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Wednesday, 13 February, 2002, 15:48 GMT
Pop Idol: Can Will make it?
Pop Idol winner William Young
Does William have a long musical career ahead of him?
The nation voted and William Young is a Pop Idol. The 23-year-old beat Gareth Gates, 17, in Saturday's final.

But is Will a genuine star? Or is he just a three-minute wonder? Will he fare better than Hear'Say?

Click here to read comments already submitted over the weekend.

HAVE YOUR SAY

Brian who won Big Brother was a total sensation at the time - whose heard of him now? Will the same happen to Will?
Ed Cousens, UK

Clearly the nation has been swept up in a media frenzy over nothing. Nothing will come of Will, he will release a few number cheesy ones (written by someone else), an album and vanish into bad pop history. The show has been hyped so much, so quickly that a downfall of equal size and speed will inevitably come. By the way, has anybody heard from Hear'Say recently? Just as I thought, they've been dropped by the media and are in oblivion, soon to be the resting place of Will.
Adam Baker, UK

I think everyone after Rosie Ribbons were winners because they will be noticed and picked up - it isn't only Will who'll end up with a record deal. I dont think Will's career will be as shortlived as Hear'Say's. There was a lot of hype about the band for a while, then it all died down. However, Will has the potential to be a pop star separately from Pop Idol, and pretty soon, people will forget that he became a star through the programme. I hope everyone who has been spotted and signed through Pop Idol does the best they can because they all deserve it.
Linsey, UK

Well done Will, although I think the final should have you been beating Zoe. However, in a year's time, I suspect that only one person will be able to look back on Pop Idol for creating their current fame, and that's Simon.
Ric, England


They will be made to sing forgettable cheese for a year before being dropped, when they could achieve much more as respected artists

Ed, UK
The Night is "Young's" but "Will" he be around 2mrw? The answer, I fear, is NO! Hear'Say? (In there lies my answer). All clichéd out and signing off!
John, UK

Hooray for Will. What a victory! Let's hope Will now gets some good songs and not just Westlife style pap. I can't believe they want to repeat the process next year. Doesn't that tell us just how long they expect Will to last?
Carol, UK

Will Young has a classic voice, and to really succeed in the big league will need to work with much better songwriters, as his forthcoming single is way too average for his talent. Will needs to work with the Rod Temepertons of the music industry. Let's just hope he has the opportunity to do that.
Natalie Corbett, UK

Both Will and Gareth are good singers. However, no doubt they will suffer in the hands of their record companies. They will be made to sing forgettable cheese for a year before being dropped, when they could achieve much more as respected artists.
Ed, UK

Some people need to see a doctor about their ears! Gareth is a 'pop idol', he is S club 7, Steps, Westlife etc..etc..Will, on the other hand, my God what a voice and what a character. Anyone who has been watching Pop Idol extra will know that Will is not only amazingly vocally talented, but is also very funny, witty and charming. Gareth is a lovely guy and will go on to do very well. But with Will, Pop Idol really struck gold, if they give him and his 'individuality' the right backing, we will be buying Will's music in twenty years time, he was an absolute joy to hear and watch. Unfortunately, the songs we've heard from the album so far don't suit Will, they are too 'pop music'. Will has too much depth to his voice to sing that rubbish - please give him songs that are worthy of his voice!
Melanie Smith, UK

I think with Will's versatile voice and outgoing personality, he will be round for quite a while - he could be the UK's version of Harry Conick Jr. and that's no bad thing.
Reb, UK


Will has a great deal of talent and a fantastic future ahead of him. He makes each song his own and is able to adapt his singing style to suit

Jo, UK
I would not classify Will as a Pop Idol, but good luck to him in the future. I hope he does a lot more of the 'non poppy' stuff that we've seen him do over the past few weeks. Unfortunately, as with all show winners, he will be under a lot of pressure to do well and perhaps Gareth will benefit now that the pressure is off him.
Catherine, UK

I think Will is very talented but if the first single is an example of what we are to expect from him then I don't know how long he will last. He has a unique voice and the single would have been better suited to a more traditional teenybop voice such as Gareth Gates.
Debbie Rose, UK

The best voice won! Will has a unique voice that will make him a true star. I can't wait for his album. Well done Will.
Dave, England

Will has that special little spin-off in his voice which sets him apart from the sad-sack ballad nonsense that monopolises the music industry nowadays. The music industry is a carefully cultivated world of squeeky-clean boybands barely in their teens and singing as if they know all about love and rebel girl bands, smashing down the glass ceiling that was smashed a long time ago. I hope Will will make the stage his own and inject some real talent and individuality into an otherwise shallow industry.
Giovanni, Italia

Will is pure class! I'm just so glad that in such a small gesture of myself dialling a phone number his dreams have been realised. A deserved winner!
Rachel, UK


Will is fantastically talented, and he totally deserved to win Pop Idol, but unfortunately I think he'll sink into obscurity in a pretty short space of time, and before that he'll be sick to death of the Pop Idol title

Kirstan Garrett, Scotland
Well done Will, if anybody deserved to win it was Will. He has the most refreshing voice I've heard in a long time. It's a great singer that can make your hair stand on end and that's what he did for me. I wish him all the best for the future and I'm sure he'll be a very big star.
Linda , England

I think Will is fantastic, he really deserved to win. He will be a brilliant assest to the music industry, and he's gorgeous.
Kerry, Scotland

Will has a great deal of talent and a fantastic future ahead of him. He makes each song his own and is able to adapt his singing style to suit. Gareth is also talented - but all the songs sounded the same and looks very much like a clone from a "boy band". No doubt though for this reason he will be succWill has had the most consistent voice the whole way through-he'll be around for a long time!!
Jo, UK

Will has had the most consistent voice the whole way through - he'll be around for a long time!!
Jo, UK

I think Will is very talented but if the first single is an example of what we are to expect from him then I dont know how long he will last. He has a unique voice and the single would have been better suited to a more traditional teenybop voice such as Gareth Gates.
Debbie Rose, UK

Will has a great deal of talent and a fantastic future ahead of him. He makes each song his own and is able to adapt his singing style to suit. Gareth is also talented - but all the songs sounded the same and looks very much like a clone from a "boy band". No doubt though for this reason he will be sucessful too.
Steph, UK


He has a very unique voice, I just hope he has the chance to develop this and follow his idol George Michael rather than be manipulated by his chiefs into a Westlife clone

Sally, UK
Good luck to Will, he won't be around this time next year anyway!
Dave, Scotland

Will is fantastically talented, and he totally deserved to win Pop Idol, but unfortunately I think he'll sink into obscurity in a pretty short space of time, and before that he'll be sick to death of the Pop Idol title.

