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Last Updated: Friday, 2 January, 2004, 08:57 GMT
Norwegian wins World Idol crown
World Idol winner Kurt Nilsen
Nilsen's first single spent nine weeks at number one in Norway
Norwegian singer Kurt Nilsen has won the clash of the world's Pop Idols.

Nilsen, 25, a former plumber, was named World Idol in a special edition of the talent contest which featured the winners of all the international shows.

US Pop Idol Kelly Clarkson was second and Belgian Peter Evrard third. UK Pop Idol Will Young came fifth in the competition, hosted by Ant and Dec.

Nilsen, who performed the U2 track Beautiful Day, won maximum points from nine of the 11 countries that voted.

The winners of 11 international Pop Idol competitions took part, with the winner chosen by a public vote.

Will Young (top left), Kurt Nilsen (top right) with other World Idol contestants
Pop Idol winners from 11 countries took part
The other countries in the contest were South Africa, Poland, Netherlands, Germany, the Middle East, Canada and Australia.

They all sang on the show on Christmas Day, with the Eurovision-style voting results being broadcast on New Year's Day.

"This is totally amazing," Nilsen said, telling the other 10 competitors: "I love you guys."

A father of two, Nilsen had the biggest-selling Norwegian single of all time in his home country with She's So High, his debut release after winning Pop Idol.

His album then went platinum on its first day of release.

The show's creator Simon Fuller said he saw Pop Idol as a "global concept" from the start.

"The last two years have been fantastic and it is incredibly satisfying to see a British TV idea being so successful on a global stage," he said.

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