AUSTRALIAN Idol favourite Stan Walker’s ‘touchdown’ performances on Sunday may have earned the ex-Byron High student the promise of a recording contract from US guest judge Peter Wentz, but his mum, April, said her son needed local support to get him through.
“Just look at previous years. The fans of the favourites become complacent and don’t vote, so they don’t make it to the finals,” Mrs Walker said.
Although the Walker family moved to Coolangatta in 2007 when Stan was in Year 11, the Idol frontrunner told The Northern Star his time with Byron High music teacher Darko Milic helped make him the singer he is today.
“Darko Milic is the bomb,” he said.
Stan, who moved to Byron Bay from New Zealand in 2005, said Byron was ‘a full culture shock’.
“I was just this Maori kid from New Zealand. In Byron there were all these kids in skinny jeans. I was just used to Maori kids. It was just so different,” he said.
The 18-year-old R&B singer kick-started his three performances on Sunday with a high energy version of Eye Of The Tiger complete with acrobatics, followed by a rendition of James Brown’s A Man’s World, before bringing the audience to its feet with an emotionally-charged version of Amazing Grace.
“Just like the song, I was lost and now I’m found,” said Stan, alluding to a troubled past before finding God.
However, Byron High deputy principal Ian Davies said Stan’s much-publicised ‘bad boy’ reputation was ill-founded.
“He was an all-rounder. Very social, good at sport. I’m looking at his school reports, they all say ‘pleasing results’,” Mr Davies said.
When asked if Stan’s fame and fortune could potentially earn the family a house back in Byron, Mrs Walker joked.
“I’d like a house in Byron, a house in the Gold Coast and maybe a house in Sydney, please Stan,” she laughed.
Stan Walker joins other former Northern Rivers Idol contestants, such as Tabulam pig farmer Peter Ryan and Ngaiire Joseph from Lismore.
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