27 YEARS OLD
Amanda Grafanakis comes from a big Greek family - but is the only performer in the fold. Born in Tasmania, but now living in Melbourne, music has always been a part of her life."I was writing lyrics in my diary at age 8," Amanda says. "When I was 12, my mum got
me a piano and that's when I started singing lessons."She was always encouraged by her mum. But, recently, Amanda had lost her drive and
ambition. "I'd lost my mojo with music. I had been gigging so much and I thought that I needed
a break from it," she says.
She turned up to the auditions for The X Factor to support a friend - but she ended up deciding to have a go herself, performing Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance' and standing out from the crowd and impressing the judges with her unique style.
Like her competitors, she is looking forward to getting out on stage for the live shows "I can't wait to be on stage with an audience that cares about singing," she says.
"I've done so many gigs where people have come there to drink and socialise and it's really disheartening as a performer.""You grow so much in these competitions because you are constantly inspired and to
have someone like Ronan mentoring me - I feel like I've already won. I'm going to come
out of this competition a better artist."Her musical tastes vary from Alice Cooper and Guns' N' Roses to Lionel Ritchie and
Stevie Wonder.She says of her mentor Ronan: "I love him but I don't feel like I've completely won him
over, he doesn't give too much away. It's very much business with Ronan and I."
Check out our exclusive interview with Amanda Grafanakis:Congratulations on making it to the top 12, how does it feel?
Thank you very much! It feels like a dream...I know I'm a lucky girl. There is A LOT of talent out there...What's been the most rewarding part of the journey so far?
Having a great mentor that has achieved so much; they're there to help you grow. I'm extremely grateful!And the toughest part?
Being away from loved ones.When did you start performing and what spurred you on to apply for the show?
My first band was when I was 15. I've always wanted to be a singer/songwriter. This TV show is a brilliant opportunity.Have you bonded with any of the other contestants? What's brought you together?
Yes. James and Hayley mainly. We are all in the same boat (so to speak) so we are very much there for each other and are almost the only people that can understand this situation.Who's your favorite judge and why?
Kyle. His honesty and humour--not sure if the latter is intentional... :)Which artist inspires you and why?
Michael Jackson. Amazing songwriter, performer, and singer. Also very inventive and groundbreaking.Why do you have the x factor?
I think that's a question for the public to answer/decide on...So fast forward in time. You are the x factor winner. Describe what happens next?
I write/co-write an incredibly successful album, work my butt off touring and break into the American/UK market (fingers crossed!!)