The pros and cons of reality TV and the music industry have been argued for years, but there is no denying that it has given us some brilliant artists. Driven by Simon Fuller and Simon Cowell, shows like American Idol, X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent have produced worldwide chart-smashing talent. Australia jumped on the reality bandwagon early, and while our Idol stint finished in 2009, the X Factor and The Voice continue to provide our industry with some top talent. Here are 7 of the most successful reality TV musicians to come out of Australia.
Matt Corby: He started off as a 16 year-old heartthrob on Australian Idol, and today he has established himself as one of Australia’s favourite indie singer/songwriters. Now 24, the haunting tones of Matt’s vocals and the ethereal quality of his songs have made him an artist to watch in the Aussie music scene. If you want to treat your ears, listen to his hit, “Brother,” now.
Jessica Mauboy: Aussie talent doesn’t get much better than this lady. Starring in The Sapphires and Bran Nue Day, Jess began as a 16 year-old on Australian Idol and has gone on to become one of Australia’s most recognised musicians. Her new single, “Can I Get a Moment?” is out now.
Fatai: Australia’s first season of The Voice treated us well, and 18-year-old Fatai used it as a springboard to start an increasingly successful career. Her exquisite vocals have gained worldwide attention on social media with her rendition of Disney’s’ “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and she has been Tweeted about by Perez Hilton and Sam Smith.
Stan Walker: He won Australian Idol in 2009, and this soulful RnB singer has gone on to release three albums. Acting as a judge on New Zealand’s X Factor, Stan has also made a name for himself in the flick Mt Zion. Born and raised in NZ, he has become a favourite talent with the Australian public.
Guy Sebastian: You can’t very well put together a list of Australia’s top acts without including this gentleman, the original Australian Idol winner. Guy releases his seventh album, Madness, on November 21 before embarking on his first full scale arena tour in 2015. Collaborating with Lupe Fiasco, Mya, John Mayer and writing for Usher, this dude is one of our best.
Taylor Henderson: With so many reality TV shows, it makes sense that a few contestants would start to cross over. Taylor entered Australia’s Got Talent in 2010 and came in third place to his dad. He returned to Aussie screens in 2013 and walked away as the runner-up on the fifth series of the X Factor. With a solid fan base, quality vocals, and the charisma of being a genuinely nice guy, the future looks bright for Taylor.
Brittany Cairns: A member of Keith Urban’s team in our first series of The Voice, he described her voice, saying, “It’s smoky and smoldering and soulful and not the voice you get out of a 19 year old.” Britt released her sophomore EP Tales of The Desert earlier this year, and is making waves with the Dylan Aiden remix of her song “How Can I.”