again, and eventually we found out which person would be leaving that week. From the moment I noticed him in the final 50 part of the show, I knew that it was William Young that I wanted to win. He had a charismatic performance that could out do any of the other performers. What other people seem to forget is that aside from a great voice, a pop idol has to have the stage presence, the charisma, the interview skills and the person
                        ality to cope. Mr Young was able to sustain all of these, and was clearly the right choice for the Pop Idol title. Yesterday, his single Evergreen/Anything is possible, was released. Yesterday, it had sold 2,000,000 copies and is already the fastest selling record ever! Who knows whether it is the fact the he won Pop Idol 2002 that has made him so popular, or if he would have made it without the show? One thing I do know, is that this TV programme that caused such a stir, has given us someone who I think will be a great performer, and will last a very long time in the music industry. I know that Gareth Gates, Rosie Ribbons, Darius and Zoë Burkett have all received recording contracts, and I am sure that others will too. The makers of this programme should be glad that they have given us a wealth of stars of the future! No matter what their background, where they come from, how old they are, these people have been through a high amount of torture purely to realise their dream. All my respect goes out to those 10,000 who took part so bravely.

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                          18.02.2002 22:42
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                          • "instant failure?"

                          Oh wipppy!!! Another music related TV programme designed to give the members of the public a chance to live their dream of being a Pop Idol. What a great concept. Well, actually not really, and really you can't call this type of programme entertainment, can you? Pop Idol was a spin off of the very popular but eventually very boring series of some series which I can't even remember the title of. However, the ever so talentless Hear'say was created. Basically, the programme is a very long audition which continues until eventually there was one left - as voted for by the public, and it was Will. Fair play to him, he has a lot of potential and could be a very succesful singer NOT a musician. Surely, producing a Pop idiol in secs, isn't the way this industry should be working. The though attitude which the judges placed on the contestents seemed to be very fair, as the music industry doesn't take kindly to new talent which shouldn't be called an idiol. Pop idiol has given the opportunity to many people to be able to break into the music business, and financially the rewards are very high - will this INSTANT fame be an advantage or disadvantage in the near future, only time will tell. I do however, wish Will a lot of luck when his single is released, and hopefully for his sake it won't be a flop. But relying of the success of hits from Westlife etc. etc. shouldn't be done after his first record. If he is to be a true Pop Idiol, then he should release new material, as well as his own stuff.

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                            10.02.2002 04:38
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                            Thankfully Pop Idols will soon be over! I can't believe that this has gone on now for well over 15 weeks! I have to say that quite frankly I have hated this programme right from the start. I must state that I have only forced myself to sit through two whole programmes but as I read the Sun every so often you can't avoid the damn thing! I guess that I really lost interest when they got rid of the girlies. It makes sense really as why would you want a female Pop Idol? Spotty Teenaged boys are going to be too embarassed to go buy their album, but if you have a pretty boy Idol then the teen girlies will buy everything that you can produce! (I'm waiting for the 'Gareth school of curing speech impediments' or the 'Will - I look like Desperate Dan gang' to start up. It can only be a matter of time). Okay it does have high comical value but the whole thing is an absolute farce! It is blatantly fixed! You may have noticed that every person who has so far been voted out have actually been in the press for the wrong reasons just before their last appearances! Convenient huh?! I have to admit though that part of my hatred is slight jealousy as being a young aspiring singer myself I find it awful that so many talentless people can end up being given record contracts because they make twats out of themselves on TV! I admit that some of them are good singers but surely there needs to be more than just vocal ability if you are going to be a pop-star?! (And I don't mean lots of hair gel and a fake stutter!) Gareth has no personality whatsoever and I fear that he will have one top album and then go the way of Chesney Hawkes (who is currently playing in Student Unions around the country). Will might last longer but not much longer I fear. Fortunately we will all be given the chance to see as they were both given record contracts earlier in the week any how! **********************************
