Shocking secrets from Aus Idol exposed
A new podcast hosted by Mark Holden and his daughter Katie is set to delve into the wildest scandals of beloved talent contest Australian Idol - from drug-fuelled party tales, to death threats and contract dramas.
The weekly podcast, called The Idol Archives, sees a different Idol alum interviewed each episode, with explosive revelations from Cosima De Vito, Damien Leith and Axle Whitehead.
Episode one, which will be available on Spotify on October 9th, features 2004 runner-up Anthony Callea, who reveals he had a death threat made against him right before the grand final.
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It’s come to that time in my life when I now have to start wearing glasses when I use the computer, the phone and when I read 🤓 It’s all these years I think of reading cocktail menu’s that has stuffed up my eyes I tell ya... and they say the alcohol is not good for you, but I think reading is not good for you!!! 🍸Speaking of, is it cocktail o’clock yet? 😉
"It was hand-delivered to the house and it was essentially 'if Anthony won the grand final he will be killed'," he told Mark and Katie.
"They brought the police to the house and they flew my parents up from Melbourne with a security guard, they put them in a hotel just to be safe … Leading up to the grand final, everywhere I went I had to have a bodyguard," he said.
Adding that he felt "very looked after" by the network, he went on to recall a terrifying grand final titbit that viewers never saw.
"This was never shown on TV but when (Casey Donovan and I) walked out on stage, this guy jumped from the balcony to the stage and literally just missed us."
According to Callea, the head of security quickly detained the man, but the altercation wasn't shown on TV because the cameras cut straight to the host.
Explaining that he never found out if it was the same person who had made the threat against him, Callea laughed as he recalled watching the special back.
"I will never forget, it was so funny watching it back because the first thing you see is Casey mouth to me on live television, 'What the eff?'"
Elsewhere in the series, 2006 champion Damien Leith is set to discuss being allegedly "tricked" into barely seeing a cent from his first album after winning the show.
"A lot of people got online and said to me, 'Why didn't you read the contract?'" he said of the stitch-up.
"It wasn't in the contract that we got when we got into the top 10, it was in the waiver that you sign as you walk in to do your audition," he revealed.
According to the press release, he will share a never-before-heard story from the after-party.
"I've had a good run with hallucinogens so I knew how to handle myself and then the phone starts calling at eight in the morning and it was the publicist going, 'Ah, you are in a lot of trouble, where are you?'" it teases him saying.
Whitehead, who was a contestant on the first season of the show, left Ten and his hosting gig on Video Hits after exposing his penis on stage during the awards while presenting an award to hip-hop outfit Hilltop Hoods with radio jock Jabba.
The incident was not telecast on Network Ten, and it was unclear how many of the 10,000 people, including young music fans, who were at the Acer Arena in Sydney saw it.
Also set to appear on the podcast is Courtney Murphy, who placed third on Casey Donovan's season of Idol.
He will discuss the season being called "Fat Idol" and the show's strategy to deal with the cruel name.
Controversial former contestant Cosima De Vito - who has been locked in a feud with Guy Sebastian for years - will also open up about leaving the show due to nodules and the emotional toll it took over her.
"Having left and having lost my voice on stage, it took me a good year to psychologically get over that fear, that, 'Oh my god, I'm going to lose my voice on stage again,'" she said.
Australian Idol ran from 2003 to 2009 and was one of the highest rating TV shows of the decade.
The first episode of The Idol Archives with Anthony Callea will be available to stream and download on Spotify from October 9.
Originally published as Shocking secrets from Aus Idol exposed