23 February 2024

Ulladulla 'underdog' Isaac McCallum finds his voice on Australian Idol stage

| Katrina Condie
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singer on stage

A new-look Isaac McCallum shook off the nerves and wowed the Australian Idol judges during his first performance on the big stage. Photo: Seven Network.

Following a Hollywood-style makeover and a stunning performance of Say You Won’t Let Go by James Arthur in front of a live audience, Ulladulla’s Australian Idol hopeful Isaac McCallum has made it to the Top 12.

Despite a shaky start to the competition, including fumbling the words in two rounds, Isaac impressed the judging panel, with Amy Shark throwing a ‘Fast Pass’ his way on Monday night (19 January), putting him straight through to the live competition which starts on Sunday.

Isaac said he was “so stoked” to receive the Fast Pass and to get through to the live-to-air performances where he will fight for his place in the competition.

“I can’t believe it, honestly,” he said.

In the lead-up to his first performance on the big stage, with his mum and family watching in the audience, the 23-year-old Woolies trolley pusher said, “I wanna get out of that car park. I want to stop pushing trollies.”

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His confident and faultless performance brought many in the audience to tears, and Isaac said he also had to hold back tears after Amy handed him the Fast Pass.

“I’ve had a real soft spot for you from the second we met because you’re an underdog and I know exactly what that feels like,” Amy said.

“To see you shine tonight is so incredible.

“We need to protect people like you. You are such a superstar,” she added before hugging Isaac.

Judge Kyle Sandilands, who had previously slammed Isaac for forgetting the lyrics to songs, said, “You and I have got something in common – the homelessness.

“I forget sometimes how invisible we want to feel when we’re there. You want to shrink into the smallest thing,” he added.

“You don’t want to be noticed. You don’t want to speak. You just want to live.

“You do have something special; we want to hear what you have to say. Don’t be quiet, don’t be nervous, just be you. You did a great job.”

Kyle told Isaac his performance was “excellent”.

“I love your voice. You’ve got a gift,” he said.

“You really have something special man, and I think you did a great job.”

Before Isaac left the stage to join the other contestants in the lounge, Marcia Hines said, “You were all that and a bag of chips!”

“Thank you for allowing me to come this far in the competition, I love you guys. Thank you for all the support,” a grateful Isaac said.

Isaac has collaborated with the other Australian Idol Top 12 to release a soulful rendition of George Michael’s iconic Freedom! ’90, which will be available to stream or download here from Friday, 23 February.

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The Milton-Ulladulla community has thrown its support behind their local star, with many first hearing his voice in the town’s car parks where he has busked for the past six years.

Ahead of the next round, Isaac said he was “definitely feeling the love” from the region.

“The community has always had my back. Without them I really wouldn’t be where I am today and also the confidence I have, it’s all because of them,” he added.

“I’m a little nervous, but I should be fine.”

The town will have an opportunity to vote for Isaac when the live performances commence on Channel 7 at 7 pm on Sunday 25 February, then at 7:30 pm on Monday and Tuesday nights.

An epic live group performance will also feature in Tuesday’s live results show.

A spokesperson for the Seven Network said viewers would be told how to vote for Isaac, and other contestants, at the start of each Australian Idol episode.

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