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 Friday, 20 December, 2002, 11:53 GMT
Fame Academy's Sinead signs deal
David and Sinead
Sinead was beaten by David in last week's final
Fame Academy finalist Sinead Quinn has won a 1m album deal with Mercury Records, less than a week after she lost out to winner David Sneddon on the TV talent show.

The 22-year-old was pipped in the battle to win the BBC One contest on Friday after the majority of the public voted for 24-year-old David.

He walked away with a luxury flat in London for a year, a sports car, the chance to live the life of a celebrity - and a 1m record deal.

Mercury confirmed on Friday to BBC News Online that former waitress Sinead had signed up to record five albums in a deal worth 1m.

Sinead
Sinead will release a single in February

Mercury released a statement on behalf of Sinead, who said she was "delighted".

"It's absolutely brilliant. I have all the people who voted for me on Friday night, and all the weeks leading into the final, to thank for this," Sinead continued.

"Without their support, I would never have made it to the last two students, and I might never have been given the chance to develop as a singer/songwriter. It's a dream come true."

Sinead, from Irvinestown, Northern Ireland, is due to release her first self-composed single I Can't Break Down on 10 February.

Since the Fame Academy final, she has been back to her home town, where she received a rapturous reception.

She has also been getting down to recording, said her spokeswoman.

Going on tour

Winner David's first single Stop Living The Lie - his own composition - will be released on 13 January.

In the final, David polled 3.5 million votes out of the 6.9 million cast after singing four songs, including Stop Living a Lie, during the live showdown.

Lemar
Lemar lost the first public vote of the live final

Earlier in the evening Lemar Obika, missed out on the dream after polling the least votes of the three.

Sinead kicked off the first segment of the live show, belting out a rendition of No Doubt's Don't Speak, followed by Lemar with a cover of Al Green's Let's Stay Together. David finished with Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me by Sir Elton John.

David and Sinead went through to the final segment where they performed another song each before duetting on Sir Elton's I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues.

The Fame Academy album, featuring all 12 contestants, has already sold more than 50,000 copies, and the whole group will be heading off on tour in 2003.


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