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Wednesday, 19 December, 2001, 13:32 GMT
Idol's Rik waits on voice
The public was urged to
The public was urged to "vote for the fat bloke"
Pop Idol hopeful Rik Waller may have his dreams of stardom dashed as he visits a doctor to find out whether he will be well enough to take part in Saturday's show.

20-stone Waller, subject of an e-mail campaign urging people to "vote for the fat bloke", missed his scheduled performance in last week's eliminator show because he was suffering from a bug that affected his voice.

Darius: Infamous hopeful is waiting in the wings
Darius: Infamous hopeful is waiting in the wings
He had hoped to appear this Saturday instead - but those hopes now appear to be fading.

"If I was a betting man I wouldn't put money on it," his dad Kris said from his home in Gillingham, Kent.

"He has to get in touch with a doctor who will have the final say today [Wednesday], but he is still croaky."

His son had "an air of resignation about him", Mr Waller said.

"I might be wrong about him performing, and I would love to be, but it's not looking good."

Pop Idol winner odds
6-4 Gareth Gates
2-1 Rosie Ribbons
7-2 William Young
7-1 Aaron Bayley
8-1 Rik Waller
Source: Eurobet
Fellow contestant Darius Danesh - notorious for his arrogant displays on Pop Idol and its predecessor, Popstars - is hoping to get a last-minute call-up to take Waller's place despite being eliminated in a previous round.

The final decision on whether Waller will perform will be down to the heavyweight hopeful himself - and will not be taken until the last minute.

"We know that Rik is unwell and there is a severe possibility that he will not sing," a spokeswoman for the show said.

"But the decision will not be made until later in the week."

'Conceited'

Although Mr Waller was a popular entrant with voters, the judges have not been so impressed.

Simon Cowell told him that all the attention he had been receiving in the press had made him conceited.

Pop Idol continues the success of Popstars, the show that put hit group Hear'Say together.

Ten thousand wannabe stars took part in auditions for the ITV1 show, and the winner will be given a record deal.

See also:

16 Dec 01 | TV and Radio
Korben ejected from Pop Idol
17 Nov 01 | TV and Radio
Under-age Pop Idol hopeful rumbled
16 Oct 01 | TV and Radio
Take That manager attacks Pop Idol
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