20 March 2024

Ulladulla surprise package Isaac McCallum bows out of Idol contention, but he's not leaving the stage

| Claire Sams
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A woman in a blue dress and a man in a grey coat on stage during TV singing contest

Isaac McCallum’s time on Australian Idol finished on Monday night, but he’s keen to keep performing. Photos: Seven Network.

Isaac McCallum has been sent home from Australian Idol – but his journey won’t be forgotten by anyone anytime soon.

His music career started with karaoke nights and busking in Ulladulla’s supermarket car parks, and continued with invitations to play at local venues before he auditioned for the 2024 edition of the national singing competition.

In his final appearance on the show, Isaac sang Before You Go by Scotsman Lewis Capaldi, going toe-to-toe (or rather voice-to-voice) with his fellow top-six contestants.

The 23-year-old was eliminated in Monday’s episode (18 March) in the show’s latest round of public voting.

Speaking during the episode, Isaac thanked the judges and the public for supporting him.

“It is what it is. At the end of the day, I’m just grateful,” he said.

“[I was in the] Top six. Who would have ever thought that?”

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The outcome means Amy Reeves, Denvah Baker-Miller and Dylan Wright remain as the top three grand finalists, with Trent Richardson and Ivana Illic also being sent home.

Despite the eliminations, Isaac told Region on Tuesday (19 March) there were no hard feelings between the top six.

“I was keen to walk in there every day to see them – we got along so well,” he said.

“We’re all besties now, and whatever happens after the show, we’ll always think back to this time.”

man singing on TV show stage

Isaac McCallum took the Australian Idol stage by storm, making it into the top six.

He had a shaky start to his time in the competition, fumbling with the words to songs, but the judges were still impressed.

Judge Amy Shark gave him a ”Fast Pass” on 19 January, which put him straight through to the live competition rounds.

From there, he made it through elimination rounds to land in the top six.

“I love it every time I walk out on the stage,” he said.

“It’s like an addiction when you step out and hear thousands of people cheering for you – you want to do it more and more.

“That’s one of the biggest things I remember, just being on that big stage and being able to sing for all of Australia.”

Despite tackling a range of other songs, I See Fire by Ed Sheeran was Isaac’s favourite to sing.

“I’ve always loved his songs,” he said.

“He started off as a busker, just like I did, so we’ve got a little bit in common there.”

Isaac’s success also came off the stage in his hometown, which rallied behind him.

Member for South Coast Liza Butler had signs made and installed in the centre of town, and comments came thick and fast on social media in support of him.

“I did expect a little bit of support, but not as much as I got,” Isaac said.

“It was so great to see how much support I had from Ulladulla and all around Australia.”

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Isaac said his confidence had grown through the competition, with his fingers crossed for a record deal on the horizon.

“I want to get a few songs out there and maybe get signed by a record company or something like that,” he said.

“I love busking, and it was all the experience I’d ever had [before Idol].

“The show’s opened my eyes to what lies ahead and what I can actually achieve.”

After a big few weeks on national television, Isaac said he wanted a short break.

“I might write a few songs and just chill out for a month,” he said.

“Then I’ll get back into it, work hard and see where it takes me.”

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