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Laserman Experience

Australias_got_talent

MAHALIA SIMPSON

BASED: BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA

Mahalia Simpson captivated the judges and the country with her enchanting audition performance of Corinne Bailey Rae's Like A Star. Guy Sebastian said: "If I was the head of a record label and you came in, I would sign you on the spot." Named after gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, the shy 22- year-old is the youngest of eight kids, all of whom can sing. "I'm half-Samoan, half-Kiwi. In the island culture, a lot of people are naturally gifted." Being from a big family, Mahalia struggled to be heard. "It was really hard for me to find my voice and speak up."

She ventured to Australia from Christchurch, New Zealand, earlier this year with just a guitar and a carry-on bag of clothes. "I didn't have enough money to pay for luggage," she says. She settled in Brisbane, earning money as a barista, before deciding to audition for the show. "I came into the competition because I knew it was going to be personal growth for me and I would learn a lot from it." Inspired by the likes of India Arie and Lauryn Hill, Mahalia dreams of one day being at the Grammy Awards. "That's the big dream. But that's miles away. It sounds cheesy, but I just want to be happy."



FOR A FULL LIST OF X-FACTOR CONTESTANTS - CLICK HERE


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