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Friday, 15 March, 2002, 19:06 GMT
Pop Idol concerts: Your views
Pop Idol finalists Zoe Birkett and Gareth Gates
Zoe and Gareth perform a duet at the concerts
The stars of ITV's Pop Idol phenomenon start a national tour on Thursday with their first show at London's Wembley Arena.

The 10 finalists, including winner Will Young, runner-up Gareth Gates and UK Eurovision contestant, Jessica Garlick, are performing in front of thousands of fans across the UK.

Send us your reviews.

Who is the best live performer? How do the singers handle a big venue?


Went to Docklands last night, brilliant show but what of Zoe - did her voice not sound quite right? Why did she not appear in the final set with the other nine? Was she ill? Or are there problems in the camp??
Caroline Welch, UK

The concert was fantastic from start to finish. They all did so well and were true professionals. They all seemed really relaxed on the stage. The big band was brilliant - particularly the lead saxophonist!
Ellie Jennings, England

I went to the concert last night and thought that overall it was fantastic. The first half was the highlight - with each finalist singing the type of song that most suited their voice. The second half was a bit disappointing as the Big Band style did not suit the majority - Zoe, Will and Darius being the only ones able to carry it off. Also, for the younger members of the audience they didn't recognise the songs. Generally though it proved that Will, Gareth, Zoe, Darius, Jessica and, suprising, Korbin are going to be stars.
Jennifer, UK

Having just returned from the Pop Idol concert I must say it was awesome. The best singer live was of course the Pop Idol himself, Will Young

Ted, England
Saw the concert last night. The screams for Gareth exceeded those for any other finalist including Will.

For us, the best performances came from Gareth and Hayley. Hayley's big band session was FANTASTIC.

The format of the show was good, although after the interval, with the introduction of the big band, the show went slightly flat as the idols sang songs unknown to most of the audience. It wasn't until the reappearance of Gareth that things began to take off again.

Good show, GREAT performances, poor choice of some of the songs. However for most of the audience GARETH not Will was the real idol.
Stephen, UK

Concert excellent. Darius stole the show but only two songs!!!!! Sorry, he came third and lots of people will be there just to hear and see him. Two songs will leave them feeling robbed, fantastic as they were and as he is.
Sooz, England

Concert was absolutely amazing. Cannot believe that a year ago these 10 had not even auditioned!! Loved Will but shame he did not sing both his songs.
Rachael Cole, England

I went to the show at Wembley last night and had second row seats so got a pretty good view!! They were ALL fantastic, so natural and professional. However, Will was just born to be on the stage, he is so cool and calm and just had the audience going weak at the knees!
Lucy Wills, UK

First half was a lot more up-beat and exciting but the second half was still good

Steph, England
Having just returned from the Pop Idol concert I must say it was awesome. The best singer live was of course the Pop Idol himself, Will Young. His performances of Light my Fire and Beyond the Sea were truly truly astounding. The others all did well too. However, Gareth Gates' performance of Unchained Melody doesn't get any better when he attempts to sing it live. The only down point really was Gareth Gates. But Will singing four tracks with that amazing voice of his more than makes up for it. Well worth the money.
Ted, England

Well, what a night! All the pop idols were on top form - but Will is definitely in a different league to the rest. He has a lot more longevity if he plays his cards right. A true Pop Idol. Yes it's true that Gareth may have sold more merchandise but there is a simple explanation for this. Will has a mixed audience...old and young, whereas Gareth seems to appeal to the kids - and it dosen't take much to work out who was buying badges! Didn't see many adults wearing them, put it that way. Well I am sure that Gareth will do well on Westlife's scale but Will will be around for another 25 years. Good luck Will!! As Simon once said "Simply incredible!!"
Andrew , UK

Last night's show was fantastic. We knew the songs and the singing would be great and the atmosphere would be incredible but we almost couldn't believe how slick and professional the staging, dancing and performances were. Where did they get the time to put all that together? There wasn't a weak moment in the line-up and the confidence and maturity of the Pop Idols were striking.

Rosie Ribbons is a highly sophisticated performer and excelled way beyond what she had achieved on TV. Zoe's performance of C'mon Get Happy was simply staggering. Will left us screaming for more. It makes you proud to be British to think that all of that talent sprung up on our little island. Hats off to the outstandingly modest Pop Idols who worked selflessly as a team to promote and back-up each other and to give us an evening of entertainment we shall never forget.

I feel the show was more for Zoe. She performed more songs than anybody and seemed to be favoured more than Darius

Kirstin, UK
The show was fantastic. The one thing that did come out of seeing the final 10 again was just how good Korben is. He deserved to stay in the show longer. All 10 really pulled off a great show - well done!
Darren Gleed, UK

I thought it was a belter of a show. I just think that Will is so fit. It's so cool that he came out. Long live Pop Idol!!!!
Chris Allison, England

I saw the concert last night. I enjoyed it but was very disappointed, I feel the show was more for Zoe. She performed more songs than anybody and seemed to be favoured more than Darius. She is brilliant but Darius came third and she came fourth but the organisers treated the show like it was the other way around.

Will, Gareth and Zoe lead the final song yet really it should have the final three guys as they were the final three. The second half was a bit flat as the younger children didn't know the songs and there wasn't really anything to stand up and dance to. I also feel Will should have done more as he is our pop idol, at one point he did backing vocals for one of the two duets Zoe and Gareth did. How bizarre!!
Kirstin, UK

Fantastic! What a show! I don't care if Gareth sells more merchandise - Will's the bee's-knees for me.
Jake Hunt, York

Darius was the best, but the concert was a rip-off!

Jane Smith, England
I just want to say that Gareth Gates was brillant in the show and keep up the good work. God bless.
Fiona Weir, UK

I was very disappointed in Gareth Gates. He just isn't a good singer live! Will is also not suited to a young audience. Darius was the best, but the concert was a rip-off!
Jane Smith, England

How patronising. As someone attending the show as part of a birthday celebration having reached an age considerably higher than 15, I find this "It's all a con on the kids" approach utterly ridiculous. People have a choice over what they do with their leisure time, and if I chose to spend my time and money attending a show of ten talented singers, why not? I harbour no hope that Will/Garreth/ Darius may marry me, but they are pleasing to look at, and nice to hear. It is possible to appreciate both high and 'low' culture, and anyone who fails to, well you have to question how well rounded they really are. Lest we forget, the much revered Beatles were arguably the first boy band.
Anon, UK

As a family we were glued to the TV every Saturday evening watching Pop Idol, so as a family we went to last night's concert. We returned with no voices and sore hands from all the clapping and cheering we did in admiration to the fantastic performances of ALL of the final 10. Well done to everyone, a fantastic night of entertainment, we feel privileged to have been there.

