Dami Im won.
Not one to follow reality or talent shows, apart from the odd So You Think You Can Dance episodes, I’ve been following X-Factor Australia pretty close. To be honest, I only started watching the show closely after I saw Dami’s rendition of Jolene on the piano. And after a few sessions watching the show from end to end with my favourite little family in Sydney, I only watched the show for the 2 minutes that Dami would stand up and sing. And if I miss it altogether, Youtube is always ready to keep me up to date whether she made it to another round or not. And she never disappointed.
What’s with the unusual obsession?
Well, for one, her quirky awkwardness offstage reminds me of…. me.
Can’t remember how many times in the past year I’ve had to stop and think “Crap. Did I really just wave in a cutesy cartoonish way to my project manager?” or “OMG. I just giggled. The client saw me giggled. Was that a giggle, or was that a laugh. Crap” And then when she had problems with her nervousness of performing in front of people followed on choking up a section during Jolene, it reminded me of those times (yes, plural) when I froze in the middle of a meeting with 12 pairs of eyes staring at me. My lips spoke of words I barely understood. And all I could see, smell and hear were the layer upon layer of awkwardness being plastered surrounding me. Slowly suffocating myself with my own incompetency to put it mildly. This stage freight is something new.
I used to love the stage. I used to crave being the center of attention. Probably still am. But in a sick, sadistic, self-inflicted pain way. Really not quite sure what happened to me since those days of speaking in front tonnes (if you stack them up and weigh them, I guess?) of people with ease and joy like none other. I made 100 people laugh for goodness sake. And that was what, 12 years ago?
Oh yes. Perhaps life happened. I started caring about the way I look, the way people perceived me, the way I am projected to the world. Start caring about things like that and suddenly my carefree ways scurried away into the darkness. But more on to that later. For all I know, I am no longer the public speaker I once was or thought I was.
At this point in time, watching this awkward skinny God loving 25 year old Asian girl becoming a different person week after week the moment she started belting her song tickled me in ways that were hard to describe until I feel the need to just put it out there. Now. With this blog post. Upon hearing what came out of her mouth during her heavily accented winning speech “I don’t think I’m winning tonight because I’m any better than the other contestants. I feel like I win tonight because God had given me this gift and He wants me to show to all of you who are nervous (or something along that line) that you can do it to”. Said in rapid fire succession of one word after the other like any true worshipper would.
Am pretty sure X-Factor’s not going to sell her Holy Spirit side of things considering how secular Australia is …
but I am sold.
I don’t sing and I will never sing as well as Dami. But work as hard as she does with her songs…. that I can do with my words.
Oh how you truly can run but you can’t hide.