Will's voice and style are more suited to old-fashioned songs than current pop, so unless he can persuade his management to allow him to do his kind of thing, I think Will will be very frustrated doing material that he doesn't like, and the nation is bored of.

I hope he enjoys his fame and fortune while it lasts, he deserves it.
Kirsten Garratt, Edinburgh, Scotland

I think Will is fantastic and a breath of fresh air, and his talent and personality will carry him far. I also think that Gareth will go on to bigger, better things although his appeal is more generalised because of his youth, look and style of performing. Either way, what people are so quick to forget is that all of the finalists had to have courage and talent to achieve what they did and this should be applauded, not sneered at.

I hope Will 'does a Robbie' and completely overshadows his origins on Pop Idol. He seems a thoroughly nice guy and deserves it.
Sharon C, England

I think Will's fame will be short lived, look at Hear'Say. Once the first single is released everyone will lose interest. I still say Darius should have won!
Sonia, Scotland

Well done Will, if anybody deserved to win it was Will. He has the most refreshing voice I've heard in a long time. It's a great singer that can make your hair stand on end and that's what he did for me. I wish him all the best for the future and I'm sure he'll be a very big star.
Linda, England


Does nobody seem to remember that the public never actually voted for Hear'Say?!

Clara, Wales
Even though I would have preferred Gareth to win I do think Will can make it as a pop star. He has the ability to do well in the short lived pop world but also has the ability to carve himself in as a credible singer. Good luck to him. PS Ed - Brian now co-presents SMTV Live and a lot of people are still hearing about him.
Kate, UK

Yes, I think Will is a genuine star. You know why? Because he is a genuine person, on the show he came across as very down to earth and lovely. He is also a natural perfomer. His eyes looked straight out at the camera and right into my living room and his voice gave me goose bumps. At at the end of his every performance his smile lit up the stage. He has a very unique voice, I just hope he has the chance to develop this and follow his idol George Michael rather than be manipulated by his chiefs into a Westlife clone. Will can do so much better than that and if he does, he is sure to be a success. Oh and Hear'say? - Let's hope the industry has learned from that mistake! Good luck Will!
Sally, Kent, UK

Personally I think Will has a long career ahead. I voted for Will. I think he outsang Gareth by miles! More than that he has shown that he can improve, that he has range and can adapt to many styles. He also comes across as being mature, intelligent and committed to making great records. It is just a shame that the management and record company chose a pretty poor song in Evergreen to release.
Sara, England

Will is a superb singer who was totally in another league from the rest of the bunch. To nick the judges comment "he made every song his own". I for one will definitely be buying his records - not because of his looks or marketing hype, but because he is a superb singer, who will prove himself bigger than the show. Go Will!
Helen, Ireland


It's a shame he didn't record Robbie's latest album - he'd have done a much better job than Mr Williams

Steve Johnson, UK
I think Will is going to be a pop sensation. He has a unique style which is rare in the music industry today. I think Will has the potential to go straight to the top and stay there. I will without a doubt be buying his single the minute it hits the stands.
Emma, England

Having Gareth and Will sing the same two songs made voting really easy. It was clear that Will had the better voice and stage presence - his voice has tone, depth and range. Will definitely deserved to win and he may well have the longevity to scotch the critics.
Jo Tanner, London

Will's future success depends heavily on the quality of the songs they give him. I don't think that weak Westlife cast-offs are the way forward. He breathed new life into older, better songs and he should give that a go. It's a shame he didn't record Robbie's latest album - he'd have done a much better job than Mr Williams.
Steve Johnson, UK

The best man certainly won on the night - Will is absolutely fantastic, I can't wait to buy his music. What a wonderful voice, he sends shivers down my body. Real music won on the night - a true superstar is born!!!
Leigh Armstrong, England

I think Will has real Robbie Williams star quality. Pop Idol's got him noticed but it will probably destroy him as well... He needs to break out on his own to be credible. Good luck to him.
Billy Bob, UK


The sad thing for the guy is that he'll have to sing the terrible songs that Pop Idol will force on him - I wish he'd come second for his sake really

Dave, England
Will is fantastic! He'll definately make it, although I'm not too keen on the chosen singles as songs for him. I would have much preferred him release something a bit more gutsy and something more suited to his unique voice
Vanessa, UK

Here today gone tommorrow.
Lee, England

I believe Will has a truly outstanding and original voice. If he put together all the tracks from the show and made an album I would buy it tomorrow. Gareth is a star with a lovely voice and will do well in his own right.
Justine, Wales

Will deserved to win, I think he was the most consistent throughout the competition. He has a truly unique voice, which will hopefully be recognised in subsequent recordings. I'm just disappointed that he has to release such a poor first single, which, let's face it, was hand picked for Gareth.
Suze, UK

Knowing Will at Uni long before the show, it was clear to all of us that he has a real talent. Unlike a lot of "Pop Idols", Will actually has a fantastic singing voice. The sad thing for the guy is that he'll have to sing the terrible songs that Pop Idol will force on him - I wish he'd come second for his sake really.
Dave, England

Will has a good voice and stage presence, but he needs great songs to stay ahead of the pack. It's as simple as that. If he ends up in boyband mode, sitting on a stool with an Arran sweater, he'll be a flop within months. Hopefully he can take the Robbie route, or actually do something better, since his voice is much more distinctive than that of Mr Williams.
Paul, UK

I just fell in love with Will's voice, it is fantastic, he is a pop idol in his own right. He will suceed in the long run, he has the voice and the talent to do so.
Trace, Hants, UK


The pop industry needs a change - and Will is that change! Best of luck, Will! Make that change!