After reading the comments from Ted, England, I really do wonder if he was at the same concert as me. The feeling coming from the stage was one of unity, a group of youngsters who were delighted to be there performing for us, so why do some people (Ted) have to knock individuals. I think Gareth's record sales on Monday will prove Ted wrong.
Lorraine, Oxford, UK

I thought it was wizzo. I loved Pop Idol and the show was even better. I hope there are more shows like it.
Luke Basset, Wales

The show was good although I was disappointed that it seemed to revolve around Gareth and Zoe. I am a big fan of Will's and felt let down that he didn't sing more songs during the show

Karen Pennings, England
Fantastic show, all pop idols sang their hearts out. Only complaints are why was there no encore at the end of the show and Will only sung one side of his single (Evergreen).
Neil Gary, England

Wow! They were all fantastic! I was especially impressed with Korben, who's performance confirmed my view that he should NEVER have been the first to be voted off! Gareth and Darius were brill too, and of course Will. Congratulations to them all!
Stevie Cox, England

I was relieved to see so many older fans there (being a 29-year-old Darius fan terrified of standing out among the 10,000 teenage girls). The show itself was great, no risks taken but they gave us what we wanted. I would have preferred to see more of the final five. Darius was terrific as was Zoe, and Will looked very at ease.
Kerri, UK

The show was good although I was disappointed that it seemed to revolve around Gareth and Zoe. I am a big fan of Will's and felt let down that he didn't sing more songs during the show. Also considering it was a pop idol concert it would have been nice to hear more from Darius, Hayley and the rest of the group - it seemed to cater too much for a younger audience and I didn't go to watch just Zoe and Gareth all night. We will be seeing a lot of them no doubt in the future and I thought this would be one last chance to hear a few songs from the rest of the final 10 who may not be around anymore.
Karen Pennings, England

Cynical press reviews cannot take away from the talent of these 10 young people. Their sheer enthusiasm and stage presence shone. There will be some long careers launched today.
Ali, UK

I think Will is a fantastic performer. He stole the show, despite not having enough air time and having Will and Gareth performing one after the other only served to confirm that Will is far the superior singer. Gareth's weedy performance of Unchained Melody was torturous and his success in selling the single will only be due to weak parents buying the single for their pathetically lovestruck seven-year-olds. Will is going to have a long and fantastic career - go Will!
Sarah Long, UK

Although the show did have a couple of dud songs in the second half big band session, the overall impression was one of quiet confidence in a concept that can only generate hundreds of thousands of pounds straight into the coffers of 19 Management

Rik Pike, UK
What a fab show! But the one real star of the night was Gareth. Definitely a superstar in the making - the screams whenever he was on stage were deafening. The whole show was just wonderful.
Terri Woods, England

Brill! Darius, you rock my boat! You're the MacDaddy! I love you!
Amy Smith, Fulford

What a fantastic night! They were all fantastic but Will is my hero. After hearing them all again he definitely is my number one.
Hadleigh, England

I attended the concert, expecting to be part of a mass-marketed frenzy of popmania - and wasn't disappointed. Although the show did have a couple of dud songs in the second half big band session, the overall impression was one of quiet confidence in a concept that can only generate hundreds of thousands of pounds straight into the coffers of 19 Management.

This isn't to criticise, I knew what I was getting myself into - they asked us to market research our favourite perfomers by phone at our expense, and then present them to us in a very slick format. So, well done the money men.

It's just a shame that the real stars of the show, like Zoe and Darius, will have their creative hands tied by these people. But in a while we'll see Zoe hook up with some crazed dance act, and Darius break out in an independent crooner capacity - and then maybe, we'll get some great music, without the strait-jacket that is mass-produced pop music. And on another note, Will looked subdued. I think the recent media revelations are taking their toll, even if only in the short term.
Rik Pike, UK

Will's class shone through - what a STAR!! Just a shame he didn't get to sing a few more songs. Roll on his solo tour.
Joanne, UK

AMAZING!! I thoroughly enjoyed the show from start to finish!! The show proves how talented all ten finalists really are!! The Big Band was great. It was good to see a complete mixture of age groups at the show. Young and Old. Will is still my favourite!!
Jane Rogers, Hampshire, England

Fantastic concert! Highlights were definitely Gareth and Will. Though didn't Darius come third? We didn't see much of him! Korben was also surprisingly good

Nicola, UK
Wow, what a night! Gareth really stole the show - the whole audience completely came to life as soon as his appeared. Loudest screams were for him and he was absolutely fantastic. All were great but Gareth really did it for me. A star is born!
Kevin, UK

I was there at the show, I thought the show in itself was not all that good. but the singers were brilliant. And performed really well. Much of the crowd loved it when Gareth came, and I myself really enjoyed his performance.
Zainab Daud, England

Pop Idol was great - a really unusual show. Nicki Chapman was compere and the other judges appeared on giant television screens at various stages throughout the show.

In the first half they showed highlights from the TV programme before each person came on to do a solo spot (in reverse order, starting with Korben). It was weird watching TV with 11,000 other people! Everyone booed Simon Cowell!

Korben was brilliant. He did an amazing dance routine and looked rather like a young Boy George (lots of make-up). Jessica was very nervous but extremely good which surprised me.

Aaron was the star of all the runner-ups. He got the longest standing ovation for Walking in Memphis and milked every second! Rosie was out of tune. Laura forgot her words. They were the only two not to get a standing ovation.

Hayley was lovely and very professional. Zoe was super and did more songs than anyone else - two duets with Gareth on the piano and three solos. This was more than Will even - I wonder why?

Darius did a brilliant It's Not Unusual and had knickers thrown at him! Gareth had the white suit thing going on and could barely be heard at times beyond the screams. Finally, Will (Light my Fire, Evergreen, Beyond the Sea etc...) was absolutely superb. I would definitely go and see Will, and maybe even Aaron, in solo concert.

