Cyrus Villanueva says the outpouring of support from the Illawarra during his time on reality TV show theX Factorhas been surreal.
The 19 year old is nearing the tail end of the talent quest having been voted in to the final 11.
“Everyone is so proud of me, and it’s a blessing to have them following me on this journey,” said Villanueva .
The regular at Foragers and Eat Street markets said his mates have been spreading the word to vote and keep him in the competition.
Meantime the career options for the graphic design student have also changed dramatically, as he said his small success has prompted him to go down the musical path like his father.
“I hope to [become] a well known musician, playing all over the world, to as many different people I can. I want my music to bring a sense of joy to others,” he said.
Villanueva and the other remaining contestants will be given a Decade Challenge for the live show Monday night, where judges will select songs from one decade each – from the ‘80s to now. The live decider is Tuesday.
Q&A with CYRUS VILLANUEVA
What was your motivation for entering the competition?
Music had been a part of my life from a very young age, growing up in a musical household. My father, Jo Vill, has been an entertainer around the Illawarra since I was born, so my musical abilities just grew naturally. Since leaving high school, I started playing local solo gigs myself, and really realised how much I loved performing in front of audiences. This experience really improved my musical ability, so I thought I’d give X Factor a shot knowing that I was completely ready!
How are you feeling as the pressure rises?
Quite relaxed to be honest. I am so proud of what I have achieved so far, and there really isn’t anything to lose. Only more to gain. The ‘pressure’ only amounts once it is time to perform, but I absolutely love playing in front of a crowd so I just get excited! As long as I am 110% prepared, I manage the pressure well.
If you could describe your life story in 3 sentences, what would you say?
I am a very blessed 19 year old University Student. My family have motivated me to achieve the best I can, academically, socially, and musically, and have entrusted me the freedom to follow whichever path I feel. I am very lucky to have been brought up in the way that I have, which has shaped who I am today.
Who's been the biggest support for you during your X Factor journey?
I would have to say my family. They understand that I don’t need to talk about X Factor 24 hours a day, and when I spend time with them I can just relax and take my mind off it. At the same time, when I do have pressures from the show and need advice, they are always there to listen and help me get through it. I wouldn’t be as confident as I am without them behind me.
Has there been any words from the judges that have really stuck with you in your heart?
Not specifically words, but actions. In my audition, there was one note I hit and Guy kind of just threw his pen and rolled back. I’m a huge fan of Guy and I admire his vocal ability, personality, and success. So to get that reaction from someone of his stature means a lot.