Does Dami have the X Factor?.......................
Queensland finalist is poised for top TV prize, writes Jessica Huxley
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.