                            *********** Well now I am going to conduct a real time opinion on DooYoo....(This must be the first time this has ever been tried?) It is 22:13 and the big vote is nearly there... Gareth has managed to already stutter, several, several times!!!!! (By the way that white suit is awful) They've just said that the whole thing started 6 months ago!!!AAAARGH!!!Has it been that long! Thank god for Ant and Dec is all I can say. They have made this whole thing worthwhile. 22:17.... Ooooh is everyone starting to wet their pants yet?!Isn't it exciting?! Who cares about what the Judges think?! Kylie!!!!!!Wow that's made it all worthwhile for me. Lines have been closed....Adverts...ooooh I can't stand the tension....I'm so excited that I can't contain myself. Personally I would rather Will won as Gareth infuriated me with his comments on Disabled people! I used to be a care worker and I have seen people do unbelievable things against unbelievable odds. He does not even come close. Adverts still going..... Part 2! ERE WE GO, ERE WE GO, ERE WE GO! Gareth can play an instrument?!!!I'm in shock!!!Not impressed by their rendition of Don't let the sun go down on me though...far too high, sounds like Kareoke! Can't be long now......'cos the football should start soon.... The results are as follows.... Will scored 4.6 million votes. Gareth received 4.1 million. I have to admit that I am shocked as I thought that Gareth was meant to have already won it. Uh oh he's singing now. This is going to be his first release?! God what a boring, boring song. Aaaah isn't that nice they have the whole gang back to sing backing vocals. I bet that all of them have been given record contracts anyhow. And thus it ends. A new hero is born. A new superstar is created
                            . If he ends up being more famous than Robbie Williams I will have a sex change and call myself Doris! Thank you for bearing with me in this unusual opinion..I'm bound to be slated for this but I thought it'd be different! WILL!!!! I LOVE YOU WILL!!!! (SCREAM, SCREAM, SCREAM, SCREAM, SCREAM etc, etc!!!!!)

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                              09.02.2002 05:46
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                              I had a rotten day at work today, so I’ve decided to make everyone else miserable by announcing the results of tomorrow night’s Pop Idol final. In case you have missed it, this is a show in the same vein as Popstars (guilty of producing Hear’say) where thousands of hopeful young singers expose their varying abilities to the nation in the hope of instant success. Having whittled the numbers down over the past months, ITV have captivated the nation as the final 10 have been knocked out one at a time until we are left with just two, Gareth and Will. Each week, the performers have displayed their wares in front of a live, sympathetic audience of mainly family and friends; been subjected to sometimes brutal, sometimes stupid comments from the ‘expert’ judges; and been voted in or out by the public. The aim of the show is to find the singer with the ‘X’ factor, talent and that special quality that will make millions for a record company. So who has won Pop Idol? It’s never as simple as it seems, because there are a few winners. First, there is the show itself. This is a crass, voyeuristic programme that defies all human reason to produce absolutely riveting TV. I wanted to hate it … but I haven’t missed a week and have found myself planning my Saturday nights around the performances and the announcement of the results. When I heard how they intended to drag out the finals, I thought it could never work. But this is clever television that sucks you into believing that you are really getting to know the young performers as they grow in front of your eyes. It’s weekly offerings are short enough to avoid boring you and entertaining enough to stop you changing channels. Second winners are the presenters Ant and Dec. I know, I can’t believe I’m saying this either. The image etched in my mind of these permanent pubescents is when they sang Let's Get Ready to