The second half was all Big Band hits with the band The Big Blue from the TV show. All the songs were from the swing era. Many of the audience were older than us and knew the words, so it went down really well. The younger ones were just happy to see their idols and the under 5's were asleep by now. Definitely a family show. There seemed to be quite a few cameras so I wonder if we can expect a video when the tour has ended?
Karen, UK

Fantastic concert! Highlights were definitely Gareth and Will. Though didn't Darius come third? We didn't see much of him! Korben was also surprisingly good. All in all, fantastic and well worth the weeks of anticipation. I want to go again!
Nicola, UK

Quite simply - I loved it. Despite at times feeling about 10 years too old to be there (without parental escort) I found myself in awe of the fact that these singers managed to do it LIVE (hello Posh?) and professionally in front of an audience the size of most of their home towns. The fact is that they have all had their dream come true already - many performers never get the opportunity to sing at Wembley Arena. Whatever they do from here on in is a bonus.

And as for the star of the show it's got to be Mr Gates himself. At such a tender age (NB: 6 years Will's junior) and perhaps with not the strongest voice of the group, he outperformed all my expectations (and considering I only voted for him about 100 times that's a pretty mean feat). I'll be lined up outside Tower Records on Monday that's for sure.
Kelly, UK

Of course the 7 -13 year old girls surrounding me were screaming wildly for Gareth - but who will be the superstars of the future? Will definitely

Ann, UK
All 10 pop idols were great! Will Gareth and Rosie were my favourites and I would go again!
Fiona, UK

It was a great night - they were all overwhelmed at the response of the crowd. Zoe, Gareth and Will were all amazing - amazing voices. Korben is a showman and Darius was so sexy. I'd love to go and see them again - and definitely a Will-only concert
Anne, UK

Totally agree with what many of you have said. The show was good but the interval was a bad idea because the excitement was lost. They should have sung songs that we all knew and got us to get up and dance. Will and Gareth didn't do enough considering they were voted the nation's favourites. It was funny how Zoe did so much but she was very good, as was Rosie for her amazing voice and Korben for getting the crowd going; a natural performer! It's a joke how much they charged for the programme: £10. I don't think so!
Becky, UK

I went to the show on Thursday evening (the opening night) and I thought it was the best night of my life I had an amazing time and I was in the 7th row! I have loved the programme since it started and I am glad I had the fantastic oppertunity of seeing the final 10 live! I love Will and Gareth and will definitely be following them for a long time yet!
Becky Hillman, England

I am 56-years-old and was at the concert with my family. Reading some of the comments and reviews today, I am amazed and left wondering if I was at the Wembley venue at all. To read that The Independent is praising Laura Doherty, who unfortunately was not reaching quite a few of her notes, makes me question whether critics were actually present. The kids loved it, the atmosphere was electric and Will, Darius, Hayley, Zoe and (surprisingly) Korben were superb. Of course the 7 -13 year old girls surrounding me were screaming wildly for Gareth - but who will be the superstars of the future? Will definitely.
Ann, London, UK

Sadly Zoe had far too much coverage, give more to Darius and for heaven's sake don't anyone else say Zoe's only 16 or we'll throw up, Gareth's only 17 and what's age got to do with true talent anyway?

Charlotte, UK
I went to the concert last night (16th March) and I was a little disappointed. I don't know why it was called the Pop Idol concert because it seemed to be all Zoe Birkett. Was it me or did she seem to sing more numbers than anyone else? I was really impressed though with the performances of the contestants who were eliminated early, such as Jessica and Korben. I also thought that Darius had the most natural performance out of all of the Pop Idols.

The thing that really annoyed me most of all, was that on the tickets it said the use of cameras was prohibited, but when it came to show time all that could be seen was the flash of cameras. I could have taken a chance and brought mine with me, but it would have been just my luck it would have been confiscated at the door. How can it be one rule for some and another rule for others?
Vicki Pearmain, England

Just come back from brilliant show but way too much of Zoe and Gareth and definitely not enough of Will and third place Darius. They were the real stars of the show - love you both.
Laura, England

A really good show. I think Willam deserved it and they should do a Pop Idol for kids over the age of 12 and under the age of 17.
Jodie Cardall, Birmingham

You're a cynic, the Pop Idol concert was a great night of fun and entertainment, and my 48 and 46-year-old parents loved every second of it so it wasn't just the little girls cheering. All ten Pop Idols showed themselves to be capable of true stardom, and no-one hit any buff notes. I thought the costumes were actually very good and the backing dancers looked fresh and cool.

Will showed himself to be one of the most polite and charming people to have entered the music biz in a long time, and I don't believe he was scripted into being so nice and thankful to the audience, he genuinely loved it. I bet if you surveyed all the people who went, 99% would say they loved it - they knew what they were getting, Pop Idol from the start has been manufactured so it wasn't as if we were fooled into going. Well done Pop Idols!
Rachel, UK

It was OK but there should have been more pictures of Gareth!! I love him!
Lisa Jones, UK

The biggest surprise, however, was Korben. He never appealed to me before, but he was 100% professional and his song and dance routine with the Big Band was fabulous. How did he ever get voted off first?

Helen Payn, England
The concert was excellent from start to finish. All of the Pop Idols were brilliant, I can't wait until the next tour.
Lisa Lucas, England

I only watched it to see Gareth.
Siobhanmarie, Scotland

Fabulous! Great! Wonderful! Everyone was brilliant, proving some people do have talent! Great artists, great songs, great singing, great dancing! Gareth was looking as gorgeous as ever, and here is to his single being number one! Korben surpised eveyone with his performance, as we did not have much time within the series to see his true potential.