Mike W, South Africa
I am middle aged and for the first time in years will buy a hit recording! Will should realise that he is way above the calibre of boy bands. It matters not one jot if he is number one. He will be entertaining across generations as long as he wants to carry on singing. If his agents can't give him songs which suit his voice and can only offer the hackneyed stuff of boy bands then they don't deserve him.
S, England

Will won on behalf of those of us who are sick to death with the shallow meaningless garbage that is marketed to the kids, who, in any case, can¿t have the buying power that adults have. I only hope that Will is strong enough to resist the pressure of going down the same road as Hear'Say. We want and need a few more George Michaels, Stevie Wonders and Smokey Robinsons and a lot less Westlife, if any at all.
Danny Rolnick, London, UK

I'm glad that Will won. In my personal opinion, he had the stronger voice. I say good luck to him, and I hope he lasts a few years at least. I know everyone is saying that he will be forgotten this time next year, but I think he has the potential to last for a long time yet. He seems to be a genuinely nice guy too.
Gill, UK

Will has the ability to sing various styles of song, as he has shown over the last few weeks. If he is allowed to put a little bit of Will into the songs I would think that even people who never watched Pop Idol will be dashing out to buy his CDs for as long as he keeps doing it. I think he's brill!
Jean Wardle, UK


I have to agree that the two songs for the single aren't up to much, but Will at least does a good job on them

Val, UK
Will's voice brings tears to my eyes and I can't wait until he releases an album. The bond he and Gareth has is so touching and although people are saying it was fixed I also had trouble getting through so it wasn't just Gareth's calls not getting through.
Joanne, UK

I have been watching the UK Pop Idols and WOW! Will has the most unique voice. He is something new and not like the usual (and very corny) popstars that we have today. The pop industry needs a change - and Will is that change! Best of luck, Will! Make that change!
Mike W, South Africa

Will has an excellent voice and deserved to win. He will be around for a VERY long time as long as he sings songs that suit his voice, but at the moment his voice is too big for the songs!! Not only is he very talented, he is also funny, friendly and well-spoken!I LOVE HIM!!
Lauren, UK

Will's distinguished voice and style has the potential to do well if he is given 'mature' songs to sing. Remember Mick Hucknall? A sublime voice, but after the first album he seemed to play safe with the more popular yet less demanding songs... such a shame. If you have the gift, its criminal not to use it. Good luck Will.
Baz, England


Now that the competitive element has gone and a winner has emerged, the public will certainly lose interest, regardless of Will's obvious talent

Emma, Scotland
Will has such a pure quality to his voice that he makes any song he sings worth listening to. It's a breath of fresh air to hear him on the radio and, even better, live. I believe his intelligence and great personality will help keep him in the public consciousness, and his fantastic voice will do the rest.

Of course the songs he gets to sing will have a lot to do with his success. I have to agree that the two songs for the single aren't up to much, but Will at least does a good job on them. Here's hoping they pull their fingers out for the next one and the album.
Val, UK

...oh, does nobody seem to remember that the public never actually voted for Hear'Say?!?....
Clara, Wales

I believe that Will does have the potential to be a big hit due to his outstanding voice and down-to-earth personality, yet I feel that the hype surrounding this issue is more to do with the thrill of the competition, rather than the public feeling that he deserves to make number one songs. Now that the competitive element has gone and a winner has emerged, the public will certainly lose interest, regardless of Will's obvious talent.
Emma, Scotland

I think William will last longer than Hear'Say, it was the public who chose him, the people who will be buying his music.
Chloe Ph., England

Will was definitely the best singer out of the two and deserved to win. He will be the next Robbie Williams, he's that good!
Aimee, England


He needs a manager with vision rather than short term gain. Good luck Will

Patrick Lee, UK
You can't compare Will to Hear'Say. Yes they could sing, but none of them could ever make your hair stand on end the way Will's voice does. I'll follow his career very closely indeed. I think he is very special. He was the reason I watched that show.

And you certainly can't compare him to Brian from big brother! Wonderful though he is, he wasn't a singer, actor, presenter, or really anything for that matter. He was just a nice guy.

Will has a voice unlike anyone who is in the charts just now.
Emma, Scotland

Will is a star! He has a fantastic voice and we can only hope that he has plenty of input into his future releases in order to avoid having to continually release pop pap. It's a shame his first single does not show off his full vocal talent to all the pessimists who refused to watch the show. Let's hope his next single isn't written by Cathy Dennis.
Jenni, scotland

Will is the epitome of class, Gareth is a lovely singer, but Will has the stamina to carry this through, I know I shall be buying his records for many years to come.
Jackie Flynn, England

Will definitely deserved to win! He has such a unique and amazing voice. If he picks the right songs to sing and continues to put his personality as well as his talent into his performances then there's no reason why he should diminish in popularity and success. Go Will!
Amy, UK

Clearly Will will go the same way as Hear'Say (sorry) but he is too nice. What he needs to do is go away for a year or so and then make a comeback as a proper artist.
Andrew Brown, UK

The typical cynics slagging off Will obviously never heard him sing on Saturday. I think it was his vocal reworking of 'Light my Fire' that won it for him: it was sensational and better than anything I've heard from 'professional' singers for years. He has an amazing and individual talent and the prospect of a long career. People slag him because he has written a song (yet). Was Judy Garland crap because she didn't write 'Over the Rainbow', was Callas crap because she didn't compose 'Tosca'? I might have been inclined to write off Pop Idol as a tacky talent show, but the commitment from the contestants made it memorable, quality TV.
Mark W, UK


His record company, managers, songwriters and the media will make a lot of money - if he's lucky, they might throw him a few scraps

Colin, UK
Will has a wondeful versatile voice. He can excel in many styles of music but he needs to establish his own style to be really great. He needs a manager with vision rather than short term gain. Good luck Will.
Patrick Lee, UK

