Written by Zoë Holloway, May 12, 2016

Eurovision could’ve been a pipe dream for this pop star, whose struggle with her X Factor win almost saw her give up on fame for good.

If there’s one place softly-spoken Dami Im would rather be than fresh off a plane in Stockholm, Sweden, to perform specially-penned song Sound of Silence in front of 180 million Eurovision viewers, it would be in her Brisbane kitchen cooking cake pops.

‘I fantasise about going home and just being a normal lady,’ admits the exceptionally introverted star, who has acquired a fondness for the ball-shaped treats of which she’s yet to master.

‘I can’t get them to stop falling off the sticks,’ the 27-year-old chuckles as she settles in to chat with OK! about the highs and lows of her whirlwind life since taking out The X Factor crown in 2013.

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Representing Australia at Eurovision is obviously a huge honour, what were the preparations like in the lead up?

It was crazy busy. I was quite paranoid about my vocal health and constantly washing my hands, and if someone were sick next to me, I’d move away. I’ve been trying to fit in as much sleep as I can, but the pressure has kept me awake at night.

Would you say that Eurovision has been more stressful than The X Factor for you?

The X Factor was exhausting, especially the first couple of weeks, I just thought I would never go home again it was that bad.

Did you think about quitting and returning to the quieter life?

I did think, ‘Whoa, what I am doing this for?’ All I want to do was just go home and sleep and eat mum’s food. That’s all I thought about. I didn’t even care about becoming a pop star anymore because I was so tired.

How did you find your way through that?

It was hard because everybody was talking to me and they all knew me and I didn’t know them, it then went a bit quiet for a while, which I really appreciated. It was then that I could sort of find a balance between my life and life as a pop star.

Many singers struggle to keep up the momentum once they show is no longer behind them, were you worried when things did quietened down that it might’ve been the end?

I always kept myself busy looking for new songs, writing new songs and performing. I was doing a lot of things but I wasn’t on TV every week… I remember people would always ask me, “Why aren’t you singing anymore?” and “Are you still singing?” That used to really bug me, because I was working hard, but I just had to keep doing what I was doing and keep try to connect with my fans more through Instagram and Facebook.

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What’s the dream for you?

To be honest I think I fanaticise, now that I’ve become so busy, about going home and just baking, having a little chicken farm and growing my own eggs and having a little garden… I don’t know if it’s because I can’t do it now that I want to do it, but that’s what I fantasise about doing when I have some time.

You spoke about your extreme shyness on The X Factor, is that a big part of you wanting to live a more private life?

I feel like I’ve found a little more confidence now, but I’m still the same shy person and I do need my time just to be with my small group of friends and just relax and get my energy levels back up. I’m not like the big party girl with cocktails who likes being all loud. I learn to manage myself and do what I need to do when I’m at events or when I have to be more like a social person or an extrovert.

For the full story, be sure to pick up this week’s copy of OK!

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