WARNING: The following story contains spoilers as to the winner and finish orders of the World Idol results show which will air on FOX and CTV in the U.S. and Canada this evening. If you do not wish to know this information, please stop reading right now.
Being a global event, the various World Idol results show broadcasts are airing at different times on New Years Day around the world.
American Idol Kelly Clarkson finished second in the competition, while Belgian rocker Peter Evrard - who sang a cover of the Nirvana song "Lithium" - was third. Britain's Will Young, considered along with Kelly to be the favorites to win the competition, placed fifth, while Canada's Ryan Malcolm placed sixth.
Kurt won maximum points from nine of the eleven countries which voted in the contest for his rendition of U2's "Beautiful Day." After being announced as the winner, a tearful Kurt said: "This is totally amazing," and to the other ten idols he said: "I love you guys."
Kurt ended up with 106 out of a maximum 112 points that were available. Clarkson had 97 points. The number of votes cast in each country weren't released.
Kurt won the Norwegian version of Pop Idol in May 2003. His single "She's So High" went straight to number one in the Norwegian singles chart and is the country's biggest selling single to date.
The full order of finish was:
1. Kurt Nilsen (Norway)
2. Kelly Clarkson (USA)
3. Peter Evrard (Belgium)
4. Heinz Winkler (RSA)
5. Will Young (UK)
6. Ryan Malcolm (Canada)
7. Guy Sebastian (Australia)
8. Alex (Poland)
9. Jamai (Netherlands)
10. Alexander (Germany)
11. Diana (Jordan)
While Kelly and Will were considered the competitions heavy favorites by oddsmakers due to their chart success, Kurt had emerged as a dark horse candidate during the performance show. After his "Beautiful Day" performance, even judge Simon Cowell was impressed, although he chose a backhanded way to express his compliments: "We've allowed a lot of ugly people to become recording artists, and that's not a bad thing," Simon said, while flashing a rare smile. Kurt, replied in turn, noting that "It's not a modeling contest."
Following last week's performance show broadcast, Antigua gambling website BetWWTS,com had set new odds. The U.S.'s Kelly Clarkson had remained the favorite at odds of 5/4 (i.e., win $5 for every $4 bet). The U.K.'s Will Young remained second at 2/1. Rising to third was Australian Guy Sebastian, making a major jump to 4/1, while Canadian Ryan Malcolm took fourth at 10/1. Rounding out the top 5 was Norway's Kurt Nilson at 12/1, who had moved up from last in the pre-show odds after the reaction to his strong performance.
The rest of the field was handicapped as follows:
6 (tie). South Africa's Heinz Winckler and Germany's Alexander Klaws (15/1),
8. Holland's Jamai Loman (20/1),
9. Poland's Alicja Janosz, simply called Alex , who performed the old Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice song "I Don't Know How To Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar (25/1),
10. Belgium's Peter Evrard (25/1), and
11. Jordan's Diana Karzon (30/1).
Visit our World Idol photo gallery for photos of all the Idol competitors.