Alex Phillips on Popstars singing about coming out
Alex Phillips on Popstars (TVNZ)
2 min read

A singer’s emotionally powerful original performance in a talent show audition, singing about his experiences of coming out as gay and self-acceptance, has left the show’s judges floored and in tears.

Alex Phillips, 19, from the New Zealand City of Auckland was one of the first contestants to audition for the rejuvenated talent show Popstars, hosted by Grammy award-winning singer and producer Kimbra, where singers audition with their own originally produced songs rather than singing covers.

Introducing himself in video clips Phillips revealed he had struggled with bullying and coming out as gay to people in his life, and used songwriting as an outlet to process his feelings.


“I wanted to write [songs] to help other people through it as well.

“I think that I’ve been through stuff I don’t think anyone should go through, and I think if I can write a song that can help somebody else in the position that I was in … that’s why I do what I do and that’s why I write.”

Alex Performing Overdose (TVNZ)
Alex Performing Overdose (TVNZ)

Phillips graced the stage and had the judges floored with his emotional original song Overdose – a track he wrote about fitting in and how people may not appreciate what they have until it’s gone.

Judge Nathan King (Lead singer of band Zed) was visibly overcome with emotion as he took in Phillip’s performance, and had tears in his eyes, clutching Kimbra’s hand.

Kimbra was floored by his song: “Wow, I did not see that coming!”

King added: “That just got me, man.”

Nathan King tears up while listening to Overdose (TVNZ)
Nathan King tears up while listening to Overdose (TVNZ)

The panellists were quick to praise Phillip’s lyrics and how he conveyed his emotions with every word he sang.

“You sold every line,” Kimbra said. “I felt every word.”

And all three judges gave the 19-year-old a yes, propelling Phillips to the next stage of the competition and earning him a standing ovation.

Judges Vince Harder, Kimbra and Nathan King. (TVNZ)
Judges Vince Harder, Kimbra and Nathan King. (TVNZ)

In an Instagram post after the performance appeared on-air Phillips said he was forever grateful for the chance to audition.

“So forever grateful to even have the chance to audition and be able to share my own song with the talented, Nathan, Vince and Kimbra. the day itself was a dream and reliving it again tonight is indescribable, thank you ALL for the constant support and love you have shown me tonight”


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Watch the emotional performance below.

Last Updated on Apr 13, 2021

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