Although the world found out that Isaiah Firebrace would be Australia's 2017 entrant in the Eurovision Song Contest on March 7, the 17-year-old pop star from country Moama, NSW, had been holding on to the secret for weeks, ready to burst.
"Now everyone knows about it and it's really good," Firebrace tells WHO with much relief. "I can't even explain just getting named to do this, and now actually being selected, it's just really, really exciting."
Firebrace, who won the X Factor in November as part of Adam Lambert's team, will sing his ballad "Don't Come Easy" in front of millions of viewers (including his fellow Australians via SBS coverage) when he takes the Eurovision stage in Kiev, Ukraine, and hopes to live up to Dami Im's spectacular second place finish with "Sound of Silence" in 2016.
"She told me how amazing it was for her to be there and she told how crazy it can get because it's really full on and intense," Firebrace says of getting advice from Im. "She said, 'Just keep your head in the game, and never lose focus and always do your best, and don't think too much about how you're going to place. Just sing your heart out and whatever happens, happens.' She did an amazing job and she inspired me."
He's also looking forward to taking his father, Wayne, and a few of his siblings, to support him in Kiev. "I think I might bring him over because my dad hasn't been out of Australia," Firebrace says, "so I want him to come to the Ukraine to see me sing."
So how does Firebrace envision his big Eurovision moment? One where the audience just focuses and listens to the lyrics and his voice, he says. "What I personally want is something slightly on the lower spectrum of extravagance," he admits, "but in saying that, I still want to explore options with, I don't know, maybe a big wind machine and a cannon full of glitter!"
Meanwhile, Firebrace will get plenty of chances at working out big-stage jitters when he opens for Jessica Mauboy on her All the Hits tour, which kicks off March 30 in Newcastle, NSW. "We haven't talked about Eurovision," he says, "but hopefully when I'm on tour with her, we can sit down and chat about it and the industry in general, and about music, and all that kind of stuff. I'm really looking forward to it and I still can't believe I'm going on tour with her."
About his year to come, "I am absolutely living my dream," Firebrace says. "Eurovision has taken everything, like skyrocket high."
To read more about Firebrace's journey and what he's been doing since he won the 'X Factor' in November, pick up the latest issue of WHO on newsstands today.
Eurovision is 12-14 May on SBS.