A Northern Irish singer has been dubbed the next Dean Martin after he crooned his way through to the final eight of X Factor Australia.
Eighteen-year-old Andrew Lawson — who grew up in Lisburn — wooed the audience with his jazz version of Eagles hit, Heartache Tonight.
“I felt my performance last night [Sunday] was good so I was fairly confident going into the results show,” the talented singer said, “I’m still over the moon, I’m just so happy to be through to another week.”
Judges Ronan Keating, Natalie Imbruglia, Guy Sebastian and Kyle Sandilands loved Andrew’s laid back lounge style.
“The previous week Ronan said I looked awkward on stage. But on Sunday he said, ‘I don’t know what I was talking about — you were great’.
“I didn’t get a single bit of negative feedback from any of the judges this week.”
Andrew attended Ballymacash Primary School before his family emigrated to New Zealand when he was six. They finally settled down in Queensland, Australia five years ago.
He told the Belfast Telegraph that singing has always been in his blood. “I always sang. I thought it was just normal — I thought everyone could sing but as I got older people began saying I had a good voice and I was a great singer so I decided to pursue that,” Andrew said.
His father, Harry Lawson who owned the family butchers in Bridge Street, Lisburn, introduced him to musical legends Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and now Andrew hopes he can become as famous as his idols.
With his floppy surfer hair and slick dress code of blazers and skinny ties the singer has gained a huge fan base — almost 2,000 followers have joined his Facebook page.
The teenager said: “It’s kind of strange having people come up to you asking for your autograph.
“They think you’re not a normal person. It’s very strange to have people in the street know your name. But I am loving it — I know this is something I was destined to do.”
The singer, who has been compared to Michael Bublé, had planned on moving to the UK to try and get a break in music but now he believes X Factor has given him more options.
“You never know, my mentor, Kyle Sandilands might give me a record deal after the show! And if I win my life will just be completely changed,” he said.
His ecstatic aunt, Jenny Dunlop said: “I think he’s the dark horse to be honest. At the beginning of the show he was tipped as the one to watch, he’s just so different from the rest in the show.
“I said that if he got through this week I would go over to see him, and now I’m going to have to do it. It’s very exciting,” said Jenny who now lives in West Kirby in England.
The Australian X Factor live show goes out on Sundays with the results show broadcast each Monday.