GYMPIE'S very own girl with the silky voice is through to X Factor's boot camp after impressing the judges with her potential last night.
The Gold City tuned in to the singing competition, willing country singer Caitlyn Shadbolt to blitz her opening audition in Melbourne.
And after a few tense moments she did, with all four judges agreeing Caitlyn, 18, deserved a place in boot camp.
Dannii Minogue, Redfoo, Natalie Bassingthwaighte and Ronan Keating all praised the Gympie singer for her potential.
But the opening comments had Caitlyn, and the crowd, hanging on every word after the young singer finished the final note of Life is a Highway by Rascal Flats.
The judges were unsure Caitlyn's song selection was the best, but the crowd quickly leapt to the singer's defence.
Bassingthwaighte was particularly critical of the song selection and stuck to her guns as the crowd made its disapproval known.
The judge was unperturbed, however, having a giggle at the uproar before giving Caitlyn the green light to hit boot camp.
CAITLYN said the entire experience was "a bit of a blur" but recalls the flood of relief when told she would head to boot camp.
"I was just trying to take everything in and I just remember the relief," she said.
"They (the judges) didn't really like the song so at first it didn't seem a certain answer."
As Caitlyn exited the stage to rapturous applause, her mother, Helen, was there to share the joy, hugging the singer and spinning her around.
A camera-shy father, Ian, was supporting from afar.
"Mum was incredibly excited," Caitlyn said.
And like all teens, the singer was "a little embarrassed" by her mother's frenetic reaction to the good news.
Before first taking to the stage, Caitlyn said she was a bundle of nerves.
"There was lots of time spent back stage waiting," she said.
"I was giving interviews, meeting other contestants; but it was when I was waiting by the side of the stage the nerves really kicked in."
Caitlyn worried, above all else, that she would drop her microphone, and took to pacing back and forth to try to calm herself.
As so often is heard with performers, the nerves dissolved when the moment of truth arrived.
"The worst part was the waiting," Caitlyn said. "As soon as I walked out and started singing, I fell into my comfort zone on stage."
The X Factor contender is no stranger to the Gympie music scene and says her love of singing blossomed at the Gympie Civic Centre during a school year-ending concert. Then just 12, the Civic Centre was a relatively big venue for the budding singer.
"I was hooked from that moment on," she said.
The singer grew up in Gympie on Mothar Mountain acreage and says her parents' music tastes have driven her love of country.
Shania Twain and Carrie Underwood are two major influences for the singer, while even ACDC makes the grade.
Regardless of how the X Factor experience pans out, Caitlyn said her future would be in music.
And she now has the self-belief to make it happen.
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