Bottom line is, Will does have a fantastic voice and tremendous talent in diversifying his vocal styles. The other bottom line is that the record companies wield a lot of power and thus make or break his career for him. Hopefully Will is grounded enough and has enough faith to push through with his own unique style and not be turned into a singing mannequin. I'm putting my money on that he will be around for the next twenty years - unlike Hear'Say who are reaching their sell-by date very quickly. I see Kym Marsh doing much better as a solo artist too if she can also reinvent herself far far away from the Hear'Say image.
Paul, UK

I think Will is much bigger and far better than the programme that brought him fame and that is why I think he will last a long time. He has huge talent and versatility - but he needs songs that show off his talent, not the bland tune that he has just recorded. I think he is the best talent to come about in such a long time and am hoping he will go on to record a few classics as well as new songs that deserve his voice. I think Gareth is more likely to fade into oblivion because although he has a good voice and looks, he doesn't really stand out from the rest.
Tania, UK

He will be forced to work 24hrs a day for as long as public interest lasts. His record company, managers, songwriters and the media will make a lot of money - if he's lucky, they might throw him a few scraps. When next year's model comes out, he'll suddenly realise what all the small print in his contract actually means (and why the poor girl who asked about writing her own songs nearly got her head bitten off!)
Colin, UK


If he is handled properly I think that with his talent and personality he could be another Robbie

Helen, UK
Sorry, but Will is just another marketing creation in a fake plastic world. Can he write the songs and compose the music? A good voice is not enough to make a real star. Unfortunately our gullible nation has gone into a frenzy over this. We'll have forgotten him really soon and still be listening to the real stars, the ones that made their own success.
Neil Williamson, UK

The nation seemed to agree that he has a wonderful and unique voice so he's not just a pretty face! It isn't often that a truely talented artist is discovered but once they are, it's extremely exciting and they do tend to stick around for a long time. Will's voice is beautiful, I was just disappointed with the single he'll release. It isn't his style. The Motown-type music suited his voice perfectly and I hope that he resorts to that style once he finds his feet. Nevertheless he will be a superstar!
Nadia, UK

I was at University with Will. What a voice. He has come on in the few months since we left Uni. Well done mate. You are unique and deserve everything that will come your way. Keep it up!
Will, England

It would pay Will to read Holly Johnson's autobiography, where he describes how the record company took most of his earnings in various expenses, making a fat living off his efforts. The contractual arrangements reported in the weekend press make Will (and the other finalists, signed up by Simon/Micky) look to be more slaves than idols.
John Morrison, UK

I think Will is fantastic and deserved to win but I agree that he needs to be able to sing songs that will suit his style and talent and not just throw away pop. If he is handled properly I think that with his talent and personality he could be another Robbie. Good luck.
Helen, UK


How can he be a star when he hasn't produced a raft of number ones?

James, UK
Congrats to Will. He deserved to win. I don't know about Pop Idol but I do know that Will is in a league of his own, he has a real soulful, touching voice. He also has character and I feel he'll be around for a long time to come once they don't have him singing too many of those pop songs. (Leave that to Gareth).
Dionne, UK

The next Robbie - he'll be around for years to come, someone us Brits can be proud of!
Alex Smart, England

Gareth was good but too samey. I agree that hearing them both sing the same songs on Saturday night was the final nail in the pop idol coffin for Gareth. Will has a much wider appeal and a much more versatile voice. But don't you think that the fact that a Westlife song was chosen as the pop idols first release points to the fact that the pop idol insiders were expecting Gareth to win? Hopefully Will's next song will be something less cheesy.
Vikki Powles, England

Sure Will may churn out a few duff cheesy numbers early on, but I don't remember Wham Rap or Wake Me Up Before YGG doing George Michael's later credibility any harm. Hear'Say had OK-ish voices - Will's is unique. He'll be around long after the oh so predicatable know-alls who are condemning him already. It's hilarious how all these people become overnight music critics. If you haven't anything positive to say - shut up - just don't buy his records. Plenty will.
Matt , UK

Although I didnt know Will personally, he did attend my university - Exeter. Last year I saw him in the university's production as the lead in the musical Oaklahoma! It has to be said, at the time I thought he was amazing! He was the star of the show and what with him now moving on into a career in singing it just shows his amazing talent. He's a smart guy and will do very well indeed! Best of luck Will, from all of us at Exeter Uni!
Sarah Smith, Exeter


Listen to your mother Will and invest your earnings wisely - you'll need them - retirement is only months away!

Mark, UK
Will has an awesome voice and will be around for a very long time. He has a unique voice and with a decent team behind him, making sure he sings songs that are suited to his great voice, he will be around for a long long time. The next Robbie Williams, just you watch.
Ted, England

Hype. Can you even remember the names of Hear'Say? Even a pathetic "New Member" showbiz storm couldnt save them. At the end of the day, throwaway tunes makes for throw away careers. But hey, he is a "pop" idol.
Jay, UK

Robbie Williams should be worried. Will has got the voice he's always wanted . Will is going to be a star!
Helen, Wales

Will has an amazing voice! If his managers have as much respect for him as they say they have, they will stop at the one Westlife song. It's ok for them, but he is worth much more.
R, London

How can he be a star when he hasn't produced a raft of number ones? Even then he wouldn't be a star in today's marketing and image conscious pop world. Which is why I listen to 60s and 70s rock. To people with musical talent. Who rose to the top through their own endeavours. Give me Cream, The Who, Lynyrd Skynyrd. Today's here today, gone tomorrow, pop tarts are a waste of time. How moronic must people be to get taken in by the hype?
James, London, UK


Will has the chance for a longer career as he is less likely to split up with himself

Frodo, Netherlands
Listen to your mother Will and invest your earnings wisely - you'll need them - retirement is only months away!!!
Mark, UK

Will made the hair at the back of my neck stand on end - he has a fantastic voice and well deserved to win. I look forward to buying his first CD - which I feel sure will be the first of many - I just hope he sings what he enjoys which will sell - and not be relegated to singing numbers that sound the same as everyone else. He is unique and should stay that way
Wendy Channing, United Kingdom

