Joshua?s in, as Courtney?s out

By HELEN JACK

CASINO Chamber of Commerce treasurer and Ballina Idol finalist Joshua Fussell is hoping next year will be his year to stand on stage as Australia's next idol.

All over Australia, Idol fans watched last night as finalists Anthony Callea, Casey Donovan and Courtenay Murphy battled it out on stage during a live television broadcast.

Each contestant hoped to be the one not voted out and remain in the running for next week's big show at the Opera House in Sydney where Australia's Idol will be crowned.

Mr Fussell said he watched the show while he practised for his own finals performance in Ballina Idol on November 19 at the Ballina RSL.

"It's down to three and it's really exciting," he said.

"My tip is Anthony because he is versatile and gets into the feeling of the song."

Mr Fussell said he had learnt a lot from watching the show.

"It is a wonderful opportunity for young talent that otherwise would not be discovered," he said.

"I learn by listening to what the judges say and relate it back to the Idols' performances.

"It is very educational for performers because they can draw inspiration from the show."

As well as preparing Casino for Christmas, Mr Fussell said he is also busy putting the final touches to his preparations for Ballina.

"I am really excited," he said. "Not only are there major prizes to be won but I will get the exposure and a chance to go to Australian Idol next year.

"I was not going to enter the competition but my family encouraged me to go in it. I have already recorded three albums, but I would love a chance to record something on a bigger scale."

As well as practising every night for the Ballina finals, Mr Fussell and Casino's Chamber of Commerce will be hard at work over the coming months.

"At our meeting the promotions committee decided to sell Casino as the region's best place to grab those Christmas bargains," Mr Fussell said.

"We are looking at advertising on radio, TV and in the newspapers to tell everyone about Casino."

nMeanwhile, as predicted by Mr Fussell, Anthony made it through to the Opera House in last night's Australian Idol. He is accompanied by Casey, described last night as the 'denim metallica transform- ed into a beautiful diva'.



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