Anya, how are you feeling after last night?
Yeah, I’m good, I’m relieved. I’m ready for the next step! I’m ready to have a good sleep for once!
In terms of your Idol journey, are you satisfied with how it played out?
Yeah, absolutely. I think my goal was Top Six and I did that, so everything was just bonus. So, I’m happy with that but last night, when I was standing with Royston, you know, it was such a privilege but I knew what was going to happen when they put me after him! I knew I was going to go home.
It was hard at the time. My speech was about inclusion and meant to be about recognising that it was more important for Royston to go through more than me because of all the communities that need someone like him to lay a path for them and that’s what I was getting at and they kind of made it – at least Harry – kind of made it into this thing like I’m not deserving enough or he made it seem like some kind of insecurity issue which it wasn’t at all. Obviously, they didn’t quite understand that and where I was coming from.
Leading on from this, on Sunday night there was a bit of contention about the way that you've arranged your songs, which you obviously didn't agree with. Is there anything that you feel like you didn't really get to clear up?
I think at the really pointy end of the competition there’s a real lack of control on the contestant’s part. You really have no control over anything. And so, in terms of arrangements, there are like five people telling you, ‘No you can’t do this’, ‘You shouldn’t do that because people won’t want to hear Flowers by Miley Cyrus in a ballad way’.
The changes that I wanted to make to the arrangement weren’t supported and weren’t accepted... [they] were just kind of shut down. And then, when I couldn't do that, they [the judges] would tell me ‘Why didn’t you change the arrangement?’ and you couldn't say that on TV. Or they [the team] wouldn’t let me because it's like breaking the fourth wall a little bit.
It was so hard to just stand there and shut my mouth and just be like ‘Well, sorry. Sorry. Sorry, I should have sorry I should have’. Two weeks in a row! It's like so hard because you know what's going on and you know that it's not fair. And you just having to stand there and just be hit by the bullets!
Overall, how do you feel about your experience? Is there a particular highlight?
I think one of the highlights were all the people. As well as all the contestants, the staff are really, really good. They're really lovely. Every staff member associated with Idol has just been so supportive.
Speaking on your relationships with the contestants, how were they? Was there anyone you particularly got on with in the competition?
We're all friends so it’s really hard to like pinpoint. But I think Harry Hayden and I really got on and we’re good friends.
In the top six, you know, I love Ben. Him and I got a lot of crap on the socials particularly recently. I love him and I think he’s just a beautiful, beautiful person. And, you know, he was a rock guy so it was so hard for him because he was kind of the underdog the whole time.
How did you deal with those types of negative comments?
Sometimes it’s so hard. Especially towards the end. It wasn’t being monitored correctly, bad comments weren’t being taken down.
It was hard when they got really personal like with the comments about my family and my mum and stuff like that. That hit me really hard and I just had to report them... [but] they still wouldn’t take it down and nothing would happen about that so it was a bit disappointing that they didn’t do anything.
I got a little bit of feedback when I told Harry to suck it but I still stand by that. He can still suck it. Honestly, and people were like it was unprofessional but I don’t think - it was just cheeky, it wasn’t unprofessional. I think if a man did that people would laugh.
WATCH: Australian Idol audience turns on Harry Connick Jr. Article continues after video.
We're sorry to hear about the tough comments. On a more positive note, how were your relationships with the other judges?
We didn’t get to talk to them a lot, to be honest, outside the show. You talk to them when they walk past you but that’s about it. I have a lot of respect for them, even for Harry. He’s still really talented and has his own opinions and… so do I, evidently!
I have a lot of respect for Amy Shark because the Australian music scene is bloody hard.
And Meghan of course. Like being pregnant, having a baby already and popping off on TikTok and having these hit singles - that was never been seen before.
Kyle, he’s actually a really nice person! I was so scared to meet him because notoriously he’s got no filter and everything – a bit like myself. But he’s a really, really, lovely person. He’s really nice and, you know, well connected in the industry and I just think he had my back even with all this stuff with Harry, so I really appreciated it.
How about your own goals following the competition? Do you have any music in the works?
Yeah, of course! I'm a songwriter before a singer. I play guitar, piano and stuff and writing is my main thing. That's the only thing that's been keeping me afloat is just writing songs in the hotel room throughout the whole competition. So I'm really excited to release an EP and do a tour and that kind of stuff. I think that's where I really shine outside of doing covers.
There's a lot of goals next year like 2024, I'd love to do Bluesfest in Byron Bay or in Melbourne, that's a massive goal for me. It's hard to get into so that's a big, big goal.