Will has a really unique quality to his voice. I think he could do really well and stand the test of time, however, not if he is made to sing the sappy pap of his new single. It really sounded to me as though the songs had been written for Gareth's voice rather than Will's - maybe the producers thought Gareth would win. They were both good, but Will had the edge. I wish him loads of luck and success. I won't buy the single, but will definitely buy future recordings if he releases some good songs!
Rosie, Cambridge, UK

Will definitely deserved to win based on his amazing singing voice and personality. Gareth was very good but how many times have we seen his like before? I think that if Will can see himself get through the first year or two and still be around in the music industry then he has a chance of making it long term. He will need to work with songwriters who don't just cater for the under 12's age group in order to make it - bit like George Michael or Robbie WIlliams really!
Craig, UK

Will has a fantastic, versatile voice and will have a lengthy career. In the music business you HAVE to be able to change direction in order to have any long-lasting success - look at how many times Madonna has changed image/music style - and Will's voice will allow this to happen for him. Gareth's voice is only suited to singing ballads and sickly sweet pop songs and he'll have the three-minute career, not Will!
Ashlyn, England

I felt sorry for him when he won. He has a great voice, reminds me of George Michael, and would have got a record deal anyway. Now he has to sing some rubbish designed to sell as much as possible as quickly as possible to a teenage audience. He will only survive if he manages to distance himself from his past.
Andrew, UK


The first single seems to have been written for Gareth Gates and just doesn't do Will's voice justice

Gareth, UK
Well done William, my wife and I supported you all the way since the very first programme we recieved in Namibia, and we couldn't stay away from the TV. You are our hero and really looking forward to your first album, keep up the good work and we will carry you in our prayers to stay the person you are. Thanks for everything and enjoy your future.
Francois, Namibia

Will has the chance for a longer career as he is less likely to split up with himself.
Frodo, Netherlands

I hate these shows, but from when I first heard his voice I voted for Will each week, so that he could have a good start in the business. I actually don't hink he is a 'Pop Idol' - his voice and talent go way beyond that, and I look forward to buying his stuff in 5-10 years time when he is doing his own thing. I adored his version of Ain't no sunshine when she's gone' and hope it gets released!
Tracy, England

Will has a superb voice and was a worthy winner of Pop Idol. However, his talent is rarer and more wide ranging than the average manufactured pop-star and I wonder if the writers, producers and managers he will now be working with are capable of fulfilling his potential. The first single seems to have been written for Gareth Gates and just doesn't do Will's voice justice. If they have to rush a single out why not a double A-side featuring Light My Fire and Beyond the Sea.
Gareth, UK

True stars are the ones that write their own songs. Songs with lasting value, and aren't forgotten after a few months. Millions and millions of people can sing as 'well' as Will. What's so special about him? The TRUE stars haven't always got the 'best' voices at all: PULP, THE HUMAN LEAGUE etc.
Matthew Taylor, UK


OK, so the first album might be engineered pop (not that there is anything wrong with that) but after that Will will keep shining for his individuality

Heather, England
Will has got the kind of voice that has the ability to sing a massive range of songs. Strangely enough I think it would have been better for his career if he hadn't won, because he could have then picked and chosen his own deal (and songs!) Does anyone else feel that it is wrong for Simon Cowell etc. to offer Gareth a deal? Obviously he's a talented lad, but Will did win and giving the same prize to the person that came 2nd seems a bit strange (anything to do with money perhaps?)
Rich, England

Natalie Corbett's comments are spot on! Will has an incredible voice but needs quality songwriters to bring out the best in him.

There are loads of singers who can deliver average performances of mediocre songs, but Will's voice requires much more than that for us to see him at his best.

A great song owes so much more to the writers than it does to the artist, and an artist with a great songwriter in their team will have an infinitely longer career!
Mark, UK

A pop idol with a fabulous voice who reads Iris Murdoch and is interested enough in politics to get a degree in it already distinguishes him from the hordes of singing-by-numbers boy (and girl) band clones. All he needs is some freedom to be himself. I hope he gets it - good luck Will.
Sara, UK

Will has proved himself though the various songs he has sang. He has sheer talent, and makes his amazing performances look so effortless. A superstar, who should have staying power.
Sandra, UK


My family have been involved in music for as long as I can remember and I was amazed. A genuine star is born. Reminiscent of Nat King Cole

Warren, England
I am so happy that Will won. I have been following him since the beginning. He has a REAL talent and that will shine through. OK, so the first album might be engineered pop (not that there is anything wrong with that) but after that Will will keep shining for his individuality. He's got something that I haven't seen for a long time. Watch out Robbie. He sounds better and he looks better! GO WILL!!!!
Heather, England

Will has the best and most unique voice I've heard in my life. He can become a true popstar and his personality is right for the job. I know I'll be listening to many songs by him in the future and going to his concerts. You don't believe in him? That's your problem mate.
Chloe, England

Its good to see someone with genuine talent winning one of these media-hyped money-raking contests. I just hope Will doesn't fall into the same category as Rick Astley - a nice guy with a great voice singing cheesy embarrassing songs and eventually becomming disillusioned by the whole thing. Give him some good meaty songs that suit his style and he'll be a big star.
Carol, UK

Anyone with any knowledge of music whatsoever would be astounded at the extraordinary quality of Will's voice, and his style and vocal confidence were so good it was scary. My family have been involved in music for as long as I can remember and I was amazed. A genuine star is born. Reminiscent of Nat King Cole. My only fear is that the people who manage him won't give him the material he deserves. Gareth was lovely and some of the others were very good, but Will must have really caught the organisers by surprise. They were looking for a single equivalent of Hear'Say and found another Sting, or Freddie Mercury. What luck for the rest of us!
Warren, England

Will won because he has such a huge diverse talent which will be as timeless and individual as Sinatra or any of the other great artists. If he can stay grounded he won't be a five minute wonder.
Nancy Hickman, Sussex, England


I never indended to watch the show - but I was flicking through the channels one night and heard Will singing - I was hooked from then on in

Cath, Scotland
Will has a brilliant voice, one of the best I've heard in ages. I think he will be a star for years to come - regardless of whether he won or lost Pop Idol! One thing both these guys, and other finalists, will never be criticised for is singing live!
Mo, UK

William has a sparkling future ahead of him, I am so unbelievably delighted that he won, and am itching to buy the single, the albums.. all of it!

