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Happy To Stay In The Groove

Happy To Stay In The Groove

Who: Paulini
Where: Newcastle Panthers
Author: Jade Lazarevic
When: Friday February 18, 2005

PAULINI CURUENAVULI found herself on the other side of the screen last year when she tuned in to the second series of Australian Idol. Watching another round of hopefuls battle it out each week in the hope of taking out the coveted title was a little surreal for Curuenavuli, who said she often found herself offering words of wisdom to the final 12 over the course of the show.

``It's just been amazing to watch people go through what I went through,'' she said.

``I met them last year at some gigs I did. They were very open and asked me how I coped with things like getting really shy on stage.

``We chatted and they're a great great bunch of people, great personalities and absolutely great talents.

``Now it's just a matter of them making themselves flourish and becoming artists.'' Despite the fact Curuenavuli lived through the same experience in 2003, she conceded she still felt a bit strange handing out advice to the group.

``I don't feel like I should be in the position to give them advice but it's always good to kind of have them come up and ask because obviously they take you seriously.'' Curuenavuli in particular was a big inspiration to the female contestants in the second series of Australian Idol. The 22-year-old was the first female from the Australian Idol competition, with the exception of transvestite COURTNEY ACT , to sign a record deal.

She signed with SONY MUSIC shortly after finishing the national Australian Idol tour and almost immediately went into the studio to start work on her first album, One Determined Heart .

Like fellow Australian Idol contestants GUY SEBASTIAN and SHANNON NOLL, she found herself at the top of the charts with the single Angel Eyes which remained at the number-one position for three weeks.

Although the album was mostly made up of covers by acts such as TLC, WHITNEY HOUSTON, JEFF BUCKLEY and THE TEMPTATIONS, it did contain two original songs.

Curuenavuli will have the chance to deliver an all-originals album released when she starts work in March on her third recording after releasing a Christmas album late last year.

``I can't wait to do this album.

It's going to be great. They're all original songs so I hope some of the stuff I write will be up to standard,'' Curuenavuli laughed.

``It will definitely be an R'n'B/ soul album with a bit of pop.'' She hinted it might include a duet with Sebastian as the two have been working closely together on songs.

``Guy and I have become very good friends and we've had a few sessions together writing,'' Curuenavuli said.

``I think we've built a very close relationship.

``I'd love to do a duet with Guy.'' Curuenavuli's national tour this month starts at NEWCASTLE PANTHERS on Friday night.

Tickets cost $37.50 and are available at the club.

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