Woman’s Day (Australia)

Casey Donovan ‘I’M HAPPIER THAN EVER!’

Slipping into a new dress size is just the tip of the iceberg for the Australian Idol star!


After coming out the other side of a few tumultuous years, Casey Donovan can finally admit that she’s found true happiness. “I feel amazing,” the former Australian Idol winner tells Woman’s Day.

“I think everyone that’s crossed my path has just said that I’ve been looking happy, healthy and radiant. I’m certainly feeling it.”

The 34-year-old songstress, who is more than halfway through her new lifestyle with Jenny Craig, happily reveals that she now fits into a dress size 18.

“I mean that’s just a number, and I don’t want to get in my head about it, but, like, wow! I was sitting in a 26 to 28,” she says.

While her ultimate goal is to lose 20kg, Casey admits she has taken a more relaxed approach this time, after trying every fad diet under the sun, and instead of focusing on the scales, she’s focusing on the positive impact the process is having on her mental health.

“It’s beyond,” says the singer. “My anxiety has subsided – it’s still there, but it’s so much more manageable. When you’re eating good and feeling good, the mental health side of life does start to pipe up. And when those past traumas do come up, I know I now have the tools to go, ‘OK, this is how I’m feeling and this is how I’m going to get through this,’” she says.

“It’s feeling much better up there.”


As the Australian Idol reboot nears its return, it also marks 19 years since Casey stood on the stage at the Sydney Opera House in front of millions of TV viewers and was declared the winner of season two.

Casey has found herself reflecting on her own journey since the show, and acknowledg­es that while the experience was invaluable, it didn’t exactly set her up with the healthiest mindset for the challenges that lay ahead.

“I mean, one of the biggest sponsors was Mcdonald’s,” she says, revealing that the final contestant­s were given a “gold card” that granted them free food from all of the chains, whenever they wanted. “It’s literally like giving drugs to a teenager. And that wasn’t really something that was thought of, it was just like, ‘Oh, Macca’s is our sponsor, go eat!’” From there, Casey says she faced a “constant battle” with food.

“There was that feeling of, ‘I should stop eating,’ and then, ‘Oh, but I’m eating the good things – but now I’m eating too much

of the good things.’ There was just never any real guidance.”

Unfortunat­ely for Casey, in the immediate years after she was catapulted into national super-stardom, that guidance never came, and her battle only intensifie­d when a series of personal setbacks really saw her health deteriorat­e.

‘It was literally like giving drugs to a teenager’

“I was going through a lot of personal things in my life, which I was trying to make sense of,” she says, hinting at the now infamous catfishing scandal, which saw her duped into a fake relationsh­ip with her best friend Olga. “And [my] music wasn’t working, so I stopped that and got a normal job. I was clinging to everything that made me feel better. And that was food.

“The last 19 years after Idol have been a massive learning curve,” she says. However, having just wrapped filming on her new music video, Casey assures us she’s a different woman standing in front of the cameras, compared to when she filmed her first video for Listen With Your Heart, in 2004.

“There’s certainly a lot of confidence that’s grown in this woman,” she says with a laugh. “It’s been so great to embrace that.”


Touching on why she decided to make a giant leap now, Casey puts it simply: “I’m not getting any younger. We only get one vessel in this life, and this is mine. I just want to live a healthy and happy life,” she adds.

And weight issues aside, Casey has a lot to be happy about and thankful for. She has never been more in demand in her career. She has several headline gigs, TV appearance­s and a starring role in new contempora­ry stage musical & Juliet locked in

for 2023. She has also just released her catchy new single Shake It, which is burning up the radio, and her relationsh­ip with Renee Sharples is moving from strength to strength.

“We’re still in our happy little love bubble,” she enthuses, although she admits it has been “challengin­g with her being in Bendigo and me gallivanti­ng around the countrysid­e [touring]. But there’s so much love there. It’s been beautiful,” she says. Casey adds when her “insane” schedule finally does slow down, the loved-up pair certainly don’t have any plans to.

‘We’ve already been deep in discussion about babies’

“Oh we’ve already been deep in discussion about having babies,” reveals the clucky star.

“When I get a minute to stop, I really want to get my body ready to have a child,” adding that it was one of the main reasons why she wanted to get back into shape again.

“But there are so many ins and outs with donors and our living arrangemen­ts – you really have to plan these things.

“But we’re certainly going to keep having these conversati­ons this year,” she adds. “[I think] 2023 is going to be a good year, I can feel it.”

 ?? ??
 ?? ?? Casey is excited to begin a family with Renee.
Casey is excited to begin a family with Renee.
 ?? ??
 ?? ?? Casey is now size 18 but says, “It’s not all about the numbers!”
Casey is now size 18 but says, “It’s not all about the numbers!”
 ?? ?? A radiant Casey says she is feeling “amazing”.
A radiant Casey says she is feeling “amazing”.
 ?? ?? Casey says she once was a size 28.
Casey says she once was a size 28.

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