As for longevity? Well, Hear'Say have the charisma of a bunch of grapes.... they will fade out and they will not be missed.

Will on the other hand is just like Brian from Big Brother. Their own natural charisma, charm and talent will be enough to ensure that they are in the public eye a lot longer than the sceptics will have us believe... be it presenting (Brian - SMtv) or singing (William)... Personally, I think the showbiz world needs normal guys like these two... far too many celebrities these days are famous for being famous without ever actually having to prove they have a talent or skill. Good job Will and Brian.
Victoria Wale, Bucks, UK

We will definitely be buying the album - can't wait. Voted 10 times. Sends shivers down my spine every time he sings! Please be quick with the album! He will definitely be around for a long time, he deserved to win and agreed with Craig that he is a bit like George Michael (and for me a bit like Mick Hucknall) but far better than Robbie Williams! (Sorry Robbie). Don't think Saturday nights will ever be the same for a while, and Pop Idol will never find another William!!
Jayne Wilkinson, England

I never indended to watch the show - but I was flicking through the channels one night and heard Will singing - I was hooked from then on in. I can't believe the negative comments about this guy - he's a major talent - of the kind that comes along once in a lifetime.
Cath, Scotland

I think Will totally deserved to win and I am so happy that he did! He has a fantastic voice, a great pesonality and will be a fab pop idol and be really successful! Well done Will!
Sophie, UK


I am a mum of a teenage girl, so I hear a lot of the rubbish that is in the charts at the moment. However, when I hear Will Young sing, I actually stop and listen to that unique voice and the hairs stand up my neck

Leigh, UK
I think Will is great, I have to admit he never really stood out until he got to the final 10. He's a great singer and unique and really deserves to do well. Hopefully he will be the next George Michael/ Robbie Williams... Good luck Will!
Teresa Cooper, England

Yes, Will can make it because he is a talented lad with the world at his feet now he is the nation's "Pop Idol"! He has a unique voice and this will be his key to stardom and success because he can take any song fast or slow, old or new and make it his own and that is what will make him a success in the pop world.
Louise, UK

Will has fantastic potential to be a great star, along with a number of the other finalists. However, like all established artists, he can only ever be as good as the songs he sings.

Will has the talent to sing a wide range of styles, but so long as they are great songs, he'll be successful no matter which genre he chooses.
Fiona, UK

I am a mum of a teenage girl, so I hear a lot of the rubbish that is in the charts at the moment. However, when I hear Will Young sing, I actually stop and listen to that unique voice and the hairs stand up my neck. I hope he goes on to sing the style of music he enjoys the most and not what he is told to sing. I for one will be buy the CD single and any album he releases. Well done Will.
Leigh, UK

I'm very happy for Will but I think that the media are going a bit over the top on the "posh idol" title. The competiton should not have been seen as posh vs. working class. It was about voice, talent and potential. Who cares if Wills' family have a bit more in the bank than Gareths'?
Jenny, England


I pray that he is a flop so I don't have to listen to his extremely annoying voice

Martin, UK
I personally wanted Gareth to win, however I think Will is also fantastic. Of course he'll be around for longer than Hear'Say - can you imagine any member of Hear'Say singing live on national TV every Saturday night for 10 weeks? I don't think so! Its the public that voted for the Pop Idol and they are the ones who buy the records - with Popstars it was the judges that chose them, not us.
Lucy, UK

Has anybody noticed that all Gareth fans seem to slag off Will, but all Will fans actually praise both finalists?! Funny that! They both have recording contracts and will release records, so get a life those of you griping about the result! I tried to vote for Will for over two hours, constantly redialling, and couldn't get through, so it wasn't JUST Gareth fans. SOUR GRAPES?!!!!
Marie, UK

Will is a legend in the making. You may think he'll be a puppet for the record company but he's got a brain between those ears. He knows where he wants to go and I am sure he will do everything in his power to get there. He deserves it; he has the voice of an angel. Gareth too will have success, he'll be the one who disappears in three years.
Lori, UK

He deserved to win because his voice is fabulous, but I don't think the record company/management deserve him. If he had managed to break into the music industry on his own and had the control to make the songs he really likes he would be around for a lot longer.
Caroline, England


He is the biggest competition Robbie Williams has had to face yet!

Julie, UK
Definitely the most talented of the bunch. Because of that it may have been better that he hadn't won. Now no one will take him seriously. I think he should have taken a different route but hope he does very well.
Rebecca, England

I thought he was the worst singer ever. He annoys me intensely. I pray that he is a flop so I don't have to listen to his extremely annoying voice.
Martin, UK

He'll need to completely disassociate himself from the Pop Idol series if he is to have any longevity at all. A bit of maverick personality wouldn't go astray either.
Ben, England

I used to go to University with Will in Exeter and I saw him perform in Oklahoma. He was as good then as he is now and I have no doubt he will be very successful long term. He is the biggest competition Robbie Williams has had to face yet!
Julie, UK

The better singer won, Will has a fantastic voice and the stage presence to really make him a superstar. I would also like to hear him singing the old soul type numbers, he would be superb. Don't let them spoil you Will, go for it!!
Wendy, UK

Giving them both recording contracts made a mockery of the entire competition. Will won fair and square and giving Gareth a recording contract took the shine off that a little. I'm sure in five years time, Gareth will be remembered as the guy who lost pop idol and Will will still be going strong.
Carol, UK


Will is an ageing crooner not a pop idol. One minute wonder Will

Rob, Reading, UK
I am so happy Will won as it saved us from another boy-band-type idol. He has a great voice, a sense of humour and - let's face it - class! I just hope he manages to lose the pop idol stigma and move on to better and greater things on his own. Go Will - you are a superstar!
Maria, England

