Years after Australian Idol star Paulini Curuenavuli copped Dicko’s cruel comments, the singer is having the last laugh.
Paulini Curuenavuli wasn’t overly concerned about her image when she walked onto the Australian Idol stage in her now notorious gold dress back in 2003. It was her singing she was focused on.
However after judge Ian “Dicko” Dickson bluntly told her “you have to choose more appropriate clothes or shed some pounds,” Paulini walked offstage shattered.
Paulini learned very quickly talent only gets you so far in the fickle music industry. “The rest is how you look, how much work you put in, how much you believe in yourself… I was totally naive.”
Now, 11 years on and on the cusp of releasing her first studio album in five years, Paulini, now 32, is happier and more confident than she’s ever been – and she’s flaunting a killer bod that women everywhere would die for!
Dicko says he’s blown away by Paulini’s transformation and her new single Air It All Out, which he thinks “sounds great”, and reveals he is still vilified by strangers for that comment.
“I still get people 11 years on berating me for it. I don’t regret saying it – it’s such a big, fascinating stain on my character that I don’t want to scrub it clean. It’s part of who I am and who Paulini is and it binds us together.”
Paulini meanwhile has had the last laugh, going from a size 16 to a size 10, and is thrilled to feel so good.
She admits there are no quick fixes, though. Training and running most days, she’s shed the kilos by setting sensible goals, eating well and allowing herself occasional treats.
“It’s a great thing to be healthy. Now I get on stage and think, ‘You know what? I look all right!’”