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Friday, 15 March, 2002, 11:19 GMT
Press views: Pop Idols unpolished
Aaron Bailey
Aaron Bailey gave a varied performance at Wembley
The ten finalists of ITV1's Pop Idol took to the road on Thursday with their first concert at Wembley Arena but while the screaming fans were impressed, the press had reservations.

The Mirror's Kevin O'Sullivan described the concert as a "show of two halves", heaping praise on winner Will Young, runner-up Gareth Gates and Darius Danesh but slating the "amateur" dance routines and some of the performances.

While praising former train driver Aaron Bailey's version of Walking in Memphis, it described his attempt at I Get A Kick Out of You as "abysmal".

Korben sported a new hairstyle
"Some of these young hopefuls' attempts at the standards of yesteryear were so awful that I believe there could be serious legal grounds for criminal prosecution."

The Independent agreed, picking out Eurovision entry Jessica Garlick and Korben out for particular criticism, although reviewer Nick Hasted praised Laura Doherty, who spent a considerable amount of time on the Pop Idol sofa waiting to be voted out.

The paper generally viewed the tour as a cynical exercise to exploit youngsters.

"Many of the teenagers screamed their hormonal lungs out with a force that can't be faked, amd must be feeling something their Beatle-adoring grandmums would recognise with a wince. It's just that now, they're screaming into a vacuum."

It was not all bad though.

The Star's Peter Dyke thought that Will and Gareth stole the show and also praised Zoe Birkett, who sang the Aretha Franklin classic, Say A Little Prayer.

The Daily Express' Mel Myers described the "electric atmosphere" and noted Will's disclosure of his sexuality at the weekend seemed to have made little difference to his popularity.

"The legions of female fans in the audience seemed unfazed by his recent revelation and screamed the house down as he began his number one hit Evergreen."

But the highest accolade was given to Gareth Gates.

"The real star was Gareth who caused mayhem when he performed Mac the Knife. Could this be the new Elvis Presley?"

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!

More than 10,000 music fans watch the first concert by the finalists of the Pop Idol TV show, including Will Young and Gareth GatesDream debut
Pop Idol perfomers' first concert reviewed

The Pop Idol finalists are touring the UK starting with a gig at Wembley ArenaPop Idol live
You review the Pop Idol national tour
See also:

15 Mar 02 | Reviews
Glossy debut for Pop Idol stars
15 Mar 02 | Music
Fan frenzy for Pop Idols
14 Mar 02 | Reviews
Pop Idol concerts: Your views
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