Mid-Coast musician, Luke Ligtenberg made a big impression on judges and fellow contestants when he auditioned for Australian Idol 2024.
Luke's audition featured in the first episode, which aired on Monday, January 29, where he played a one-man-band blues version of Chuck Berry's Johnny Be Good.
Playing guitar, bass drum and didgeridoo to accompany his vocals, the judges - Kyle Sandilands, Marcia Hines and Amy Shark - the host and the other contestants were visibly impressed.
"Luke has just put the fear of God into them," host, Scott Tweedie said of the other contestants who had made it through to the waiting room.
Amy Shark said Luke's audition was both "comfortable and intense".
His audition was given an immediate yes from all three judges, sending Luke to the waiting room with six other contestants, anticipating finding out which of them would be given golden tickets (30 performers go through to the next stage).
What was not aired on the show was Luke's reaction to being told he was through to the waiting room.
"I ran out of the doors and I said to my fiancee, 'I got three yeses, I'm going through!', and I was really excited and I screamed and yelled and I picked up Rickie Lee and jumped on my girlfriend. I was just so happy," Luke said.
Sadly, Luke did not receive one of the coveted golden tickets. The judges were concerned about how Luke would fare without his instruments.
"We've been questioning the instrumentation - is that all you have to bring to the table," Marcia Hines said?
"I wonder if we take away what makes him so special, is he just going to be a run of the mill guy?" Kyle Sandilands said?
While Luke was naturally disappointed he didn't make it through to the top 30, he is philosophical about it.
"I just wasn't what they were looking for at the time," he said.
"You know, it is what it is and I'm just glad to give it a go."
Idol a good showcase
"It was good to get on the show and get my face on there doing what I do. It's a good showcase.
"I know a lot of people out there that go on these types of shows haven't really even played live before in their life, and Australian Idol is a good platform to get out there and playing live, and they sort of mould them.
"But for me, I guess I've sort of come at it the other way. I've already established myself somewhat as a musician, because I'm already getting paid gigs and (have) released songs and I've done radio interviews and stuff like that," Luke said.
If you liked what you saw of Luke on Australian Idol, he has some gigs coming locally where you can see him perform.
On February 15 and 16, he is performing at Cinema Under the Stars at The Tanks, Forster and Westport Park at Port Macquarie respectively.
On March 2, Luke will be playing at the Friends and Relatives Festival at Great Lakes Paddocks, Wootton.