Will is an ageing crooner not a pop idol. One minute wonder Will.
Rob, Reading, UK

Hurrah for Will. What is all this about a fix, Will's supporters just held out for the right time to vote. There is no doubt that Gareth is a good looking child, but he has no sex appeal for anyone older than 15 plus he sounds just like all the boy bands out there at the moment. Go Will, and prove your critics wrong.
Sinead, IoM

I would like to think Will will succeed but I think it will depend on how he is marketed. Gareth's singing career is obviously going to be aimed at pre-teenage and teenage girls so he may be the one with a limited 'shelf life'. Will's career should be aimed at a wider age range, he's proved he can sing a wide range of styles and, if his career is kept in that direction, he might have some chance. He is also trained as a classical pianist so I think that aspect of his talent should also be used.
Jo Krasij, Manchester, United Kingdom

How can you compare Pop Idol with Pop Stars? Will is without doubt a unique solo artist - I can't remember any of the Hear'Say mob being that outstanding. Gareth should do well - I think he would make an excellent frontman for a boy band. Will - if you read this, please release your version of 'Sweetest Feeling', it was amazing!
Mandy, UK


To me he is definitely the next Harry Connick Junior. Simply brilliant

Emma, UK
Will has a superb voice in a league of its own. Whenever he has sung mundane songs like Westlife etc he has breathed a whole new life into them giving them a new edge. The only thing that might finish it for him is if the record company keep insisting he sing songs like the pants single/s they are releasing now, there is only SO much he can do to jazz a song up!! Give him great tracks and he is here to stay.
Lis, UK

At last someone with talant and the balls to sing live has become a Pop Idol. Westlife, you should be looking to get acting parts; the nation has spoken and said it no longer wants phoney acts with no hope of reaching the talent to perform live and make it sound like it does in the studio!! Well done Will, it's about time that pop was once again dominated by real talent.
David Allum, Nottingham, UK

The most talented person who entered the competition won. It was clear that the judges, along with the bookies, expected Gareth to win. The single sounds like it is perfect for Gareth and not really a Will song. I believe that had Will walked into Simon Cowell's office eight months ago he would have been sent away, probably without the opportunity to sing! However the public realised that the man had an amazing voice and supported him. Hear'Say were watched but not chosen by the public. They were a manuactured band. This is not the case with Will and providing he is given good songs to sing he will last. In addition all ages were voting for him (young and old) that shows that it will not be only the teeny boppers who will keep his career alive.
Claire, England

A boring singer with a big mouth. Soon gone and forgotten I expect - but not soon enough.
Linda, UK

The comparison of Will with Robbie Williams is ludicrous - Will is incomparably the better singer. Now, if he can write songs, or at least hook himself up with some decent songwriters (not the boil-in-the-bag stuff that Hear'Say got lumbered with) he could go far.
Edward, UK


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Well done Will, you so deserve the title Pop Idol! What a voice! As for some people saying that he will let the record companies walk all over him I think that's rubbish, Will is far too strongminded for that. Look at the way he reacted to Simon Cowell earlier in the series! I will definitely be buying his single and albums. To me he is definitely the next Harry Connick Junior. Simply brilliant. Well done Will!
Emma, UK

Thank the lord Will won. The truth is the British Music scene needs people like Will more than it needs Gareths. Did we need a 6th member of Westlife? I think not. Sure he's a lovely lad, and he can sing. BUT, Will can really sing, he has a style that you can only compare with JK. We need something new, that's what the result showed us. No more bubble gum!! Will can make it, just don't give him the same sort of pap POP that's shoved down our throut. Like Pete Waterman said, do you see the difference a good song makes?!! Will can do it, Gareth was bubble gum!!
James, UK

Well done Will. What a wonderful voice, he fully deserved to win Pop Idol. I think that he will definitely go on to bigger and better things. I don't think that Simon Cowell will walk all over him because Will is too strong minded to let him! Just as Foxy said "I will buy his single, his album and be there to support him at his concerts". Good luck Will, you deserve it!
Emma, UK

Please hurry up and produce an album - I just want to listen to you all day long. There are no words to describe your version of Light My Fire - unbelievable.
Gill Goodsell, England

Will deserved to win and has the talent to be around for a VERY VERY VERY VERY long time. He had my vote from the beginning - his voice is unlike anything I've ever heard and he is a sweetheart appealing to all ages - Will, well done - you ARE a Superstar!!!!
Lorna Harris, Wales

I can't believe the amount of whinging from the Gareth fans. It was clear to me that Will would win. As for Simon Cowell, well it seems to me that rather than manage Will, he wants to destroy him and manage Gareth. He should be ashamed of himself for the comments he made. The nation made their choice he should listen. Gareth has a good voice but nothing special, just another boy band sound. Will is different and like a breath of fresh air.
S. Williams, UK

Will is the least talented of the last nine contestants - and he only makes each song "his own" because he cannot reach the proper notes.
Marie Fullerton, Ireland

Wey-hey! Will won! This was the first telephone vote I have taken part in, and I'm so glad that Will won. Although Gareth is the more typical 'teen idol', I think Will has a more universal appeal with his voice, his looks and his personality. I hope he does a Robbie Williams - I'd love to see him on a stage with a Big Band. Maybe next year when the current record contract is up. Good luck to him.
Emma, UK

Great voice. Great character. Witty, charming and engaging. Shame about the style of single being released. He's worthy of better. Hopefully the powers that be will work on more suitable material for him.