Rosie's performance sent shivers down my spine - wonderful! And Gareth and Zoe are made to perform with each other. Oh and Hayley, lit up the stage with her voice and smile. I could go on but you get the picture!!! Keep it up! And buy Gareth's single now.
Zoe Butterfield, England

I thought the show was brill and I want to go again.
Natalie, UK

I loved the Pop Idol tour! Gareth was excellent and the BEST! Korben was also excellent but I found Will not very good. Zoe was also good but Laura was rubbish! I loved the last song but Will sang too much!
Charlotte Shanks, England

Absolutely fantastic, amazing, awesome, brillant, beyond words, I would go and see the concert every night,and never get bored, if that was possible, and I am 47.
Toni Foster, UK

Friday night's Pop Idol concert was just amazing! Both Mum (40+) and I (15 years) agree that Darius was the star of the show and that all age groups find him sexy! Korben was a real dark horse displaying incredible singing and dancing talent, which had been kept hidden under the brim of his flat cap during the final! We are really big Will fans and thought he was great! Sadly Zoe had far too much coverage, give more to Darius and for heaven's sake don't anyone else say Zoe's only 16 or we'll throw up, Gareth's only 17 and what's age got to do with true talent anyway? Korben, Aaron, Will and Darius really boosted audience participation, particularly in the first half, they're all real showmen! Waiting with anticipation for Darius' single and solo tour!
Charlotte, UK

We enjoyed the first part of the show and thought all the pop idols preformed well. Unfortunately the second part was a completely different programme and I personally felt sorry for lots of children who wouldn't understand any of the songs they were singing

Jeanette Cassidy, London
I thought the show was amazing, Gareth was brill and Aaron looked as sexy as ever. Gareth and Zoe's duets stole the show and of course Will was good too.
Laura, UK

The Pop Idols concert 15.03.02 was BRILLIANT. I am a huge Will fan, and thought he was absolutely fantastic - born to do it! Gareth was also good, and Darius was so-o-o-o sexy. The biggest surprise, however, was Korben. He never appealed to me before, but he was 100% professional and his song and dance routine with the Big Band was fabulous. How did he ever get voted off first? Will stole the show though, rugged good looks, great personality and superb singing voice. What more could you ask. It was all so brilliant I am going again in April!
Helen Payn, England

Went to the Pop Idol concert on Friday night and it was amazing! I'm 21 and had a fantastic time, we had good seats and the cheers for both Gareth and Will were ear splitting. All performers did fantastically well and I would go again, given the chance. I don't think you can say Will or Gareth were more popular as the crowd went wild for both. Well done pop idols on the great night out!
Becky Askew, UK

Went to Friday's Wembley Pop Idol concert. Great show. Korben really showed what he is capable of with top pop voice and the best dance of the lot. Aaron was excellent (barring an awful Ant and Dec shirt). Great rock voice. Both Will and Gareth were great, looked good, had fun and rocked us.

Zoe had a bit too much of the limelight, having more songs than anyone and wore some weird clothes. Her hipster trousers started falling down at one point and she had to do a whole song hitching them up all the time and climb on top of a piano at the same time! Rosie and Laura were average. Hayley looked beautiful and sang Devil Called Love. Really sexy.

Audience was a total mix of kids and adults, male and female. The kids loved GG. The adults seemed to prefer WY. Well worth the money.
Katya, UK

I went to the Pop Idol concert for my 15th birthday, and it really made my day. I sat religiously watching Pop Idol on TV each week and I got the chance to listen to them all live last night! They were all fantastic, especially Korben, Darius, Gareth, Zoe and Will! And yes, I can believe the poster sales, Gareth now has pride of place on my bedroom wall!! Thanks for such a great show!
Felicity Smith, England

What was it called, The Gareth and Zoe Show plus support?? Too much of Zoe considering she came fourth and definitely not enough of Darius

Alison, UK
I was at Wembley for the Friday night concert and it was brilliant. I'm a huge fan of both Will and Darius, but the star of the evening had to be Korben, who opened the show. My friends and I were really suprised, he was absolutely fantastic, he can even dance well. Gareth and Will definitely seemed to secure the loudest screams with Darius coming a very close third. It was a wonderful experience that I will never forget.
Charlotte, UK

It was fantastic! They were all excellent. Except Laura who was very mediocre! Will was fantastic as usual.
Sue O'Dell, UK

I went to the show on Sunday 17th March with my daughter. We enjoyed the first part of the show and thought all the pop idols preformed well. Unfortunately the second part was a completely different programme and I personally felt sorry for lots of children who wouldn't understand any of the songs they were singing. Also the audience seemed to be disappointed compared to the endless screams of delight in the first half.

They also ran out of Pop Idol badges and posters which I found to be annoying as these were the only two cheapest items of memorabilia. I let my daughter down at home as I wasn't able to purchase any.

Another announcement was they were to preform in aid of The Princes Trust. All good and well but we have to remember these large profile charities generate massive income from all sources along with other major charities but let's not forget the small charities who have lack of funds or no funds. It would be more benefical to fullfill some charities at grassroots who are doing an exellent job but are deeply underfunded.

Gareth Gates was brilliant!
Jeanette Cassidy, London

What was it called, The Gareth and Zoe Show plus support?? Too much of Zoe considering she came fourth and definitely not enough of Darius, he was fantastic and deserved much more than two songs. He WAS 2nd runner-up after all. The Pop Idols were all great and sang well. The kids all loved Gareth and he could have sung Three Blind Mice FLAT and it wouldn't have mattered!! But all credit to him for what he's achieved so far. Will was, well, Will. we all know how great a singer he is and he didn't let us down. Darius was the best he "owned" the stage from the second he walked on it. Arise King Darius!... from your biggest fan!!!!!
Alison, Norwich, England

The first half got the crowd going, but after the interval with the big band the atmosphere seem to go in my opinion. It may have been a good idea to do the halves the other way round to have everyone leaving on a high

Leanne Fordham, UK
I saw the most fantastic show yesterday What talent. All the 10 pop idols proved to the public they had something special.Thank you to the organisers for a fantastic afternoon at Wembley Arena. I shall remember this show for many years to come
Margaret Hentley, England

Wow, I went to Friday's performance and it was absolutely amazing! I think the talent of the final ten was astounding, they are all stars. Gareth wore his sexy white suit and his and Aoe's duet was fab! They were all even better than in the series. Will was also great, a true pop idol but Darius gave him a run for his money with his Tom Jones number. I must also say that Korben and Aaron were also exellent and Jessica Garlick, who is our Eurovision entry this year, was a true star. Hayley and Laura did amazingly well and all in all it was worth every penny. The only downer was the price of merchandise - how is a 15 year-old supposed to afford a £10 programme, £10 scarf, £5 poster, and a badge which is the size of a penny you pay £1 for. Thank god for dads eh (cheers dad!) I recommend it to all ages especially Gareth fans, come on, he had me crying!!!
Hayley 15, UK

