THE COLAC grandparents of the frontrunner in Channel Seven’s The X-Factor say their grandson is getting better every time he performs on the television singing contest.
Nola and Alan Gray are the grandparents of Wollongong teenager Cyrus Villanueva, 19, a contestant in the reality singing contest.
Their Colac-raised daughter Tracie married her Filipino husband Joe and previously lived at Warrnambool.
They moved to Wollongong around 20 years ago where Tracie gave birth to Cyrus.
“His father has been an entertainer ever since he came out to Australia, so I suppose he has that natural musical talent,” Mr Gray said.
“Cyrus is one of these lads that whatever he goes into, he does it 100 per cent.”
Mr Gray said Cyrus, a graphic design student at university, had only started taking music seriously 18 months ago.
“We’re surprised at how much he’s improved; even the last three months since he’s been on the X-Factor, he’s just lifted and keeps on getting better,” he said.
Nola and Alan flew to Sydney to be in the audience for Cyrus’s first live performance as a member of the show’s top 12 contestants.
They have since been watching Cyrus on the show at home each week.
“Even our son was here watching it and saying ‘that’s my nephew’, he got quite emotional,” Mrs Gray said.
American singer Chris Isaak is mentoring Cyrus on The X-Factor.
Fellow judge James Blunt declared Cyrus “the man everyone has to beat” last week.
Bookmaker Sportsbet.com.au has Cyrus as a $2.25 favourite to win the program.
But Mrs Gray said she and her husband weren’t getting caught up over their grandson’s favouritism.
“We’re not getting carried away, like Cyrus, we’re just enjoying week and carrying him as he goes,” she said.
“He’s done so well to get this far and he’s a very nice young man.”