James Blundell Out To Support Jesse Curran

Idol contestant Jesse Curran has turned to her boyfriend James Blundell for support as the fallout from publicity surrounding their newly revealed relationship continues.

As Curran awaited her Idol fate last night, Blundell was on hand to shield her from the negative publicity that has abounded since the pair's romance came to light.

Curran faced scrutiny from the talent show's judges and fans over the relationship on Monday night's show.

But, the young singer's beau - who is 20 years her senior - was seated in the front row for her performance in a show of strength.

As these exclusive photographs show, Blundell is making no secret of his feelings for the Mildura singer, whom he left his wife and two children for last week.

Blundell - who only confessed his affair with the budding star to his wife of nine years, Lidia, in April - stunned drinkers at a bar near the Idol stage at Fox Studios with a very public display of affection.

The Way Out West singer nuzzled Curran's neck, posed for happy snaps and toasted her appearance on the Channel 10 show.

Earlier, he sat front row for her performance on the elimination show, which was tainted by the scandal over the pair's relationship.

While Curran's Idol rivals defended the singer yesterday, long-time fans of Blundell continued their scathing criticism of the couple, particularly the age gap factor.

The youngest contestant on Idol, Matt Corby, 16, said scrutiny of Curran had "tainted her unfairly".

"She didn't deserve the scrutiny or publicity that's happened coming into the competition. She's a good person," he said.

Meanwhile, a Channel 10 spokeswoman declined to comment "on the private lives of contestants" yesterday, as it was revealed the show's website removed leaks about the affair last week.

An online discussion about rumours Curran was dating the married singer was blocked by online moderators on August 20, after network publicists were apparently informed of the romance.

A spokesman for Fremantle Media, which operates the official website on Channel 10's behalf, later gave reasons for the removal of the posts.

The spokesman said while the site "encouraged discussion about the various facets of the competition and the program, it is not appropriate for the website forums to retain comments that may be defamatory, misleading, abusive or inappropriate".

"The comments on Curran's private life were blocked and redirected to the Jesse thread. There was certainly no censorship," he said.

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