Cosima De Vito’s Chaotic Exit From ‘Australian Idol’ Lives In My Brain Rent-Free

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Things That Live In My Brain Rent-Free is a column where writers discuss the things they’ll never move past, and will happily bring up at parties and dinner gatherings for the rest of their lives. 

I would be lying if I said that I didn’t constantly think about Cosima De Vito and her chaotic exit from Australian Idol.

Let me cast your mind back to 2003. 

‘The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)’ was all over the radio, Grace Bros was our favourite store and we were collectively obsessed with Honey’s (not-so) iconic dance moves. But, perhaps greater than all these things combined was the impact that Australian Idol had when it first hit our tv screens.

Let’s Talk About Australian Idol

Australian Idol was 2000’s culture. It was the show to watch when you got home from school, it was the thing that you listened to on the radio, and it was the topic of conversation at recess and at lunch. 

But, let me tell you. More than Guy Sebastian’s afro, more than Shannon Noll’s southern-cross tattoo and more than Paulini’s stunning gold dress – there was one moment that truly affected me and all my school peers. And that was Cosima De Vito’s dramatic exit from the show. Just thinking about it now gives me chills. 

Cosima Was The Moment

To set the scene, Australian Idol was slowly but surely reaching its inevitable season end. And sure, while there were some duds in the Australian Idol Top 12, we were well and truly getting down to the nitty-gritty.

Cosima De Vito

We had said goodbye to ’00s heartthrob Rob Mills and we had just said goodbye to the (then) law-abiding citizen Paulini. This meant we were left with a top three of Shannon Noll, Guy Sebastian, and Cosima De Vito, and one of them was sadly going to miss out on the opportunity of the grand finale. 

And while the competition was rife, I was rooting heavily for Cosima.

Cosima De Vito

Something about her was so incredible. Her voice could move mountains. Her style was… quite something! Young me was captivated and I wanted her to win the bloody thing and come out of there with an album full of bops and bangers. Much to my surprise, she was not only going to place third, but she was going to actually pull out of the competition. 

Cosima De Vito Pulls Out

Let’s talk about the episode. At the end of the semi-final, after countless musical numbers, the host that wasn’t Osher announced that Cosima had a statement that she wanted to read aloud. A statement? What could this mean? This sounds dramatic, even for Australian Idol’s standards…  

“I’d like to thank all my supporters and the Australian public for believing in me. I’ve been extremely humbled by the support you have shown me.” Cosima began. What could possibly be happening? My youthful mind started to worry. 

Then… It Happened

“Unfortunately, I have a temporary condition that’s affecting my voice and it’s forced me to make the decision to leave the competition,” Cosima said. It was at this point that myself, and some random person in the audience, both simultaneously screamed aloud “NOOOOOOOOooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!”  Check out this very accurate reenactment of the incident.

@haydnhicksonaustralian idol was never the same after cosima left… anyway stream rise up #australianidol #foryou #fyp #aussie♬ original sound – J O S H⛈

Even though Cosima De Vito kept talking, I couldn’t hear the words she was saying. I was just confused. Her voice was cracking in a way that I hadn’t heard before. She, of course, pulled out of Idol because of throat nodules, a concept I would be introduced to later in life thanks to Pitch Perfect. 

Watch It All Unfold Here:

Anyway, what was happening on screen was dramatic and I hated every single second of it.

Cosima De Vito

Literally me watching the TV like…

 In the meantime, Cosima De Vito continued with her statement, “This has been the most difficult decision of my life. But the next few weeks are going to be very, very intense with touring and recording and I’m not sure that I’m going to be able to give 100% and that my voice is going to hold up.”

Cosima De Vito

She also addressed the fact that this meant that Shannon and Guy were officially in the finale. “These two great guys are ready to take on the final challenge and, from the bottom of my heart, I wish you both the best of luck and I cherish your friendship, your love, and your support. With the right care, I know my voice will get better and I’ll be back to normal in just a few weeks. So, the journey isn’t gonna end for me.”

Cosima De Vito After Idol

In her speech she also alluded to her future solo career, saying: “Thank you again to all of my supporters. You have given me the strength to get me to the position where I am today. And your votes and support haven’t been wasted. They will drive me towards a successful singing career.”

So where did her solo career take her? Well… Um, not very far, unfortunately. Now, don’t get me wrong, Cosima did score an ARIA number one hit, which most Aussie musicians never achieve in their life, but Cosima’s solo career did kind of flatline after that. But, low key, ‘Now That You Can’t Have Me’ is a bop.

And so concludes the story of how one moment in Australian reality TV history lives rent-free in my mind.

Anyway stream, ‘Rise Up’.