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Music News (Singapore)

15 Singapore Idol Alumni – What Are They Up To Now?

By  December 1, 2017

Does this ring a bell?

On 1st December 2004, Singapore crowned our first ever Singapore Idol, Taufik Batisah. After rounds of competition, he beat Sylvester Sim to take home the prize.

Since then, local broadcaster Mediacorp ran another two seasons of the talent contest before putting an end to the era. 13 years later, we wonder what ever happened to some of these forgotten finalists. 


Season 1

Taufik Batisah

Batisah has been active in the music industry throughout the years, putting out both English and Malay albums. In fact, his debut album Blessings still remains in the Singapore Book Of Records as the fastest selling English album.


Sylvester Sim 

Sim made a switch after the show and worked on Chinese music and released his first album Take Flight in 2005. He was also supposed to fight Steven Lim in the Asia Fighting Championships this year in September, but later pulled out. The 34-year-old is currently a partner in SGEE Ventures, an events and exhibition and talent management company, and also heads the music team at Unplugged, a live music bar in Dempsey.


Olinda Cho

Cho not only stayed in the music line but also branched out to acting and started up her own company, Oli Mgmt. She flew Singapore’s flag up high when she represented our country in China Super Vocal and more recently in Sing! China as part of Jay Chou’s team. 


Haneri aka Daphne Khoo

You might remember Haneri as Khoo, but today she prefers to be known as the former. Her journey hasn’t been the easiest after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer; thankfully she beat it in style, gained a new meaning in life and came back stronger than ever. She had a brief stint as a radio DJ with Power 98 in 2015/16. In June this year, she released her debut single Burning Up


Maia Lee

Feisty – as one would describe her. In 2015, Lee switched her focus to groom what she calls “Singapore’s youngest all-girl dance-pop group”, The Lovettes. The trio group consists of her daughter Julka and two of her friends. 


Season 2

Hady Mirza

Mirza decided to leave the music industry a couple years ago to embark on his new business venture, Tempting Tempe. With his business at hand, he has no plans to return to singing.


Jonathan Leong

In 2010, Leong ventured into theatrical circus playing the lead role in Voyage De La Vie, a resident show at Resorts World Sentosa. In fact, he was the only Singaporean cast member in the production. A year later, Leong released his solo Chinese album, which he had his hands on for writing, production and arrangement. The 35-year-old has since deactivated his official website and Facebook page. His Instagram account is currently still active.


Joakim Gomez 

Dubbed the Sanjaya Malakar of Singapore, Gomez’s charm won the hearts (and votes) of many fan girls despite receiving criticisms from the judges for his weak vocals. He has since stayed away from singing and have been a radio DJ on 987fm or one-half of “The Shock Circuit”. Soon, we’ll get to watch him act in a new series Trendsetters.


Paul Twohill 

Twohill has since shed his “typical metal band member” look for a cleaner style today. Currently, he is a host on Clicknetwork (Singapore’s first ever YouTube channel to hit a million subscribers) on the show Wonderboys


Gayle Nerva

Nerva was only 17 when she was on Singapore Idol, besides making music she has also gone into art and acting. She occasionally releases new music on her YouTube channel. ( You might remember seeing her in the long-form TV series Tanglin. She even got a shout out from Ellen and Oprah for her stunning sequin portraits. 


Season 3

Tabitha Nauser

Nauser’s hunger for creating music never stopped even after her idol days. You might remember her representing Asia in the official theme song of the 2010 Youth Olympics Games. ( Fast forward to 2016, she put out her first ever-single Bulletproof and is currently a full-time recording artist.


Sezairi Sezali

A year after winning the 3rd season of the talent contest, Sezali released his debut album Take Two and his first single Broken, which later became one of the highest-ranking Asian songs of the year. In 2014, Sezali was signed to Sony Music Singapore and in July this year, he released his retro tune 70’s


Sylvia Ratonel

Ratonel is the embodiment of girl power! She became the only ever female Singapore Idol finalist and later became the first-ever Singaporean celebrity ambassador for Maybelline New York. She has since stayed out of the limelight in recent years.


Jonathan Cheok

After idol, Cheok made a career switch and decided to pursue YouTube. He is more famously known as cheokboardstudios. The channel aims to entertain with their comedic skits and boasts over 220 thousand subscribers currently.


Duane Ho

If you were at Jessie J’s concert in Singapore last year, you might be familiar with Ho. The British pop star picked Ho out of the crowd and they performed a stunning duet together. He is currently working at A*STAR as a Marketing Assistant/ Graphic Designer.

Their idol days might be long gone, some of them stayed on to pursue music while others made a career switch. Who knows what they’ll get up to in the future, but one thing is for sure, we’ll keep you updated!


Picture credits: Eurovoix World, The New Paper, AsiaOne, Haneri on Instagram, Cleo, Her World, Joakim Gomez on Twitter, Paul Twohill on Instagram, Gayle Nerva on YouTube, Juice, summerr-in-the-shower on Blogspot, TODAY, Sylvia Ratonel on Instagram, cheokboardstudios on Instagram, Duane Ho on Instagram and 50goldenyearsoftv on Wordpress.

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