Stan wins Australian Idol

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Stan Walker, 19-year-old soul singer, walks away with the title of TEN's singing contest.

There weren't many surprised fans last night when Stan Walker was named the winner of 2009's Australian Idol contest.

The soul singer had been a hot favourite for much of the competition, impressing audiences and judges with his powerful vocal range, bold musical choices and a winning smile.

Walker defeated 17-year-old Hayley Warner, the show's "rock chick" who had overcome Perthies disease to make it all the way through the competition to the show's finale at the Sydney Opera House.

Once again TEN put on a grand show with plenty of big names, fireworks and an enthusiastic crowd.

But it was the sweltering heat that many will remember the night for, after temperatures in Sydney of 42 degrees. Its outdoor finale this year contrasted an outdoor finale in 2008 that was subjected to rain and wind.

Star performers on the big night included Michael Bublé, who sang two numbers, including a big band rendition of Cry Me a River and UK pop sensation Mika.

Guy Sebastian, who was due to duet with Jordin Sparks, had to sing to a video after the US singer cancelled following appendicitis. Wes Carr, Ian Moss and Ricki-Lee Coulter also performed.

But it was Stan and Hayley the audience came to see. Both performed solo numbers, and joined their fellow Top 12 contestants for several performances.

When the Aussie-born, New Zealand-raised singer was eventually announced winner, his family and friends broke into an impromptu Maori haka in the middle of the Idol crowd.

''I just want to thank God, man," said Walker. "Hey, I want to thank my family for coming and supporting me. My family, they came from New Zealand."

Walker wins a recording contract with Sony BMG, a $200,000 development deal and a new car.

His first single Black Box is available now for download.

Australian Idol will return in 2010.

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