First half was absolutely brilliant. Korben was excellent; he has to be one of my favourites. Gareth was absolutely brilliant. Unchained Melody was so good except you couldn't hear the majority of it because of all the screams!! He is so good and I disagree with those of you who say he doesn't have a good voice. Will naturally performed so well. The 2nd half was rather disappointing but it got better when Gareth returned! Why wasn't there an encore? That was rather weird! Overall excellent. Can't wait until Monday for the release of Unchained Melody!
Rach, Essex, UK

The show was absolutely gobsmacking, I had lost my voice by the end of it by screaming for Mr Gareth Gates! He was amazing and he was one of the main reasons I went. Fantastic peformances from the others, but the highlight was Gareth!! I can't wait for his tour to go ahead, front row seats for me. I loved the night, it just didn't get boring. Everyone has got to buy Gareth's single tomorrow! It's a rule!
Sally, UK

Talk about a vehicle for Gareth and Zoe!! Will wins the competition and only gets four songs to sing and that's minus Anything Is Possible! Somehow I knew this was all going to be based around Gareth. Simon Cowell said in the Green Room after the final that, "Yes, we're signing Gareth too, but we're going to be concentrating 100% on making Will, THE SHOW'S WINNER a superstar".

Pah! Since his win, wherever Will has been Gareth has been lurking in the shadows too.

First there was the delay in Will's promo videos for his single being released, then he was banned by his own management from TOTP. In the meantime Gareth appeared on the Pride Of Britain Awards, GMTV, This Morning, and became the new face of Pepsi! Coincidence?....Fat chance!!

Cowell made no secret that Gates was always his favourite and even went on record this week saying the WRONG MAN won the series!!

All the points above seem to me like a ploy by Cowell and his disciples to scupper Will's chances of success and push Gareth forward. After this concert, I'm convinced of it.

Don't get me wrong, the show itself is great but could someone please remind me who was voted Pop Idol winner????!!!

I sure won't be voting in next year's show as it would seem public votes count for nothing as the management fave wins anyway.
Paul Athoe, UK

Audience was too controlled, have never been at such a gig. One flash of a banner for Darius and I was threatened with expulsion!!

Anne Irwin, UK

I went to the concert last night (Saturday), with my mates, straight after work. I was really tired but once the concert started I was wide awake and wished it could have gone on forever! They all had so much energy in them and Korben started the show excellently! We were right at the back but that didn't matter, it was just soooo good. I went thinking that I would enjoy Will the most as he had been my favourite throughout the series but Aaron, Korben, Jessica and all of the others were brilliant too! Darius, I'm available!!!!! (Ditto for Korben and Will if you stop being gay!!)
Kat, England

I went on the Saturday night, and thought it was fantastic! The first half got the crowd going, but after the interval with the big band the atmosphere seem to go in my opinion. It may have been a good idea to do the halves the other way round to have everyone leaving on a high. Zoe did do more than everyone else but everything she did so was great. Will also did a lot, to be expected, also he did the most talking.

Gareth was amazing and looked very happy performing. Korben, well, he was amazing. So happy to be there. Aaron was fantastic and out of the five first performers got the loudest cheers. I think Darius and Hayley should have performed more because they didn't really seem to, maybe one of Zoe's slots should have had Hayley performing instead. Overall an amazing night with exceptional talent.
Leanne Fordham (15), UK

I think, when giving a review of Pop Idols concert, it is important to note the age of the composer. I¿m 35. Our party of eight, on the first night show, ranged between 24 - 38. Next to us, on either side, in front and behind, many, if not most, were within a similar age bracket. Yes, the darn kids were there too, but my point, and I have made it on this website before, is that the music industry needs to see all of us within their market.

I won¿t repeat what others have already said about the concert, except to state that the show was of an impeccably high standard which I cannot fault in any way. I must admit, I got a kick out of knowing all the songs in the second act while the kids sat there bored and confused at seeing musicians on stage. ¿What¿s those brass things daddy?¿. Sorry to be so patronising.

It seems that someone in the background is slowly picking up my view. Alas it is too late for Hear¿say, whose initial, unfortunate marketing strategy was directed to the short attention span of the little boys and girls, even though adults had also been part of the hype that surrounded the Popstars series. I trust that Will is already aware that Gareth¿s fan base will diminish within a year or even a few months and I hope that the management behind Will will not let us, those older people who still buy CDs, down.
Danny Rolnick, UK, London

I went last night and I thought it was brilliant, especially when Gareth came on. He definitely got the loudest screams, that proves that he should have won

Jade Hales, UK
I thought it was a load of rubbish, nothing different than watching it on the TV!!!
Shelia, England

Went to the show, Darius was absolutely fantastic as was Gareth and Will was as good as ever. As one of the last three it seemed Darius didn't get a fair share of the songs, singing just twice, The performances were fantastic and it was on the whole absolutely great, but if there was one disappointment it would be the crowd. Cheering is good, applauding is good, they are very talented singers, but screaming all the way during somebody's performance as most did, made it incredibly difficult to actually hear them. Highlights, Darius singing It's Not Unusual, Gareth singing Unchained Melody and Will singing Evergreen. Zoe was fab too! Definitely worth going to!
Paul Wiggins, England

Great show but no-one was allowed even to stand up!! No banners allowed, woman behind me hit me when I raised a banner brow-high only!!! Audience was too controlled, have never been at such a gig. One flash of a banner for Darius and I was threatened with expulsion!! However, show was absolutely fantastic, especially Will, Darius and Hayley.
Anne Irwin, UK

Like many I was intrigued at how the show would adapt from the TV studio to the 11,000 seater arena, but wow. I have never been to a concert before where the ages of the crowd varied so much. In front of me there were kids of about four/five and behind were a couple in their 60s.

All ten proved they could sing live but the star of the show for me apart from the truly brilliant Will was Korben. In fact it is just a pity that he went out in the first week because he is a showman and I think if he had stayed he would have got more and more popular.

