Norway's Pop Idol Kurt Nilsen moved a step up to World Idol on Thursday when he triumphed in a singing competition with winners from 10 other nations. American Idol Kelly Clarkson won second place, Belgium's Peter Evrard came in third, and out British singer Will Young placed fifth when the vote was announced Thursday following a Christmas Day broadcast of the international singing competition.
"This is totally amazing," said a thrilled and tearful Nilsen. "I love you guys," he told the 10 other competitors. The competitors are all winners of the first season of the Idol series in their respective countries. Nilsen, a 25-year-old plumber, won the Norwegian version of Pop Idol in May. His single, "She's So High," went straight to number 1 in the Norwegian singles chart and is the country's biggest-selling single to date. The young Norwegian won maximum points from nine of the 11 countries that voted in the contest for his rendition of the U2 track "Beautiful Day." Clarkson, a former Texas cocktail waitress, won the first American title in September 2002 and scored a number 1 single with "A Moment Like This." Shows patterned after the original series, Britain's Pop Idol, now are seen in more than 20 countries.
Here are the final rankings of the World Idol contestants:
1. Kurt Nilsen, Norway
2. Kelly Clarkson, United States
3. Peter Evrard, Belgium
4. Heinz Winckler, South Africa
5. Will Young, United Kingdom
6. Ryan Malcolm, Canada
7. Guy Sebastian, Australia
8. Alex, Poland
9. (tie) Alexander Klaws, Germany
9. (tie) Diana Karazon, Pan Arabia
10. Jamai Loman, Netherlands