Does Dami have the X Fac­tor?.......................

Queens­land fi­nal­ist is poised for top TV prize, writes Jes­sica Hux­ley

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY CONTENTS -

QUEENS­LAND X Fac­tor grand fi­nal­ist Dami Im has hit a top note, mak­ing it to the show’s Top 3 along­side 14-year-old teen Jai Waet­ford and 20-year-old Tay­lor Hen­der­son.

The Daisy Hill pi­ano teacher and vo­cal­ist, 26, is a Korean Chris­tian com­mu­nity favourite, who has be­come one of Aus­tralia’s most recog­nis­able voices in a mat­ter of weeks.

Fans de­clared her ren­di­tion of Mi­ley Cyrus hit Wreck­ing Ball was bet­ter than the orig­i­nal.

Im is the only con­tes­tant in X Fac­tor his­tory to gar­ner a stand­ing ova­tion af­ter ev­ery per­for­mance.

‘‘Each week I have no idea how peo­ple will re­spond and what the judges will say,’’ she says.

‘‘When I re­hearse dur­ing the week (men­tor) Dan­nii (Minogue) and the other peo­ple we work with of­ten say ‘oh very good’ but they don’t use words like ‘amaz­ing’ or ‘in­cred­i­ble’ in re­hearsal, so I don’t ever know if it is re­ally good or re­ally bad.

‘‘That’s why it’s so over­whelm­ing and I never ex­pect the stand­ing ova­tions and good re­views.’’

Korean-born Im moved to Aus­tralia as a 9-year-old and chan­nelled all her en­er­gies into play­ing pi­ano and vi­olin while learn­ing English.

She grad­u­ated from Univer­sity of Queens­land’s mu­sic school with first­class hon­ours, but Im’s class­mates had not heard her sing un­til she au­di­tioned for the show.

‘‘I usu­ally teach stu­dents voice and pi­ano but some­time I go back to Korea and travel around as a gospel singer,’’ she says.

‘‘ The X Fac­tor is very dif­fer­ent to any­thing I’ve done in my life.

‘‘It’s very full-on and busy but there are lots of ex­cit­ing things hap­pen­ing, work­shops and pre­par­ing for big per­for­mances.

‘‘When I au­di­tioned I didn’t ex­pect any of this. I just said to my hus­band I will keep tak­ing it step by step. It was all re­ally ex­cit­ing and un­ex­pected.’’

Im says com­pe­ti­tion high­lights in­clude mak­ing the Top 12, fly­ing to New York and learn­ing she would tour with the Top 5 con­tes­tants when the show ended.

‘‘I can’t wait to go and meet the fans back home and see the peo­ple who are sup­port­ing me from my old school – I’m

X Fac­tor grand fi­nal­ist Dami Im just so thank­ful and so grate­ful they’re be­hind me sup­port­ing me. It helps me have con­fi­dence know­ing they’re there,’’ she says.

‘‘Tour­ing the coun­try and ac­tu­ally meet­ing my fans in the real world is go­ing to be a lot of fun.’’

The 24-year-old met her hus­band Noah Kim at a church in Bris­bane and the cou­ple mar­ried 10 months ago. Im says her hus­band is her big­gest sup­porter.

‘‘His health was ail­ing dur­ing the boot camp stage of X Fac­tor which was a dif­fi­cult time, but he is a lot bet­ter now and back to be­ing healthy and be­ing crazy about sport,’’ she says.

‘‘My hus­band comes down ev­ery weekend to watch the show on Sun­day. I do miss him so much dur­ing the week.

‘‘I didn’t ex­pect to come this far and I would have felt blessed even if I was sent home any other week, so I will try to keep that at­ti­tude and re­mem­ber that no mat­ter what hap­pens I’ll be grate­ful be­cause there is noth­ing to lose and so much to gain.’’

The X Fac­tor: Sun­day, 6.30pm, Mon­day, 7.30pm, Seven, Prime7.

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