Only disappointing thing was that Hayley and Darius only got the chance to sing two songs whilst Zoe had three solos and two duets with Gareth.
Tony, UK

I went last night and I thought it was brilliant, especially when Gareth came on. He definitely got the loudest screams, that proves that he should have won. Will didn't get a lot of screams at all but as soon as Gareth came on and joined him the crowd went wild. Seeing Gareth in the flesh made my night as I have supported him from the start of Pop Idol. I love you Gareth
Jade Hales, UK

But mention must be made about the multi-talented true showman - Darius - it is now only a matter of time before you play the Royal Albert Hall, and you deserve such a stage. What a star you are

Lisa Dayne, England
I saw the Saturday afternoon show at Wembley and it was amazing. Will is definitely the best performer and it's a shame Zoe got to sing more songs than him, even though she's a star. She also did a duet with Gareth which featured the rest of the Pop Idols as backing singers. There was a great performance of My Way by the final 10, lead by Will. I can't wait for Will's solo tour - especially if they use the fire on stage again!
Natalie, UK

I went to the Wembley matinee show on 16th March, and enjoyed the show as a whole. After a great first half, we were anticipating a fantastic second half, but it didn't liven up until near the end when Gareth performed Mack the Knife. I think the big band numbers were lost on the younger children who seemed to be a bit bored. You would expect them to be up on their feet dancing and clapping at a pop concert! I would have replaced a couple of Zoe's numbers with a Gareth and Will duet - that would surely have brought the house down. I'd also like to have seen all the boys do a number together. Maybe next time...
Beverley Collier, UK

The show was amazing, to actually see Will live was fantastic. I was disappointed that he didn't do more songs and both songs from his A-side single. Gareth and Zoe was brilliant, it confirms the talent that these people have and that they are great stars. It's a shame that there was no encore but apart from that it was something worth seeing and I would go again!!
Charlotte, UK

I thought the concert was so good!! Gareth and Zoe stole the show! Although as Will sang Evergreen, everybody sang it all with him. And they did the same with Unchained Melody. That was better. Gareth - a star is born. It was the best I've ever been to! I enjoyed myself so much that I wanted to go again but all the tickets were sold out! I can't believe I forgot my camera! We were so close to the front as well! Anyway, the concert was so good! Pop Idol contestants, you did your fans proud!
Charlotte Millward,16, London

The concert was absolutely amazing. It has left me speechless. I think Darius' dancing was fab but they were all outstanding - it sounds much better live than on TV.
Karina, UK

After visiting the show yesterday I feel that all the performers were badly let down by the chronic sound system used at Wembley. Having taken my wife and daughter, who are both besotted with Pop Idol to Wembley, rather than our normal venue the NEC. I am suprised that people are giving Gareth negative ratings as a live singer. Due to the fact that in the din of screams and whistles, you could not hear a word of Unchained Melody and the duet with Zoe was a silent movie.

Will, was awesome as ever and the suprise of the afternoon for me personally, was Korben. How did he get knocked out so soon, looks like the West End for you my boy! Great second half, ban whistles and foam hands, see you at the NEC.
John, UK

How fantastic, word can't describe how good it was. I was four rows from the front and I think they all waved at me and the girls on my row went mad. Will has got to have the strongest sexiest voice on the planet

Kailey, Wales
I saw the show last night and it was fab! Will was in a league of his own, but I felt that Aaron came a close second when it came to the best live performer. Gareth was as I expected - fair. I honestly do not see how he got so far in the competition, because it wasn't due to his talent. I felt the show revolved around Zoe, when she only came 4th in the competition. Surely Will should have sung more numbers than anyone? He was voted the nation's Pop Idol after all. Zoe and Gareth's two duets were overkill and just made me want to hear Will even more.
Sara, UK

I thought it was awesome. I won the tickets from Smash Hits so you can't say it's a waste of money, but I definitely would have paid for those tickets.

Unfortunately, I won backstage passes, and the competition said you would meet them all, but Gareth was the only one that came out. Gareth is so tall. It probably wasn't the pop idol finalists' fault, but it was badly organised. The competition said all ten finalists and I feel that we should meet them ALL. I really wanted to meet Will and Zoe and Hayley and Aaron and Darius and basically all of them, SO MUCH!!!!! Smash Hits shouldn't make promises they can't keep! (We never got our Wella Shockwaves hair products either).
Hayley, England

Myself (old enough to know better!!) took three of our young children and my O.A.P. mother on Thursday and it was an outstanding night's entertainment by any standards. The set was terrific and to think that they couldn't have had more than a couple of weeks rehearsals is unbelievable. In answer to comments above I would suggest that Zoe took a lion's share of the work as Will and Gareth have been extremely busy elsewhere!! Aaron Bayley has rightly confirmed that the groundswell of support he has for his supreme talent will see him (like Will) have a career of longevity and we will be thrilled to see his first single, album and solo tour. But mention must be made about the multi-talented true showman - Darius - it is now only a matter of time before you play the Royal Albert Hall, and you deserve such a stage. What a star you are. Great night had by all. Nice to have something pleasant to immerse ourselves in for a change!!!
Lisa Dayne, England

I saw the show on Saturday and can only confirm what most people are saying. Gareth is loved by the young and old and at times it was impossible to hear what he was singing above the screams from the audience. Will has his own style, soulful and bluesy again loved by the audience, but maybe not quite as much as Gareth. It's obvious for anyone in the audience to see that these two boys are just meant to be SUPERSTARS. Hopefully they will remember just how they got to where they are now and not let this experience change them.

I loved the whole production, being slightly older I could identify with the big band numbers although I did find the first half of the show slightly more enjoyable, apart from Gareth's performance of Mack the Knife, in his white suit his performance stood head and shoulders above the rest.

There were some cracking performances from the other 10, Rosie, who was unwell, did magnificently, Aaron was super, I loved his big band number, Darius and two numbers need a mention, I would have liked to have seen more of him!

Zoe, what can you say, probably one of the strongest voices I have heard and she looked good also, I could go on and on, however for me the question I have to ask is how come Korben was voted off so early. He has an incredible amount of talent both with his singing and dancing and I can't wait to see how his future pans out.

To everyone that has gone or is going to the concerts - enjoy. For anyone who couldn't get tickets, I am sure that in the coming weeks we will see a video release of the concert highlights.
Anne, UK

Shame that the show revolved around Zoe so much, and the merchandise cost a ridiculous amount, but apart from that it was a great night!

