Natalie GauciÂ (born 26 November 1981) is anÂ AustralianÂ singerÂ ofÂ ItalianÂ andÂ MalteseÂ descent. Gauci undertook music tuition at theVictorian College of the Arts, formed her own band that played gigs inÂ Melbourne, while also working as a music teacher. After an appearance onÂ Triple JÂ Unearthed, she successfully auditioned for theÂ fifth seriesÂ ofÂ Australian IdolÂ in 2007 and went on to win the series.
Gauci subsequently signed a record deal withÂ Sony BMG AustraliaÂ and released her debut single “Here I Am” which reached number two on theÂ ARIA Singles ChartÂ and gained a gold accreditation. The single was followed by the release of her debut album titledÂ The Winner’s Journey. It reached number eleven on theÂ ARIA Albums ChartÂ and went on to be certified platinum. In 2010, she formed an electro-pop band with producer Paul Brandoli called Tune In Tokyo, of which she is the lead singer.
Gauci progressed successfully through the top 12 knockout phase; it was not until the eighth week, with five contestants remaining, that she appeared in the bottom threeâ€”the three contestants with the lowest number of votes that week. Several of her performances earned acclaim; The Courier Mail noted her renditions of Rihanna’s “Umbrella”, Kate Bush’s “Running Up that Hill”, and Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” as highlights. Her performances of “Umbrella”, Divinyls’ “Boys in Town”, and Morgan Lewis’s “How High the Moon” earned “touchdowns” from Holden.
Gauci and Matt Corby were the final two contestants of the top 12, and thus progressed to the grand finale. At the conclusion of every series of Australian Idol, the winner releases a single dubbed the “Winner’s Single”. The 2007 winner’s single, “Here I Am” was written by Lindy Robbins and Tom Leonard, who had previously written for the Backstreet Boys. Gauci was critical of the song when she first heard it, professing confusion as it was written with male vocals. She thus rewrote the song to be more consistent with her style of music. On 25 November 2007, Gauci was declared the winner of Australian Idol 2007. She became the first contestant to progress to the top 12 through a lifeline from the judges to win the competition.