Life

It's Joy to the world as
she becomes first Indonesian
Idol

Stevie Emilia, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

After 34,358 hopefuls sang their hearts out in the pitch battle to be the first Indonesian Idol, Joy Destiny Tiurma Tobing was the last singer standing on Saturday night.

To thunderous applause before the full house of 7,000 at Istora Indoor Stadium, Joy was announced to have won the majority of the four million votes over rival Delon after a weeklong voting frenzy by SMS and premium calls.

Looking elegant in a blue dress by Adjie Notonegoro, she literally lived up to her name by crying for joy.

""Thank you all,"" was all the student of the Christian University of Indonesia's School of English Literature in Jakarta could say after the announcement.

Besides the millions watching at home, those in the audience included House of Representatives Speaker Akbar Tandjung and many celebrities. President Megawati Soekarnoputri, despite reports she would attend, was a no-show.

Joy finished the show by singing Glenn Fredly's Karena Cinta (Because of Love) through tears. Her parents, taxi driver-turned record producer Jamarudut ML Tobing, and mother Roma Sibuea were in the audience.

Joy, a seasoned performer who had won RCTI's Cipta Pesona Bintang contest and the Grand Championship Laser Karaoke Pioneer in Asia in Shanghai, China, and Japan, was the heavy favorite to win after last week's final performances.

However, some had feared Stanislaus Alexander Liauw Delon Thamrin, better known to all his fans as Delon, would win by a sympathy vote due to the often harsh criticism meted out to him by the celebrity jury.

The latter, who gained heart-throb status, was gracious in defeat, hugging and kissing the winner.

""Whatever happens, I am sure it's for the best,"" he said before the announcement.

Delon is also expected to get a record deal and take part in a tour of major cities in the country with the other finalists from the show.

""Your career as a singer starts tomorrow, I hope you become a professional singer,"" said musician Indra Lesmana, one of Joy's strongest supporters among the four-member jury, told her.

As the winner of the show -- jointly produced by Freemantle Media Productions Asia and RCTI -- Joy won a record deal, a Toyota Vios and the right to represent Indonesia at the World Idol later this year.

Private TV station RCTI began auditions for the show on April 9 this year, visiting five cities -- Bandung, Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya and Yogyakarta. RCTI reportedly will start the second Indonesian Idol in December this year.

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