                              Rumble as PJ and Duncan - never has there been a more inappropriate title for a song by a couple of the least hard-looking wimps you are ever likely to see. (Although New Kids on the Block’s ‘Hang Tough’ came close). I developed a sneaking respect for Ant and Dec when I saw their behind-the-scenes documentary of the making of the live Saturday morning kids show, SMTV - and they’ve grown on me ever since. On Pop Idol they have been silly without being irritating, and at times genuinely funny. They’ve got a bright future ahead of them. Third winners are the expert judges … at least some of them. There are four in all and I’ll announce the winners in reverse order. Dr. Fox is a DJ, well known to viewers of the Pepsi Chart show. He knows as much about musical talent as the average DJ, which is considerably less than the average TV viewer. He is the lightweight of the judges, with a flair for remarks that state the obvious and add nothing. Nicki Chapman is sharp music industry lady. She played a blinder in the Popstars series, but has been too measured and bland in her remarks in Pop Idol and has failed to shine. Pete Waterman is a legend in his own lifetime and knows his stuff. Sadly, he talks shite most of the time and is wildly inconsistent in his judgements. But he is entertaining. Simon Cowell is the Mr Nasty of the judges. In other words, he knows crap when he sees it and is the only one you would buy a second-hand artist from. He has lost his edge over the last few weeks, but still stands head and shoulders above the rest. A worthy winner. And the performers? Sorry Pop Idol, but I don’t think any of the 10 finalists was close to having the ‘X’ factor. The only singer worth listening to was Hayley and she was given the boot a few weeks ago. Of the two remaining singers, Gareth will win tomorrow night. He’s not a great singer, bu
                              t my 15 year old daughter says he is very cute. That leaves him with considerably more chance than Ronan Keating of making the big time. As for Will, my 11 year old says it all: “Granny would vote for him”. She will, as will millions of other post-menopausal viewers, but he’s no Pop Idol. But there is hope out there. A few weeks ago, the Irish version of Popstars ended with the selection of a group of six young singers. One of them lied about her age and had to go - she was only 16 instead of the required 18. I saw her sing live on TV and she has a stunning voice that puts all of our would-be Pop Idols to shame. In 5 years time, we will have forgotten the names of all the Pop Idol finalists. By then, a young woman called Nadine Coyle will be an international star. Remember, you heard it first on Dooyoo!

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                                08.02.2002 17:02
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                                So the race is on, Pop Idol is down to the final two. I am addicted and have been since day one back in September. I am sure every one of you out there knows what I am talking about. You may not be addicted but it has been impossible to avoid Pop Idol talk. Whether it is on the tube on the way to work or the front page of every national newspaper Pop Idol has become the most talked about TV program ever. It is bigger and better than Big Brother. This opinion could go on forever, but I am forcing myself to try and write everything I have to say in less than 1500 words. If you wish me to write more (I have plenty more words in my head) let me know in the comments box and I will carry on telling you more about past contestants and the gossip on each finalist. WHEN IS IT ON? In case you are wondering what all the fuss is about and you have been living in a bubble for the past five months tune in to ITV on Saturday night. It has the prime TV slot at 6:10 although this week the final will be slightly later. THE PRESENTERS Ant and Dec have presented Pop Idol from the beginning. They regularly use corny jokes to attract more viewers and last week Dec dressed up as Nicky Chapman to get a few giggles. They originally came on our screens as young teenagers in Byker Grove as Pj and Duncan. They have been reminded of their time as these characters as the show has shown several clips of the good old days (although I'm not so sure). THE JUDGES The show has four judges who were in charge of who went through until the final 50 when us the viewers at home took charge. They have caused great controversy throughout the series and I'm sure they're on a few young hopefuls most hated list. SIMON COWELL Simon has become the most talked about judge of all with his rude comments and behaviour towards the contestants. He has also become well known for his high waistline and has faced a few jokes from Ant and Dec. I do no
                                t hold a grudge against him though as this is the music business and people have to be prepared to take criticism. I do not agree with him all the time though but I do not feel sorry for those people in the early stages that could not sing to save their lives and cried because he said they were garbage. He has worked with a number of famous celebrities including Robson and Jerome, Westlife and Five. He has also worked with Zig and Zag and turned down Take That so it does lead you to believe he doesn?t always know what he is talking about. PETE WATERMAN I think Petes' comments on the show are more constructive than any of the other judges. He is a great songwriter who has worked with numerous stars including The Beatles, Kylie, Bananarama, Phil Collins, Steps and Stephen Gately. On the show he has had several bust-ups with Simon especially over Darius and Rik Waller. I think highly of him especially as he is not going to cash in on the winner unlike Simon and Nicki. NICKI CHAPMAN Nicki