She’s been trending on Twitter and made it to the final eight on reality TV singing competition The Voice, and now Yarramundi's powerhouse singer Anja Nissen hopes she can knock over Team Will’s remaining duo.
“It feels amazing, now that I’ve got here, I want to keep going. It’s been a really surreal experience.”
“But it’s really hard, the duos are such a package.”
This time last year Anja Nissen was preparing for her HSC trial exams at Winmalee High School. Now the 18-year-old singer is recognised by over-excited young girls taking selfies with her in shopping centres when on days off from iTunes recordings, wardrobe checks, rehearsals with the band, stage changes and meetings with her Voice coach, Grammy award winner Will-i-am.
On Monday night it was confirmed she would tour Australia with the final seven remaining acts on the popular TV show, which regularly attracts two million Australian viewers.
Proud boyfriend of two years, Sam Evans, and her grandad Egon Ostergaard [whose home burnt down in last year’s bushfires] have started a local campaign to get the Blue Mountains community behind the girl from Yarramundi.
“Sam’s my biggest fan, he has stickers with Team Anja on his car and my grandad has given the staff at Winmalee High and his mates at the [Springwood] golf club t- shirts that say the same. He’s been very persistent,” Nissen said.
A new system is in place in this year’s competition with a mobile app that allows home viewers to vote off a contestant a minute after the final performance.
“It’s gripping [viewing] and horrifying [for the contestants],” Nissen said.
Monday night’s Jessie J number Wild wasn’t a popular choice to begin with – Nissen thought it a little “grungy” – but she heard Will out over the choice and was happy “trying to make it Anja’s version”.
Her family sat spellbound in the audience in black #Anja sweatshirts to hear she had come through with a nail-biting 52 per cent of the vote.
Judge Ricky Martin called her a “goddess” and her coach Will.i.am added she was “all ready to go, a superstar talent”.
“She can hold her own against any star in the industry – Britney, Miley, she’s up there with them all,” he said.
But next week it could all be over for the songstress as the final four acts will be chosen.
“I have to prepare myself for anything and be happy with the outcome,” Nissen said.
“I feel like I’ve learnt a lot about myself, I came on the show to be moulded as an artist and find my direction.”
Nissen has been performing since she was 12 (including a stint on Young Talent Time and Australia’s Got Talent) regularly taking time off from school for corporate gigs and workshops. She’s already had a whirlwind trip with her coach to Los Angeles during the show and hopes to hang around long enough in the competition to perform a Whitney Houston number.
Away from the show, she’s been busy building support on her own Facebook page with more than 4000 likes, asking friends, to buy her song and vote to keep her in.
“I hate saying ‘vote for me’, it’s a bit weird, but I don’t have a choice otherwise I will go home,” she said.
“This year has gone really quickly, my friends are out traveling the world without a care and sometimes I get a bit jealous, but I guess if they were in this situation then they might be a bit jealous.
“I’m just going to take it in my stride, roll with everything, expect anything.”
Her goal is to gain attention from a producer who will commit to a recording contract. If that doesn’t happen she plans to return to songwriting. “I’ll find my way to get my music out there,” she said.
That seems likely as the runners-up in the competition were told on Monday night they would soon be collaborating with that famous coach Will-i-am who has worked as a producer with artists like Lady Gaga, Celine Dion, Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus.
Earlier in the competition another singer with a Mountains connection, Blue Mountains Musical Society regular Brittanie Shipway, 20, from Mulgoa,was knocked out.