JAKARTA: Two Christian gospel singers are locked in a final showdown to become the first Indonesian pop idol, chosen by the public through an interactive TV show.
The final round of Indonesian Pop Idol yesterday was between Stanislau Liaw Delon Thamrin, 26, and 24-year-old Destiny Joy Tobing.
The winner will be named on Sept 4 after viewers have voted.
The show began with 35,000 would-be stars auditioning in April.
Thirty were selected to compete on television, and Indonesian Idol became a major hit. Surveys show at least half Indonesia's television viewers tune in.
Hundreds of thousands of fans have voted by telephone and mobile phone messages, eliminating contestants each week.
Both finalists began their singing careers at the age of six, serenading their Jakarta churches with gospel numbers.
I always pray before I perform and I carry a little prayer book wherever I go, said Joy, who is studying English at college.
My voice comes from God, and I will remember to continue serving him, said ethnic-Chinese salesman Delon.
With a powerful voice and stage presence, Joy is a darling of the four jury members, who critique performances but cannot vote.
The jurors have not been so kind to Delon, criticising him for a weak voice.
But he has a baby-faced look and soft-spoken style that appeal to viewers such as Linda, 27, who said: I choose Delon, I guess, because he's a guy and he's cute. Reuters
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