Fans muster in Caitlyn Shadbolt country
GYMPIE Music Muster organisers kicked off a four-day celebration of all things country with X Factor contestant Caitlyn Shadbolt paying a visit yesterday morning.
Caitlyn, an X Factor top 10 contestant, left rehearsals behind to make an appearance and live television appearance on Sunrise with weather girl Edwina Bartholomew.
The visit was brief and initial hopes were X Factor judge and mentor Ronan Keating would also make the trip, but the country music star did not disappoint, whipping up excitement wherever she went.
The bubbly performer smiled when meeting Muster fans, signing hats, posters, shirts and anything put in front of her.
For someone so young, Caitlyn responded to the avalanche of excitement and support like an industry veteran.
Joining the singer at the Muster was mum Helen, who displayed her trademark enthusiasm.
During preparations for the live cross with Sunrise, loveable mum Helen again reminded why she had become an X Factor fan favourite in her own right.
Asked if she would audition herself for X Factor next year, Helen's response had Caitlyn looking like any embarrassed teenager.
"I'm waiting for a call from Home and Away," Helen said. "They want me as a love interest for Alf Stewart."
The crowd erupted in laughter and Sunrise weather girl Edwina was keen to have Helen feature in the live cross.
As sound technicians attached sound pieces to Helen, feeding cords under her shirt, Caitlyn's mother enjoyed the attention a little too much.
"I'm adopted," Caitlyn joked with the crowd, pulling a face every mother of a teenager knows all too well.
The Muster visit was not only a chance for Caitlyn to throw her support behind the country event, but also a cherished opportunity to catch up with family and friends.
The singer flew into Sunshine Coast airport on Wednesday afternoon and spent the evening at home.
Something as simple as a family dinner was a real treat, allowing Caitlyn a rare opportunity to let her hair down.
On the menu was red emperor and vegetables courtesy of the skills of her keen fisherman father, Ian.
The Gympie Muster stopover and family catch-up gave Caitlyn a chance to recharge the batteries but the singer was back in rehearsals yesterday afternoon ahead of Sunday's next live performance.
She found the time, however, to reflect on the visit on her Facebook page.
"That was so much fun," she said. "I love the Gympie Muster. Ronan, you will regret not coming... once you see the fun we had.
"Great having a chat on Sunrise and just as much fun saying hello to all my supporters. Now it's back to Sydney, as quick as that."