X Factor sensation Amalia Foy is living her dream. For as long as she can remember the Toorak College student from Carrum has wanted to be a singer, and when she turned 14 this year – the minimum age for a contestant on the hit Channel 7 show – she leapt at the chance to audition.
And what an audition it was – her version of Passenger’s Let Her Go had the audience on its feet and judge Iggy Azalea in tears. It also prompted a flood of tweets from viewers declaring the show’s youngest contestant a future pop superstar.
“I came to the auditions definitely not expecting much, and when I finished my song they just all stood up, and I couldn’t believe it – I was getting so emotional, Iggy was emotional - that was a really memorable moment for me.”
Amalia has been playing the piano since she was five – she also plays violin – and started singing lessons four or five years ago, and even though she is no stranger to the spotlight, X Factor is on a whole new level. Yet she was able to keep her nerves in check. “They weren’t on my mind as such because I couldn’t not do the audition – I just had to give it my all. I think it was the drive to just do my best and not worry about anything.
“I love acting, I’ve been in musicals and stuff and I’ve done the school soiree (but) this is my first time applying for something like this, and seriously, I can’t explain what I’m feeling right now – it’s crazy. It’s one of the best experiences of my life.”
Amalia is full of admiration for US singer-songwriter Adam Lambert, who mentors her in the under-22s group. “Adam is amazing; he’s so, so good. He’s just so kind and genuine. It’s all positive feedback that we can work on all the time. It’s really uplifting to know what you can work on for the next round or in the future.”
Amalia’s father stays with her while she’s in Sydney for the show and her mother comes up to see her on weekends. “My friends and family … I could not ask for better support; everyone’s been so positive. And the school … I love attending that school. They’ve really prepped me for this experience because of the leadership they work on with public speaking and responsibility in a sense – they have contributed to what I’m doing now and I couldn’t be more thankful.”
Citing Jackson Browne, Delta Goodrem and Birdy as influences, Amalia is determined to forge a career in music no matter what happens on X Factor. “If I end up winning this competition, seriously, it would be unimaginable; it would be amazing. (But even if I don’t) everything is set up from this point. Ultimately I’m achieving my dream. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
The X Factor screens on Channel 7 on Sundays at 7pm and Mondays at 7.30pm.