Teenage Singer, Ripley Alexander, Stuns Australian Idol Judges With Unique Interpretation Of Classic ABBA Track

One of the most successful bands in the history of music, the Swedish quartet ABBA, has sold hundreds of millions of records over the course of their career. Many of their singles – including ‘Dancing Queen’, ‘Waterloo’, and ‘Super Trouper’ – have since become universally loved, instantly recognizable pop classics. The popularity of their songs has also resulted in numerous cover versions surfacing over the years, many of which claim to be unique interpretations of ABBA’s original recordings.

And while many of these covers fail to live up to the hype, one ABBA cover version that does offer a unique interpretation of the original comes courtesy of teenager Ripley Alexander, who auditioned for the talent show Australian Idol earlier this year by singing his version of ABBA’s 1975 single ‘Mamma Mia’. Impressing the show’s judges with his originality and deeply earnest voice, Ripley transformed the track from an upbeat, singalong pop tune into an emotional, heartfelt piano ballad.

Clearly in awe from the start, the judges smiled as Ripley delivered his performance, with Kyle Sandilands even leaning across to his fellow judges to declare, “I love him, I’m in love with him”. Many fans of the show seemed to share Kyle’s opinion, too, with some commenting how Ripley’s version of ‘Mamma Mia’ gave them a fresh appreciation of the song and its lyrics. One fan loved his soulful voice so much that they dubbed it “like a brush paint on a canvas. Textured, colorful, and beautiful”.

Catching onto how much the show’s viewers loved his stripped-down version of ‘Mamma Mia’, Ripley gave Billy Joel’s 1983 single ‘Uptown Girl’ a similar treatment in a later performance for Australian Idol, moving away from the doo-wop influences of the original and instead delivering it as a soaring piano ballad. “I think we might have a ‘Mamma Mia’ 2.0 happening right now,” gushed judge Amy Shark following Ripley’s performance. “You just know exactly who you are…you’re already a star.”

However, while Ms. Shark might have already considered Ripley to be a star when he delivered that performance, unfortunately, he didn’t do enough to win Australian Idol. He found himself in the danger zone after singing ‘Uptown Girl’, and then was eliminated alongside fellow contestant Imogen Spendlove. Despite losing his chance to win Australian Idol, his time on the show wasn’t wasted. He won many dedicated fans over the last few months as a result of his distinctive performances of tracks like ‘Mamma Mia’. As a result, we can only hope that there is still a bright future ahead in music for this talented young man.

For more from the talented Ripley Alexander, check out his performances and updates on his YouTube Channel or you can follow him on his Facebook page.

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