If Will is not still a success in 20 years time it will because his record company / management have not done their jobs correctly

Greg, UK
Even if the current record deal turns out to be a damp squib, I think he'll still end up a star in years to come because of his personality and timeless voice.
Suzanne, UK

Firstly, well done Will. Secondly, I agree with most of the positive comments that have been made. He really showed himself on Saturday to be a different class of singer to Gareth. Gareth has a great voice but it seems to lend itself more to pop. Will can do any type of music pretty much and can hopefully become an artist of his own making, with a style of his own, yet be extremely successful at the same time. He seems to have a great personality and is intelligent which is quite refreshing in the "Pop Idol" world. I sincerely hopes he goes on to have a long and successful career. And yes, I'll be buying the single, album...
Sarah, Devon, UK

Go Will go!!! He is the new Frank Sinatra and we will be listening to him for years to come, let the record companies take note - Will's voice is unique and needs the right song to display it properly.
Ann, Great Britain

I have voted for Will every week during the competition. He has a unique voice and will be a true star. I think he has more talent than all of Hear'Say put together and will be around for many years. I will be buying both the single and the album and hopefully any future albums. To the people saying the telephone vote was rigged that is rubbish I could not get through to vote for Will on Saturday it was permanently engaged. I think the system just could not cope with the amount of calls. Good luck to both Will and Gareth they are both stars.
Paul Whiston, UK

Poor lad, he has quite a good voice on him. Shame he will be yet another 'trained monkey' in the world of 'corporate nonsense'. Today's news is tomorrow's chip paper!
Ryan, UK, Manchester


Will has the kind of voice that I and many other people have been waiting for for eons

Joely Hester, UK
Well done Will!! A very deserved winner. What a voice - no one in the charts these days could lick this boy's boots, they need to listen to him and take note what a real singer is!!!!
Anne, UK

Will has a suberb voice. They need to get on the phone to George Michael and ask him to write some songs for Will that will do justice to his amazing voice. The other thing that might happen is that Will might actually be a decent songwriter in his own right - nobody has considered that yet!
David Spibey, Cheshire, UK

Contrary to press hype and bookmaker's odds the real talent won through on the night - thank God. If Will is not still a success in 20 years time it will because his record company / management have not done their jobs correctly. This guy could realistically be the next George Michael. I wish him well.
Greg, UK

From the first time I saw Will sing "Come on Baby Light My Fire", I was blown away by his voice. I am so happy for him and I'm sure he will be more than a one album wonder.
Bev, Wales

I voted for Will but I won't buy his single - it makes no use of his incredible vocal talents - it's almost as if it were written for the boy-band voice of Gareth... I hope Will gets the success he deserves, but I'm not optimistic. Pop Idol has got him started, but will stifle him for as long as he's contracted.
Kelly, UK

I have watched Will from the start and always felt he would be the winner. He is a breath of fresh air and will get the music industry in a spin and make them realise that there are other people out there not teens who would like to buy records but no-one has captured that before like Will.

He will not let them (managers) boss him into submission and he will come out of it the real winner. In years to come I will still by his records and I am not going to let them tell us what we would like, for example Gareth, even though he has talent. But he is not for all us who prefer something different to the Westlife cademy of excellence students.

We are all individuals and it is about time the music industry realised that t if they want to sell records. I am a thirtyish mum and married and all my family feel we want Will's records and will buy them. He gives meaning in his voice that gives this world hope. All I can say is congratulations to him and hopefully he will keep his honesty and politeness firmly on the ground. WELL DONE.
Rachel, UK

Will has the kind of voice that I and many other people have been waiting for for eons, it has been a long time that a voice has been able to stop me dead in my tracks. Will has one of those voices.

When Will sings it makes the hairs on your neck stand up, your skin break out in goosebumps and you catch your breath at this amazing talent.

Someone said that Gareth made you cry, but Will made you scream. Too right. Will was the better voice. His renditions of Ain't No Sunshine and Light My Fire were awesome. Sweetest Feeling has never been a favourite of mine, but when he sang it, I loved it.

I dearly hope that the record company realise what they have in Will and let him release songs that make use of the amazing vocal talent that he has. Well done Will, can't wait to hear more of the voice that I've been waiting for.
Joely Hester, Cornwall, UK

I think Will Young has a brilliant voice and he is in the same class as George Michael, Robbie Williams, Simply Red etc. He will go on and on for years to come. Not only has he got a brilliant voice but great personality as well.
Ann, UK

Unfortunately - Will won. The prize - a contract with Simon, Nickie and Pete - a threesome so very very good at creating five minute superstars to a formula for pre-pubescent little girls.

Will's voice deserves so much better. To an extent, it reminds me of a young Sinatra. Will is more than capable of selling records to fans aged 18 to 80 over a number of decades.

Will has the talent. The question is - do his management and recording team have the talent to run with someone so superior to anything that they have ever handled before?


W J Andrews, England

Will's unique voice will add to the longevity of his career, of that there can be no doubt. I can't wait for the album. Top man, Will.
Russell Farr, England

Will is amazingly talented and gorgeous. The news that Burt Bacharach is writing songs for him gives me hope for his future. I think he is truly unique and will add a burst of much-needed life and originality to the music industry - he is something different from the bland, repetitive pop acts in the charts at the moment.

I'm 14 and on Pop Idol Will opened my eyes to styles of music I had previously been prejudiced against. His voice, especially on swing and soul songs, is flawless - I could listen to it forever, and if he gets songs that are worthy of his distinctive style and talent, I think he'll go a very long way. Good luck, Will!! (And happy Valentine's Day, heheh)
Katy, England

I think Will deserved to win, if anyone will go on and on it is him, not only is he talented and smooth, but he is also very intelligent. A big fan already. I think once he has found his feet he will go far. As for another series of Pop Idol, I won't be watching, I don't think you can top a one off series like that.
Georgina , UK

Will is a true star and will prove himself to be over time. Everyone has opinions but the very few negative comments that I have seen here are probably from people that are envious of his success. I do hope however that his managers allow him to produce material that is more suited to his voice and style; there are too many boy bands in the industry and unfortunately Gareth will most likely turn into another victim of this phenonomen that appeals to 10-year-olds.
Sara Bignell, UK

 VOTE RESULTS
Can Will make it as a pop star?

Yes
 71.05% 

No
 28.95% 

13215 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

See also:

11 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
Pop Idol's career hots up
10 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
Will 'must strive' for lasting success
10 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
Will wins Pop Idol
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