Live’n’loud: Dami and friends live on the Gold Coast .............

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - CONTENTS - – DANIELLE MCGRANE

MOVE over Justin Bieber – there’s a new kid in town. Jai Waet­ford has the same floppy hair and cute smile that pro­pelled Bieber into the spot­light – and some may say he’s a bet­ter singer too.

The 14-year-old from Camp­bell­town in NSW is al­ready gath­er­ing ad­mir­ers af­ter com­ing third on Seven Net­work’s re­al­ity show The X-Fac­tor. ‘‘They send fan mail to my school’’ he says. ‘‘It’s good that the fans are keep­ing in touch.’’ Waet­ford is speak­ing over the phone from the X Fac­tor

Live tour bus, which ar­rives on the Gold Coast on the weekend. Quite the rock star life al­ready.

‘‘Well I’m re­ally ex­cited but ev­ery­one else is asleep,’’ he says, re­fer­ring to his fel­low X-Fac­tor con­tes­tants in­clud­ing win­ner Dami Im and run­ner-up Tay­lor Hen­der­son, who are on the bus with him.

It’s quite the im­age: a bus full of pop­star idols rolls into town and only one is awake and brim­ming full of en­ergy. But per­haps that shows just how young Waet­ford is. In fact he’s so young he has to be tu­tored to keep up with school.

‘‘I have a re­ally good tu­tor but I miss be­ing in school and muck­ing around with my friends,’’ he says.

Waet­ford will also be out of school next year as he pur­sues his ca­reer in mu­sic.

‘‘I’m go­ing to be do­ing dis­tance learn­ing. It would be too hard if I’m per­form­ing and have to fly to Mel­bourne or some­where,’’ he says.

Waet­ford might miss his school chums but he’s picked up a new fa­mous friend since his turn on the re­al­ity show.

‘‘Justin Bieber in­sta­grammed a pic­ture of my first au­di­tion. And he’s been tweet­ing me pri­vate mes­sages say­ing we should catch up when he comes out to Aus­tralia,’’ he says.

Waet­ford may be a teenager, but like his idol Bieber, he has clear ideas about where he wants his ca­reer to go.

‘‘I want to start writ­ing a sin­gle and I would love to col­lab­o­rate with a DJ,’’ he says.

‘‘I want to make a dancey/poppy song es­pe­cially com­ing in to sum­mer be­cause it’s a re­ally alive time of year’’.

And with that it’s time to let Waet­ford re­join his tour bus friends. Maybe, just maybe, he can rouse them for a sin­ga­long.

The X Fac­tor Live Tour plays the Bris­bane En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre tomorrow night and the Gold Coast Con­ven­tion and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre on Satur­day night.

The X-Fac­tor Live Tour stars Dami Im, Tay­lor Hen­der­son, Jai Waet­ford, Third D3­gree and Jior­dan Tolli.

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