Idol’s biggest mystery finally solved
After more than 15 years, Australian Idol's biggest mystery has finally been solved.
Fans of the show will no doubt remember when Cosima De Vito dramatically announced in 2003 that she was quitting the show due to throat nodules.
"I have a temporary condition that's affecting my voice and it's forced me to make the decision to leave the competition," De Vito said live on TV.
The announcement stunned the remaining Idol hopefuls, but the most shocking reaction came from a member of the studio audience who let out a wounded, "Noooooooo!"
The identity of the heartbroken fan had remained a mystery over the years, but Hit FM radio host Danny Lakey made it his life's mission over the past two weeks to discover who it was.
And he was successful.
After an anonymous tip, Lakey announced on air this week that the mystery fan was in fact Tim Dormer, who would later go on to win Big Brother in 2013.
"I was just your average, in the closet teenager that was loving Australian Idol and worshipped Cosima De Vito," Dormer said on The Danny Lakey Late Show.
"We got tickets to the episode - it was a few before the finale - and it was a big deal because it came down to Nollsy, Guy Sebastian and my queen, Cosima.
"Everyone thought that Guy was going to go and it would be Cosima and Shannon in the finale," Dormer said. "Then Cosima comes forward with an announcement. She pulls out a little hand-folded piece of paper and crocodile tears came on and she announced she was leaving the competition.
"I was in shock," Dormer told Lakey. "I just squealed, 'Nooooo!'"
Dormer said that his scream caught people off guard and plenty of heads turned his way in the studio audience.
"It was embarrassing," he said, reflecting on the squeal heard around the nation. "I have never really spoken of this since tonight."
Lakey was aware that Dormer's claim might be met with scepticism by some, so he arranged for a voice analyst to compare Dormer's current voice to the audio from the episode.
When asked if the voices were a match, the expert told the radio host: "Without any doubt, it is!"
In 2018 De Vito opened up to news.com.au about her sad departure from Australian Idol and revealed that she actually wanted to release a press statement rather than quit live on TV.
But the producers wouldn't allow it.
"The timing of it was all about TV and I had no control over it," she said. "I didn't decide to do that, I would have done it in the morning.
"You get told what to do and they want to make it about the ratings, and that's understandable."
In the same interview, De Vito claimed that she didn't become good friends with Noll and Sebastian during her time on the show because "there wasn't enough time".
"It's not easy to forge friendship when you are under that much pressure and you are trying to win a TV show," she told news.com.au.
"For me there wasn't enough time to bond with people that maybe I could have bonded with."
But according to Guy Sebastian, that claim was a load of bull.
"I know Cosima struggled with some people but she was highly competitive, and I think that just drove a lot of people (away)," Sebastian told 9Honey Celebrity.
"She obviously put the competition side first, whereas there were genuine friendships. Like me and Shannon Noll are mates, and I had a very close mate on the show, Levi (Kereama), who unfortunately passed on - he was like my little brother. And there were so many others, like Paulini Curuenavuli, who I just got along with so well.
"I just think Cosima can be a little bit negative at times," Sebastian continued. "People like to have a crack at Idol but it changed my life, so I'll never, ever slam it. It was my life source."
Originally published as Aus Idol's biggest mystery finally solved