10 May 2023

Royston crowned Australian Idol winner

| Matt Nicholls
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CAPE York’s own Royston Sagigi-Baira has been crowned as the champion of Australian Idol.

The Mapoon product was the public’s choice in the talent quest, defeating 15-year-old Phoebe Stewart after Josh Hannan was eliminated earlier in the show.

His new singleInvinciblewill now hit radio waves on Monday.

Royston had to stumble through his first live performance of the song after being announced as the winner. He was a victim of an audio malfunction in his earpiece.

With the whole Cape and Torres Strait cheering him on, Royston got emotional as he watched live vision from a packed Napranum PCYC.

“It makes me really emotional to know that those kids are watching me,” he said.

“I’m so grateful to be here on this stage and I’m really proud of myself and thankful to those who have supported me.”

Royston won plenty of praise from the Idol judges.

“Your journey through this process has been one of the greatest I’ve seen,” said Harry Connick Jnr.

“I’m proud of you, man, really proud of you.”

The moment he found out he was the winner!

Amy Shark added: “You’re so far away from home, and you’re just crushing it every single week. I love you, man.”

Kyle Sandilands also praised the 24-year-old and gave Cooktown a mention when asking where Royston was from.

“Is it past Cooktown? Wow. Cooktown was enough for me,” he said.

And Meghan Trainor said: “Thank you for all you brought to the show. I love you so much. You’re amazing.”

Royston said that he couldn’t believe he had made it to the final.

“I’ve worked so hard for this,” he said.

“I remember like turning up to the auditions on the Gold Coast and I was like, there’s so much talent in this room.

“Like how am I going to get picked?”

The former Western Cape College student has picked up a guaranteed record with Sony and will no doubt be touring the country performing his newest single Invincible.

The Napranum PCYC was packed on Sunday night.

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