Popstars: The Rivals



Davina McCall


Judges: Pete Waterman, Geri Halliwell, Louis Walsh

ITV2 coverage (Popstars: The Rivals Extra): Dane Bowers and Hayley Evetts


LWT for ITV1/2, 7 September to 22 December 2002 (18 episodes in 1 series)


Sequel to Popstars that aimed to find a five strong boy band and five strong girl band through the medium of auditioning and (new to Popstars) weekly public voting, alternating between males and females weekly.

Each band would have a single out for the race for Christmas number one. One True Voice would be managed by Pete Waterman and Girls Aloud by Irish pop producer Louis Walsh.

Girls Aloud was revealed to be the Christmas number one and have been very successful since. One True Voice sank without trace after two singles.


Based on Popstars, an Australian format


The programme spawned five (FIVE!) different acts, the first two being the official 'winners':

  • Girls Aloud: Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts, Cheryl Tweedy, Kimberley Walsh.
  • One True Voice: Anton Gordon, Matt Johnson, Daniel Pearce, Keith Semple, Jamie Shaw. Split up after two singles.
  • Clea: Emma Beard, Lynsay Brown, Aimee Kearsley, Chloe Stains. Struggled along for a while until half the band quit in 2007; the remaining half (Emma and Aimee) now go by the name LoveShy and appeared in Eurovision: Your Decision in 2008.
  • The Cheeky Girls: Gabriella and Monica Irimia.
  • Phixx: comprised of the five males eliminated in the final weekly stages namely Andrew Kinlochan, Chris Park, Peter Smith, Mikey Green and Nikk Mager. Split up in 2006.

And then there's Javine Hylton, who was believed to have been unfairly denied a place in Girls Aloud, got a solo contract (dropping her surname) and ended up as a big-time Eurovision flop.

Winner Nadine Coyle actually originally auditioned for Ireland's very own version of Popstars but was found to be underage which upset Walsh a lot. It looks like she's the real winner now though seeing how successful Girls Aloud have become.

Phixx member Nikk Mager would later audition for The X Factor in front of former Popstars: The Rivals co-star Cheryl Cole. Cole decided that she couldn't judge him, and left the panel, leaving his fate in the hands of the other judges. He didn't make it through to the Boot Camp stage, and the encounter left both Cole and Mager in tears.


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