I just got back from the Saturday matinee show. The atmosphere was incredible, so was the show. The first half was amazing with huge cheers for Korben, Darius and, of course, Gareth and Will.

Nikki Chapman was great, even though no one could hear her through the screaming when she tried to introduce Gareth!!

All ages were singing, dancing and screaming in the aisles, including me (aged 26) my mum, friend and her 12 year old daughter!

The surprise of the show was Korben, he was amazing. A great singer, dancer, presenter and all round performer.

Of course all teenagers went wild when Gareth appeared as well as Zoe but Will was obviously in a class above the rest. Darius shone with It's Not Unusual.

The second half was a let down after the huge climax of the first half as Will sung Evergreen. The big band songs didn't fit the screaming teenage audience - maybe they were trying to promote the forthcoming Pop Idol - Big Band album that is out soon.

And quite ironic that Will would not perform on Top Of The Pops unless he could sing both of his A-side single, but was quite happy to only sing one of these songs at the show. Strange.
Emma Canning, UK

What a fab night! Darius generated all the "love in the audience". Will and Gareth showed their brilliance. I'll be seeing them at Sheffield Arena on the 21st, money well spent.
Ann Stancill, Sheffield, UK

I went to the concert today and it was brilliant. The show was really good and they were all very professional. Gareth stole the show and was definitely the best but Will, Darius, Aaron and Korben were also superb.
Charlie Stein, England

I went to the concert on Friday night and I was really pleased, I thought that it was great and they all are extremely talented performers!!!
Nicole, England

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I went on Friday and was overwhelmed. I loved it. Gareth was really good and beat Will in the screaming factor. Aaron was excellent and was quite funny! Korben was excellent getting the crowd going, he should have got further. Hhe will go far! (I hope so!) Gareth stole the show, he was really good and cute! I think Korben should have sang more and Zoe less and Gareth should have sang Flying Without Wings.

The prices were sooooooooo expensive! £5 for a Gareth Poster!!!! An excellent concert.
Charlotte Shanks, UK

Hiya. How fantastic, word can't describe how good it was. I was four rows from the front and I think they all waved at me and the girls on my row went mad. Will has got to have the strongest sexiest voice on the planet, he was fantastic and I love him to bits.
Kailey, Wales

Gareth was great and sounded fabulous! I really enjoyed the concert and would love to go again. Even my Mum and Auntie loved it - especially the Big Band songs in the second half! My Way was absolutely fantastic!!!!!!!! Wish Gareth and Zoe had sung a more well known duet though. My favourite song was Gareth's rendition of Unchained Melody.
Catherine, Gosport, England

Thought the first half was absolutely fantastic, enjoyed all performances especially Will (of course), Gareth and Korben (who should have gone furthur in the comp!) The second half was disappointing because of the song choices, the singers were still fab though! One last thing, it was not nearly loud enough, I wanted to come out with my ears ringing! Overall - FAB!
EC, England

It was amazing, every minute off it. All ten performed well, some better than on the show.
Pip, England

I adored the Pop Idol concert, it was a dream come true (and Darius waved at me!)
Abbi, England

Being 37 and 36 we thought we would be the oldest there, but there were people from all age groups. The show was absolutely fantastic, the best being GARETH, Will, Aaron and Darius, but they were all amazing. It's amazing to think this time last year we hadn't heard of any of them. We had a truly fab night, even though we were right at the very back. Hope to see a lot more of them all in the future.
Paul and Debbie, UK

Took my mum as a Mother's Day present to see the show on Friday. We'd both watched Pop Idol from the beginning all those months ago, so were really looking forward to seeing them perform live. We had a fab time, no complaints!

My faves (Rosie and Will) were great, especially with the Big Band. It's a shame Rosie got voted out before she'd had chance to perform her Big Band number, as she gave a really powerful performance of Cheek to Cheek.

Mother's fave Gareth was clearly the crowd's fave as well and he did very well.

Shame that the show revolved around Zoe so much, and the merchandise cost a ridiculous amount, but apart from that it was a great night!

Such a fabulous show, lots of fun, lots of noise. Will's the best singer ever and a true professional, Darius such a show-stopper, Gareth a cutie, and Korben was terrific (his outfit must've got him voted off 'cos his voice is tremendous). All entertained, The Big Blue were excellent, and this "older" Will fan had the time of her life!!!!
Val, Surrey, England

All ten were fantastic and came across very well. I did not go supporting any individual because I thought they were all good in differant ways. Will had the best voice and Darius had the best stage presence and stood out as the one with that X factor. I came away thinking of who's concerts I would go and see and it would be Will's maybe! Darius for sure, he was the one that was better on stage than he came across on TV. I wonder why as he was third, he never got to sing more songs. It would have made a good concert a lot better if we had heard more of Darius. I never thought I would come away thinking that.
Sarah, UK

Just returned frm Pop Idol gig and I got to say, it was brilliant. Zoe Birkett, oh my god, that girl's going to be a huge star. Gareth, Will and Hayley were really good as well. Go Zoe, can't wait to see you on TOTP!
Ollie, Essex

From Wembley, Friday. I think the surprise of the show was Korben. He really connected with the crowd and won them over. Listening to the scream level at the end he got great applause when he took his bow. He chatted with the crowd and was great fun entertainment. Given all the bad press he has had, he had to do that bit better than the others to please the audience. While the others all lived up to expectations, Korben was the surprise package with that little bit extra on the live stage...I would go to a concert of his.
Kate, UK

I was lucky enough to sit in the 6th row and had a fantastic view of sexy Darius' movements - he has an incredible voice, too. Will was good, but I particularly enjoyed Hayley and Korben. The younger element were very happy with Gareth and Zoe but this line-up for a normal concert wouldn't work. Most will fade away, with the exception of Hayley and Darius, who should become huge stars!! The orchestra were fantastic too.

I felt that the disproportionate number of songs given to Gareth and Zoe didn't reflect the actual outcome of Pop Idol. My cynicism is that the management team are only interested in raking in the takings and therefore are pushing those they think will make them richer!! I did say I was cynical. All in all, however, a very enjoyable evening.
Samantha, UK (Midx.)

