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Charlie Chech on Australian Idol

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If Charlie Chech could bottle up his “surreal” audition in front of his musical idol Harry Connick Jr he will, and use it as inspiration for his blossoming career as a singer.

The Cherrybrook teenager could hardly believe he was actually singing to Connick Jr during the recent Judges Audition for the 2023 Australian Idol TV show. Charlie, 18, is one of thousands of hopefuls across the country to audition for the comeback of Australian Idol, which screens on Channel Seven from January 30.

“Australian Idol is like nothing I ever experienced before,” said Charlie (who’s also a talented drummer and percussionist).

“There was a lot going on in my head, as I was taking a journey into the unknown, with many contestants doing this for all of their lives. And then sitting across me was someone I have admired for as long as I can remember, Harry Connick Jr!

“It was sheer jubilation seeing him and to perform a jazz standard (Frank Sinatra’s Come Fly With Me) in front of a jazz legend like Harry Connick Jr was surreal.”

Charlie Chech with Australian Idol hosts Scott Tweedie and Ricki-Lee Coulter

Australian Idol is back on TV screens after a 13-year hiatus and it has been one of Charlie’s dreams to showcase his talents in front of a national audience. Since he began singing on stage in 2019, Charlie has caught the attention of music fans, especially following his amazing impromptu duet with Grammy-Award winning singer and star Michael Bublé at just 15 – the stuff of legends.

Charlie said there was a mixed reaction from the four Idol judges, Connick Jr, Amy Shark, Meghan Trainor, and Kylie Sandilands after he finished his song, nattily dressed in his trademark tux.

“Meghan was the most supportive of me, saying she admired my stage presence while being surprised I was doing a genre that wasn’t so mainstream. They were suprised I was 18. “Amy had positive things to say about my singing and that I should do more pop, while Kyle said I looked good in my suit which was hilarious because I looked as pale as a ghost from all of my nerves!

“Harry said that I should not confine myself to one genre but to sing a lot of styles, which is what I’ve been doing actually, like Country and Western, Elvis, Billy Joel and Elton John and much more. In saying that, Harry said to stay true to who I am.”

Charlie, who is doing degrees in politics and journalism, said he was coaxed and encouraged by his family, especially his mum, to enter Australian Idol after seeing advertisements for it in the media.

“I was apprehensive to be honest, to throw my hat in the ring,” Charlie said. “But I bit the bullet and I had no expectations, so when my mum woke me one up one morning to tell me that I have been chosen, I could not believe it. Then we found out Harry was one of the judges, well that just topped it!”

“Performing at Australian Idol was on a different level to what I have done. When I perform at the clubs and even with Bublé, these are in my control. But Idol was very different, I had very little control. It’s something I will never forget.”

Charlie has no illusions about where this Australian Idol journey will take him, but having seen his amazing journey over the past several years, there is so much to like about this confident, handsome teenager. What he has is a truly amazing voice, much more mature than his 18 years, while his freakish ability to channel the old masters like Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, and Tony Bennett, to the current legends, Connick Jr and Bublé, makes him indeed a rare talent.

Last July, Charlie launched his first single, a remake of the haunting theme of The Godfather, Speak Softly Love. He is now planning to record an EP and will perform more shows – he will be back at Hornsby RSL Club on Sunday 21 May (tickets from www.hornsbyrsl.com.au)

If Charlie receives a coveted Australian Idol Golden Ticket, he will be in the Top 50 (a feat in itself!), which will be narrowed down to 24, and then 12 artists who will feature in live shows. The winner will receive a recording contract with Sony Music and $100,000 in prize money.

Charlie has entertained audiences at private events, gala evenings, corporate events, Channel 7’s Sunrise program, and on 2GB, while also being a hit on the wedding circuit. Charlie is part of the 2022 graduating class of the prestigious Talent Development Project, Australia’s top training and development program in the music and entertainment industry. He also recently launched his new website at www.charliechech.com, which provides all his latest news, ventures, show details and much more.

TUNE IN: Charlie Chech’s Australian Idol Judges Audition will air on Channel Seven and 7+ on Tuesday January 31.

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