Australian Idol 2023 Grand Finale: Who Won?

Image courtesy of Channel 7
After weeks of incredible performances and intense public voting, the 2023 season of Australian Idol has finally wrapped up. The grand finale hit our screens on Sunday night, with fan-favourite Royston Sagigi-Baira taking out the top crown.
Royston beat out Phoebe Stewart and Josh Hannan to become the winner of Australian Idol 2023, winning $100,000, as well as a recording contract with Sony Music Australia.
“I just want to say thank you so much to everyone who voted for me,” Royston said after being crowned the winner. "Thank all this mob up here, all my family and friend for coming."
The 24-year-old Thanakwithi and Badu Island man impressed the judges and the public on Sunday night with his emotional performance of his winning single, Invincible, an emotional ballad about overcoming hardship. He also performed the ultimate tearjerker, I Can't Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt.
“After thousands of auditions, countless weeks of competition, and millions of your votes at home, it all comes down to these two onstage,” host Ricki-Lee said, as Phoebe and Royston, the final two, held hands.
“Australia, you voted, you decided.
“The winner of Australian Idol 2023 is Royston!”
Royston was clearly shocked and struggled to speak. "Everyone who’s been voting. I don’t know what else to say. Thank you so much!"
 “My eyes are burning,” he joked through tears.
A gracious winner, Royston went on to praise 15-year-old runner-up, Phoebe. “I’m so proud of you. [You're] 15 years old. You’re like my little sister. I love you,” he said.
Here's a breakdown of how each of the grand finalists felt about getting to the end of Australian Idol 2023.

Royston Sagigi-Baira (Winner)

The first grand finalist announced was the eventual winner, Royston Sagigi-Baira. The 24-year-old Thanakwithi and Badu Island man has been described by Australian Idol judge Kyle Sandilands as "one in a million", so there's a good chance he could take the crown home.
"I can’t believe this. This is crazy," Sagigi-Baira said on stage when discovering he was through to the finale.
"You know, I’ve told Australia my story, like where I come from, you know, a small little Indigenous community, and I’m in the top three of Australian Idol!"

Phoebe Stewart (2nd Place)

At the age of just 15, Phoebe Stewart blew the judges and viewers away with her breathtaking performances every week. One of the show's judges, Harry Connick Jr, recently said that the WA contestant is exactly what this competition is all about.
"If there was a checklist, which there isn’t, of things that people competing for Australian Idol should have, I mean, seriously, Phoebe, you literally check every single box," he said on the show.

Josh Hannan (3rd Place)

Josh Hannan has built a strong following of fans throughout this season, and he was the final contestant to be announced as a grand finalist this year when Australia swung votes his way. It came down to him and co-star Amali Dimond for the final post.
"It is an absolute dream for me to be here every single week and I just want to say, please, everyone support Amali, she is an incredible artist," Hannan said graciously when he found out he was through to the final round.
This year, Australian Idol has returned to local screens after a 14-year hiatus, with new judges Kyle Sandilands, Amy Shark, Harry Connick Jr and Meghan Trainor, while Ricki-Lee Coulter and Scott Tweedie have been the hosts.
The Australian Idol 2023 grand finale airs on Sunday, March 26 at 7pm on Channel 7 and 7plus.
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