Outrage over Owen's talent show axing

Blues singer Owen Campbell of Queanbeyan has missed out on a berth in the grand final of <i>Australia's Got Talent</i>.
Blues singer Owen Campbell of Queanbeyan has missed out on a berth in the grand final of Australia's Got Talent.
Out of the finals ... Owen Campbell, left, was beaten by stripper Dylan Yeandle.

Out of the finals ... Owen Campbell, left, was beaten by stripper Dylan Yeandle.

Fans have accused Australia's Got Talent of being rigged after Canberra singer Owen Campbell was denied a place in the grand final in unusual circumstances.

The blues muso was keeping upbeat about the decision but fans took to Twitter and to the Facebook page of Australia's Got Talent with a vengeance to declare he'd been robbed and they wouldn't be watching the show again.

Campbell told The Canberra Times he was ultimately grateful to the show for increasing his profile and expanding his fan base but the outcome had unsettled him.

"The show was filmed on Sunday so I've had a bit of time to get used to the decision, but at the time, 'I thought, 'That's weird'," he said.

Campbell on Wednesday night was one of three acts left to fill two places in next week's grand final in which the winner will receive $250,000 and at which super act Justin Bieber is set to perform.

Those places were to be determined by what is usually the show's three judges - Dannii Minogue, Kyle Sandilands and Brian McFadden.

However, McFadden was sick for the show, replaced by Dancing with the Stars judge Todd McKenney.

The judges first put through comedy stripper act Dylan Yeandle without incident.

However, they then said they'd been on the phone to McFadden and the four were deadlocked between between beat boxer Genesis and Campbell for the final spot.

The decision was thrown to the public vote, with Genesis getting through to the grand final.

None of the judges revealed how they had voted.

It was an unusual way for a grand finalist to be decided because the three judges wouldn't normally be able to get into a deadlock and McKenney has had little to do with the show, having to be shown past performances of Campbell and Genesis while undertaking his deliberations back stage.

But Campbell - who currently has the No.1 blues album and single on iTunes - said he knew McFadden had his back.

"I got a tweet from Brian saying, 'I'm so sorry you didn't get through, you had my vote'," Campbell said.

The 28-year-old singer said the outcome was "more of a surprise than anything but you couldn't help but be a little bit disappointed".

"I did think, 'Hang on, why is there a deadlock?', but at the time I didn't think to say anything on stage," he said. "There was a film set of screaming teenage girls and I couldn't hear myself think."

But he could still keep a smile on his face.

"The only person upset is Justin Bieber. He's been wanting to do a gig with me for years," he joked.

And Campbell is adamant his time on Australia's Got Talent has been for the best.

"It's expanded my fan base something serious and leaving the show in such a way will do wonders for me in the long run," he said.

Fans were nevertheless particularly upset Campbell was beaten into the grand final by the comedy stripper act Dylan Yeandle.

"What a joke, a stripper. Good one judges now my kids won't get to watch the grand final," one fan wrote on Facebook.

Another wrote: "Strippers? Owen's position in GF was squandered by an outrageous decision! What an embarrassment! Owen Campbell will succeed regardless."

Others were upset Genesis beat him into the grand final.

One fan wrote: "RIGGED HOW did a beatbox beat one of the best singers ?"

Another wrote: "Rigged who could go to a concert listening to that all night unlucky owen all the best for the future".

Yet another angry fan said: "Australia's got talent is a joke if this was based on actual talent Owen would have got through this show is rigged def not watching ever again".

Campbell can also be satisfied his time on Australia's Got Talent will have a lasting legacy. During his run on the show he donated $5 from every sale of his album Sunshine Road to an orphanage in Nepal.

Campbell said this morning that more than $6000 was raised for the orphanage.

"I'd like to thank everyone for buying the CD and helping to create something fantastic for some kids they've never even met," he said.

Owen Campbell will next be performing in Canberra on August 25 with a full band at The Abbey in Nicholls. More details at owencampbell.com.au.

This story Outrage over Owen's talent show axing first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.