News + Notes

Global Karaoke War!

This year, Christmas will be all about family, presents, and...the ultimate American Idol.

Kelly Clarkson's set to take on 10 first-season Idol winners from around the world on Fox's Christmas Day sing-off, World Idol. Smart money says homegirl will be crowned champion on New Year's Day, but we sussed out some of the competition. (Who keeps whispering ''Eurotrash''?)

GUY SEBASTIAN, Australia, 21 He's got boy-next-door charm and soulful pipes, but don't let his Chia Pet looks fool you. Kelly, watch your back, girl!

HEINZ WINCKLER, South Africa, 25 Known to legions of girls as Hunky Heinz, his win led to accusations of vote rigging and racism. Bland and mediocre, he's now just a pretty face in the crowd.

DIANA KARAZON, Jordan, 20 Pan-Arabia's representative might be the only one not singing in English, but her rich voice cast a spell on 30 million viewers across the Middle East -- and she's got the goods to make her mark on the rest of the world.

ALEX (NEE ALICJA JANOSZ), Poland, 18 Equal parts Avril and t.A.T.u, this sexy kitten cooed her way to victory and Disney handpicked her to sing the theme for the Polish version of The Jungle Book 2. But she won't likely be queen of this jungle.

JAMAI LOMAN, Netherlands, 17 A massive Dutch sex symbol, he's already in wax at Madame Tussaud's in Amsterdam. Pitiful song choices (J. Lo, Bon Jovi) and laughable moves could prove his undoing.

PETER EVRARD, Belgium, 29 A rare Idol rocker, this Andrew WK look-alike takes risks -- like covering Nirvana's ''Lithium.'' Sure, he might snag votes for being an underdog, but his heavy metal-lite shtick is tough to stomach.

Originally posted Dec 19, 2003 Published in issue #742 Dec 19, 2003 Order article reprints