Meeting singer-songwriter Guy Sebastian – one of Australia’s most popular artists – is a dream for many teenagers, perhaps none more so than Sydney boy Cale Feeney. And last week Cale’s dream came true when he met Sebastian at The X Factor 2016 Sydney auditions.
The son of Inner West Mum Nikki Morris, thirteen-year-old Cale’s lifelong passion has been music. ‘Cale lives and breathes music,’ Nikki says. ‘He can sing every word to just about every song ever written. And although he loves all kinds of music, he has a few favourites and Guy Sebastian is one of them. He loves people too – all people.’ Cale also has special needs. (Nikki has written about coming to terms with her son’s disability, which is both physical and intellectual, in an incredibly moving piece for Inner West Mums, Just a Boy .)
Last Tuesday Nikki accompanied Cale to the auditions for The X Factor 2016, of which Sebastian is a judge. It was a long wait for admission into the Olympic Park Sports Centre; however, Cale kept busy sharing his beloved collection of Guy Sebastian songs on the iPad with nearby teenagers and adults waiting in line. In turn, they showed him pictures of Guy from Instagram. By the time the doors to the theatre were ready to be opened, Cale had won the hearts of so many people around him, including the security team, and he was called up to go in first. Cale and Nikki were led right down the front of the theatre, near the judges’ table.
Cale was elated when Guy came on. Nikki explains: ‘He was jumping up and down with excitement, holding his thumbs up. Guy noticed Cale straightaway and waved. Cale was on cloud nine.’
But for Cale the pinnacle came when, just as it was time to leave, Sebastian broke the strict rule that audience members may not approach the judges’ table and invited Cale over for a high-five and a photo. ‘It was a truly beautiful, amazing gesture,’ says Nikki.
‘As we were walking out of the theatre, a woman in the audience stopped me to say how joyous it had been to watch Cale meet Guy. Cale’s like that though; his joy is just so infectious.’
The next day, Cale’s grandfather printed the photographs of Cale meeting Guy, and Cale now carries them with him wherever he goes and proudly shows anyone he can that he met his idol.
‘It was an absolute dream come true for Cale,’ says Nikki. ‘Cale’s still smiling from ear to ear and so am I. I would love Guy to know the impact he actually had.’
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