is the nicest judge of all and always looks for the positive aspects of a performance. She keeps her mouth shut when Pete and Simon argue and is well known for saying ?The Camera loves you?. She has also worked with a number of celebrities including Take That, Spice Girls and Kylie. DR FOX Foxy is a radio presenter of capital radio and presents the Pepsi chart. He has interviewed many fab stars on his show and came on Pop Idol to improve his image and gain more TV work. He tends to fire compliments at most of the contestants although he does also say what he thinks. THE CONTESTANTS The show started with thousands of hopefuls back in the summer and some were truly terrible and many have stuck in our minds. For example I bet many of you can remember the girl singing YMCA who was so bad the judges could only laugh. I have had a few favourites since the show started including the girl with the frog umbrella. Many are in talks and
                                there is no doubt Pop Idol has started some long careers in the music industry. Rik Waller the oversized singer who reached the final ten, but had to pull out through illness, is due to bring a single out in March. In my opinion he has a great voice but is attitude is lacking. Darius was the last to leave the show last week. He has surprised thousands of viewers by changing his image since the days of Pop Stars. He is currently in talks with 19 management who I am sure will offer him a contract that will earn him millions in the next few years. THE FINALISTS The finalists have been under extra pressure this week as they have been interviewed on numerous occasions and have faced a political battle. GARETH GATES I can remember back in September hearing this little guy trying to tell the judges his name. I cringed for him as I wondered how on earth he was going to manage to sing when he couldn't even talk. He began to sing Westlifes' flying without wings and I was glued to the screen in amazement. Gareth has a stammer which restricts his talking but oh my god can he sing well. I believe whether he wins this competition tomorrow or not he will have a number one hit in the charts. He is only seventeen, one of the youngest competitors, and he definitely has the looks and makes many teenage girls hearts melt. He is from Bradford and started singing when he was just seven years old in a school musical. During his political fight this week he has pledged a number of things including: § not to throw celebrity strops or become a high-maintenance pop star. § to retain the 2-2-1 formation (hairstyle) for as long as possible. § not to give photo shoots in posh mansions claiming they are his home. § to work hard and give my fans everything they deserve. § not to become a celebrity bighead and keep his feet firmly on the ground. § not to accept lavish gifts from other celebrities in a bid for publ
                                icity WILL YOUNG Will is a 22-year-old student from Hungerford, near Newbury. He has a very cheesy smile that remains a constant fixture on his face. He has done a few brilliant performances over the last ten weeks but failed to impress during his least favourite Abba week. He has a wide base of fans especially with the older generations. He has a twin brother and Will looks like a mummy's boy whereas is brother has a tougher look to him. Last week he sung two older songs, which suited his voice, more than recent hits. Will has also pledged a number of things this week to try winning millions of voters. These include: ? to stay true to himself and his beliefs at all times. ? not to become a music-industry diva and not to request lychees on tap 24/7. ? to stay away from typical celebrity hangouts. ? not to throw celebrity strops at stalker journalists and paparazzi ? not to wear his trousers at an unacceptable waist height. ? to respect and entertain his fans at all times. MY FAVOURITE As this search is for a pop idol I feel Gareth should be the winner. He has the most poppy voice and image out of the two and although I feel Will has the strongest voice he fails to have the right look. I think Will is destined for a very long career as he has the same type of voice as Elton John. It is really strong and I could easily imagine him in a musical. However I think Will might just win it as I feel more parents will vote for him over and over again and only let their children vote once for their favourite who will probably be Gareth. I think Gareth has been so brave and will soon overcome his stutter. THE FIRST SINGLE Each of the finalists has recorded their version of Westlife's Evergreen and thousands have been produced ready to hit the shops next week. Whoever the winner is I have no doubt they will jump straight in at number one. I do believe this song was not the best to choose as
                                I do not feel it will suit Wills more mature singing voice. To find out more info on the most talked about show at the moment visit http://www.itv.com/popidol/ Have fun Voting and look out for my update after the show.

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