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Monday, 23 November 2015
Page: 13245


Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (13:46): I can feel it in the air tonight! It is called Cyrus Villanueva. Cyrus is a young man who grew up in Dapto in my electorate surrounded by music and a loving family, and tonight Cyrus is going to be singing for his passion and his music as a grand finalist in The X Factor. Cyrus credits his father and mother for encouraging and nurturing his talent. Cyrus's dad, Jo Vill, is a regular on the local music scene, and, as a child, Cyrus listened to his father's records and has been influenced by legends such as Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Stevie Wonder.

Cyrus went to the local Kanahooka High School in Dapto and last week he returned to the Illawarra and to his own school, where he was a massive hit. He returned with his mentor, Chris Isaak—somebody better known to me than most of the people at the school—to celebrate his journey with his family, friends and all of his fans. Cyrus was fresh out of high school when he decided to audition for The X Factor. On stage, Cyrus has captivated his fans not only with his vocal and performing success but with his attitude. James Dinardo, a teacher from Kanahooka, has known Cyrus for many years. He was also his manager at McDonald's, where he used to give him a break and enable him to busk outside the Albion Park store every Saturday. Cyrus has also auditioned and played at Jo Kowalczyk's Little Joe's in Dapto, where he has been a big hit.

It is time for Australia to catch the Cyrus virus and back him when he appears on television tonight.