Once rivals for the top spot on Australian Idol, Shannon Noll & Cosima De Vito have always had each other’s backs

Idols reunited!
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When Cosima De Vito quit Australian Idol live on TV during the semi-finals in 2003, it was one of those TV moments that stopped the nation and left a shocked Guy Sebastian and Shannon Noll to fight out the grand final.

More than three million fans tuned in to see the 22-year-old Guy take the top prize, leaving Cosima fans crushed. Even then-judge Ian “Dicko” Dickson declared she should have been crowned.

They were up-and-coming stars in 2003. (Image: Getty)

That Cosima, now 47, was forced to leave because throat nodules threatened to rob her of her voice was almost forgotten as outraged fans fuelled conspiracy theories and sparked rumours of bad blood between Shannon and Cosima.

Viewers were left wondering if Shannon got more votes than Cosima after Guy was announced as one of the two grand finalists. But Cosima’s shock exit meant Shannon went straight through whether or not he had the votes.

23 years on! (Image: Phillip Castleton)


“I felt really bad for Shannon. I felt really guilty,” Cosima tells Woman’s Day, insisting there was never any bad blood between the two and that she always only felt love and support from Guy and Shannon.

“We never talked about it, and we were always friends, and it was understood that we wanted the best for each other. There were never any hard feelings in any way, shape or form.”

Shannon, now 48, also always felt bad that Cosima’s Idol dream ended so abruptly and was shrouded in so much controversy, so the big-hearted singer recently reached out to help her.

“Cosima had a rough exit from the show and I’ve always felt bad for her,” he says, explaining that when she appeared on his podcast and they talked about it, he wanted to do something special for his old Idol mate.

“I thought what better way to mend the bridges for her than to get her on a single and back on radio. She was tickled pink to be a part of it and she blew her vocals out of the water.”

The pair secretly recorded a new version of the Kelly Clarkson and country music star Jason Aldean hit duet Don’t You Wanna Stay in January.

Australia eagerly watched as the trio battled to become our first idol. (Image: Getty)

“It’s like 21 years melted away,” says Cosima. “Singing on your own is fun but singing with someone else is special.”

It’s on Shannon’s recently released album, marking the 20-year anniversary of his first, That’s What I’m Talking About. It also coincides with his first national tour in a decade.

This time around, it’s a very different Shannon, who long ago swapped his rock’n’roll routine for a quiet family life with wife Rochelle and four children on a small farm near Casino in northern NSW. He also follows a stringent gym regimen.

“I think those days [of drinking and partying] have well and truly gone,” laughs Shannon, who’s swapped vodka for vegie juice and is happier in the gym or on the farm than he ever was in a nightclub. “I’m quite fond of the green juice these days!” he jokes.

For Cosima, teaming up with her old Idol pal has been a wonderful trip down memory lane.

“Coming together is definitely up there as one of my special moments in my career,” she says.

You can get a ticket to catch Shannon’s 15-date tour around Australia here.

The pair reunited for a song on Shannon’s new album. (Image: Phillip Castleton)

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