Reality bites Young
February 15, 2002
Young, from Hungerford, won last weekend’s final of ITV’s cult hit Pop Star, chalking up an incredible 4.6 million votes to beat his rival and now good friend Gareth Gates.
But Young’s triumph is more like a lottery win than a game-show success.
Minutes after he was announced as the last man standing from an original cast of 10,000, Young had signed a record deal which virtually guarantees him millionaire status – probably by the end of this year.
Such is his automatic cult-status as winner of the TV talent show, he can also count on a number one hit when his debut single, Evergreen, hits the streets in a fortnight’s time.
He is also guaranteed long hours, sleepless nights and endless travel.
But Young seems to be relishing the impending work load more than the trappings of fame.
“I’m so ready for it – the good times, the bad times.
I’m ready for it in such a huge way,” he announced after Saturday’s remarkable final.
Young’s burgeoning talent has emerged as the competition has progressed and there could be little argument that he outshone Gates in last week’s final.
Their performances prompted record-breaking numbers – nearly nine million – of phone votes and even prompted the National Grid to issue a warning over possible power failures on a nationwide scale.
And Young himself seemed to be burning an electricity all of his own after being hailed as the show’s winner.
“This is something I have always wanted to do. I don’t really know how I feel but I am looking forward to learning about the industry now,” he added.
Simon Cowell, the judge dubbed Sarky Simon for his acidic comments throughout the six months of the show, will be largely responsible for guiding him through his formative years in the industry.
“Will has signed a long deal and the first objective is to record an album,” Cowell said.
“But it’s not about money – Will never entered this competition to win money.”
In fact, Young confessed he would gladly have paid a million pounds to secure the foothold he now has.
“I would have done if I’d had it,” he said, adding: “This is something I will never forget.”