Everything about Pop Idol so far has been superb. Can I say the same for the concert?...Well, it lost the plot as the evening progressed. The first half was great, though would have been even better if Will had sung Anything is Possible. The second half consisted of too many songs with the Big Band that we just did not know. The biggest let down was no encore at the end. The 10 just disappeared. 19 if you are reading this, how about the 9 joining Will for a final rendition of Evergreen before the fans go home?
Simon, UK

I must say that Hayley and Will were by far the best performers, yet poor Hayley never gets any recognition from the public! She is by far the best female vocolist to come from Pop Idol, yet all I hear is how original Rosie's Mariah Carey wannabe voice is, and how fantastic Zoe is. Yes, they are both talented, but Hayley's the true star. As for Gareth getting a better applause than Will....the next time I go (I have another ticket!!) I will be screaming so loud for Will that those little girls' ear drums will be bursting! Go Will and Hayley!! Go real talent!!
Eve, UK

I went to the Saturday afternoon concert with three friends, and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. How these so called journalists who review concerts can write such "guff" I will never know. I have been to lots of pop concerts, and but for Michael Jackson the Pop Idols concert was the best. These ten young people (who nine months ago where just ordinary kids) sang and danced their hearts (with professionalism) out for an adoring audience. The band, costumes and dance routines were excellent. If there are any tickets going spare please let me have them. By the way I am not one of the young seven-year-olds as one critic mentioned, I am a 54-year-old with four children and six grandchildren.
Linda Turvey, UK

Whilst I have no doubt that the review is accurate, I must say that my wife, my youngest son and his girlfriend and my nephew all went to the show on Friday and thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes it was cliché, rehearsed to death and maybe a bit camp, but it was what they expected and wanted, therefore a success. It is not my sort of music, but good luck to them, they've got some talent, hopefully in time, this talent will grow into something worthwhile, if it doesn't, at least they've had some fun and made some people happy.
John Davies, England

WOW is all I can say! I can't believe there are people that said it was disappointing! I would agree that the first half was better as the songs were well known and I think they could have used the Big Blue to achieve a different affect. I knew only a few of the songs therefore the younger members, which made up a majority of the crowd, must have been a bit lost!

All round a 110% effort from them all. Korben was a fantastic entertainer, what a great change we have seen in Darius and I am glad Will did not try to take over the show to let the others shine like they deserve to. I would liked to have seen an encore at the end though and some faster, more recognisable songs in the second half but I cannot hold any complaints. All I want to know now is, when does the video of the show come out???!!!
Louise, UK

What a great show. I do think that they should have done it the other way around though. The first half was by far the best as a crowd pleaser. Korben was a fantastic entertainer and could have hosted the whole show.

Two things would have made my day - an encore and a duet from Will and Gareth, who can forget the one they did in the hotel bar on the show? Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me would have been great and would have raised the roof. I want to go again!
Louise, 21, UK

Er hello, "Can Gareth be the next Elvis?" Of course he can't - I went to the concert and he was visibly straining to even be heard let alone sound anything like he king of rock and roll. No, I think mouse would spring to mind more when considering his poor performance as opposed to the wonderful Will and Darius who both shone in the concert environment.
Kat, UK

I thought the concert was fantastic! All 10 finalists were superb and very professional, thofessional, the biggest cheers were of coures for both Gareth and Will but my pop idol of the night was definitely Will.
Julie Cross, Wales

Great show - the second half was really good in spite of what the press have said. Why did Will spoil it by not dressing up for the Big Band set? Trainers indeed!
Margaret, UK

I went to the concert last night (Sunday) and thought it was spectacular. I can't understand why people are knocking individuals - they are all hugely talented and deserved to sing in front of almost 12000 people and anyone that denies that can't have been at the same concert I went to. Every moment of it was electric.The lighting, choreography and songs were perfect. Absolutely superb.
Jude, England

Whilst the show was enjoyable, I think people were really only there to see Gareth, Will, Darius and Zoe, who really dominated the show. I also believe that the star of the show was Gareth Gates and still have my doubts about the telephone voting results. Most screams of the night definitely went to Gareth, with Will coming a close second this time around.
Emma, UK

Great concert. Me and my mum have supported Will all the way and I thought he was definitely the best. Rosie was really good and Korben's dancing was excellent. Overall a fantastic night! But I bought a Will poster and then found out it was a picture of Gareth. (GUTTED).
Perri, England

I went to the Pop Idol concert on Sunday 17 March. I was much impressed by the talent of the 10 finalists but disagree very strongly to what you have written here on the website. WhileIi think I slightly agree with what you said about Korben (his efforts on the night were very disappointing and I don't know why he made it to the finals) I think you were very wrong to say that Jessica was not so good. She gave the most outstanding performance and I think it may be Laura you should be criticising. Her performance wasn't up to scratch and she isn't anything like a good singer.

Will Young is an extremely good singer and it was because of this that people screamed for him. He has an exceptional voice and astounds me everytime. The fact that he is gay has nothing to do with it and I don't think this comment was appropriate. My personal favourite of the night was Gareth Gates. He is a very nice young lad and deserved every scream in Wembley Arena. You have done him justice. He is gorgeous. I thought the show didn't run smoothly but was a great success considering they are new to the music industry!!
Sian Cox, United Kingdom

I thought it was brill when all the group sang together but Gareth had to be the best.
Kerri, N. Ireland

The first part was wicked but when the Big Blue came on it just got well boring, no-one really enjoyed that part. I reckon they could have made the concert so much better then it was!
Rina lee, London

Will was a superstar but considering HE is the pop idol there was just not enough of him. I was disappointed that he did not even sing Anything Is Possible especially after all the fuss with Top of the Pops!
Chelsea, UK

I thought the show was really good my favourites on the night were Will, Hayley and of course Gareth Gates. The best performance of the whole night was Gareth's Mack The Knife. I loved it. The only thing I didn't like was everyone screaming over Unchained Melody but Gareth was great and is going to be a star.
Kelly Mills, UK

Will Young
"Hear a clip from Evergreen"
Rik Waller
"Hear a clip from I Will Always Love You"
Gareth Gates
"Hear a clip from Unchained Melody"
See also:

15 Mar 02 | Reviews
Glossy debut for Pop Idol stars
15 Mar 02 | Reviews
Press views: Pop Idols unpolished
15 Mar 02 | Music
Fan frenzy for Pop Idols
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