Young Samoan lighting up Australian TV screens
A 16-year-old Samoan singer, Olina Aitha Loau, is lighting up Australian television screens as she enters the final round of the nation's top-rating "Australia's Got Talent".
Olina "blew away" the judges and received a pass straight to the final round of the talent show with a rendition of Beyonce's hit song "Listen".
She received the ultimate endorsement on the show: a "golden buzzer" from the judge and internationally famous songstress Jessica Mauboy.
The finale of the talent contest, scheduled for later this month, will have her performing before an expected audience of more than one million people and with a prize of A$100,000 on the line.
In an interview with the Samoa Observer Olina revealed she is very proud of the Samoan blood that runs through her veins. Her grandfather held the chiefly title of Taisigote.
"I'm very proud of my Samoan side," she said. "I like to listen when my nan [grandmother] tells us kids stories about Samoa."
Her family is very focused on retaining their culture while living in Australia.
"My whole family's very cultural and we do traditional [Samoan] cooking at home.
"I'm very close with my family and they go back and forth all the time.
“Obviously Samoa is all about family and happiness. I really want to come".
“I’m good and really calm. I honestly am happy with anything that happens," she said.
Being very close with her Samoan family from her dad’s side that tends to go back and forth to Samoa every time and would send her videos from their trip while on the island, which she has not yet had a chance to visit.
Olina shared the story of how she auditioned for another talent show, "The Voice" but didn’t follow through.
Her dad and family were very supportive in strongly encouraging her to press forward with auditioning, she says.
She added that she hoped her experience inspired her brothers and sisters in Samoa to "just do it” when deciding whether to follow their dreams.
The Year 10 student whose hobbies include netball said she was very calm ahead of the show's Grand Final and said she would be happy with any outcome.
As for what's next if she prevails in the final?
"I would love to start producing my own music," she said.