Levin builder Matthew Saunoa was last night voted top of the pops, winning the title of NZ Idol in front of a screaming and mainly young audience.

The 21-year-old's win came despite originally being rejected by Idol judge Frankie Stevens.

Stevens had a change of heart, however, after Saunoa assured him he would win the competition.

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"I just want to say thank you so much to everyone. You know, I didn't think I could get past the first round and now I've just won the competition.

"I love you man."

Saunoa beat Indira Moala in the grand final held in the St James Theatre in Auckland.

He follows in the footsteps of previous winners Ben Lummis and Rosita Vai - neither of whom has had commercial success.

Saunoa has already gone one better than both of them, taking away not only a record contract but $50,000 and a new Daihatsu Terios for winning the title.

Saunoa went into the top two as the underdog despite breezing through the preliminary stages of the popular television series.

Online betting agency Centrebet had odds on him at $1.90 compared with Moala's $1.80 - the first time Saunoa had not been favourite since September 18.

Bloggers in the Idol chatroom were also divided in the lead-up to last night's win for Saunoa, and many lamented the loss of Aroha Robinson, who came third.

Some said that the two finalists lacked "star power".

The show began with eight other performers who had been eliminated previously from the top 10 briefly sharing the limelight.

Prime Minister Helen Clark also made a brief appearance, lauding the top two for their efforts in getting so far.

The show's credibility was questioned this year by top New Zealand musicians including Stellar singer Boh Runga, who said she would "rather lick the inside of a toilet bowl" than appear on it, and NZ Idol faces an uncertain future.

Television New Zealand has confirmed that, despite excellent ratings this year, it has made no decision about commissioning another season of NZ Idol.

The network has an option with South Pacific Pictures for a fourth season, but it said it needed to evaluate the success of the current series before deciding.