Her success story is completely different to that of The Voice coach and fellow Idol winner Guy Sebastian. So what exactly happened?
When Guy Sebastian turned his chair and asked: “I know I’m looking at you weird, but do I know you?” following Natalie Gauci’s blind audition on The Voice, there was an awkward moment of silence.
“My name is Natalie Gauci, and you might know me from another TV show called Australian Idol?” was her reply – and in a matter of seconds, viewers at home all had the same question.
What on earth happened to the winner of the popular singing program?
A brave return to the stage. Image: Channel 9
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Life after Australian Idol
Unlike Guy’s successful career after winning Idol in 2004, which has seen him sell more than 4.7 million albums and tour internationally, Natalie’s career spiraled downhill following her win in 2007.
Despite her initial popularity that gained her the crown, Natalie’s winning single from the show was the first in Idol history not to hit the number one position on the ARIA charts.
Her journey and relationship with music label Sony was a rocky one, and after realising she wanted something different for her career, they parted ways.
Following her blind audition singing Sia’s ‘The Greatest’, which grabbed the interest of The Voice coaches Delta Goodrem and Guy, the 38-year-old mum shared her personal life had “gone a little bit downhill” following her Idol win.
Natalie stole the crown off fellow Idol contestant Matt Corby. Image: Supplied
A battle with drugs, alcohol and sudden fame
During an interview with news.com.au in 2017, she shared details about how she rebelled and took a wrong turn, affecting her career in the music industry.
“Instead of going with the flow, with the ‘machine’, I resisted it and became more rebellious in terms of my attitude and my musical choices. That’s what artists do, but if you’re from Australian Idol, then maybe it’s not a good fit,” she told the publication.
“I was naive about the music industry. I wasn’t sure how it all worked and I wasn’t thinking about the business side of things. I went into a bit of depression, and by the time my record company and I came to a mutual agreement, I was too far gone. I walked away just knowing that I wanted to do things differently.”
Natalie’s career went downhill after her Idol win. Image: Channel 10
The star, who was briefly married to Cordrazine’s frontman Hamish Cowan, turned to drugs and alcohol to deal with her sudden rise to fame.
“I took a lot of drugs and became paranoid,” she told New Idea magazine, admitting she wasn’t prepared for the outside world.
“After that whirlwind I felt really detached… I wasn’t being heard… I felt so alone.”
Did you catch Guy’s brother audition? Fans were divided over whether or not he should be allowed to be on the same show as his brother. But he isn’t the only one we have recognised on the show.
Natalie with her baby boy. Image: Instagram
Getting a second chance
Now back with the help of meditation and therapy – and a little boy to take care of – Natalie is grateful she has another chance to make it in the music industry.
She revealed she felt as though she had failed as a singer, after seeing Guy’s success, and is determined to do things right this time, under the guidance of her fellow Idol winner.
“I have everything to lose, in a way, because I’ve already done it once. And now I have to do it again. I really want to do it again and I want to do it better this time,” she said prior to her audition.