Kate Cook leaves “Australian Idol” with a song and a smile


After a long run, Kate Cook was voted of Australian Idol this weekend, finishing the competition in sixth place.

It’s been a tumultuous, emotional journey for the self-professed “down-to-earth country-bumpkin” from Lowood, Australia. I confess that I teared up when I watched her elimination — and I’m not even from Australia!

Last week, during her trip home, Cook met and sang with Australian country music star Troy Cassar-Daley. On her Idol blog, she wrote:

I got to sing “Big, Big Love” in the back of the truck with Troy. He’s my biggest idol of all time, I really admire the man, it was great. I’d never met him before. A bunch of mates were down at the pub one day and he was down there playing. They said, come down and meet Troy, and there was a heap of people down there. I said, no, I’d rather do it when one day I’ll walk up and shake his hand and say, “G’day mate,” and I did that yesterday, so it’s a dream come true.

Though she tried to keep the focus on her music, the media jumped on the story that Cook broke up with her long-term girlfriend during Australian Idol. She repeatedly told the press that she was a private person, but finally opened up about the break-up, saying, “I really love Kerry, I always will, but I just had to make that tough decision to have a break. I’m hurting over it, and confused too. I don’t want to hurt Kerry or the kids, but I have to follow my heart.”

After her elimination from Idol, Cook told reporters:

It’s a little disappointing but it’s also a relief to be out, I knew it would come to an end some time. I’m going to miss every day being about music: the lessons, the performances, and just hanging out with other performers. But I won’t miss the house, that’s for sure, I’d much prefer the open space of the country.

I was only able to watch Australian Idol in bits and pieces, clip-by-clip online, but the way the judges and public embraced Cook, encouraging her not to change her appearance or hide the fact that she is gay, was inspirational, and something I highly doubt would ever happen on American Idol.

In her final video package she said, “I’m starting to believe in my country music heart, and believe I’m going to get around Australia and sing my guts out.”

And in her final on-stage appearance, she told the audience, “Australian country music, look out! Here comes Kate Cook!”

I look forward to hearing more from Kate Cook; how about you?

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