Olivia Robins.
Olivia Robins. Greg Sylvia

Olivia's now got stars in her eyes

HUNDREDS applied to be the next Toyota Star Maker.

The applicants were then whittled to 20 finalists from across Australia.

And on Sunday night Maroochydore's country darling Olivia Robins beat out a strong field of aspiring country singers in the final of the competition to finish in the top six.

Now it its 33rd year, the competition, held at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, aims to unearth the next big names in country music.

Past winners include Lee Kernaghan, Gina Jeffreys and Keith Urban.

It was Olivia's first year as a finalist in the prestigious talent quest, but she is no stranger to singing competitions after scoring herself a place in the top 24 of X-Factor in 2010.

Olivia said she was overwhelmed by getting as far as she did and rated the experience as one of her career highlights.

"It was such a great night," she said.

"Playing with such a high calibre of band, opportunities like that don't come along too often as a performer."

Olivia said the nerves leading up to the final round of the competition were intense.

"I don't think there was one person there who wasn't nervous. Everyone was in the same boat.

"It's your one shot to impress. You don't want to blow it.

"But once you get up there and start performing you just forget about everything else."

Next up for the rising star is a debut album which she hopes to have out in the next six months.

"It will be a country/ R'n'B fusion. I love both R'n'B and country. I don't think it has been done before," she said.

The title of the 2012 Toyota Star Maker was awarded to Bob Corbett, from Maryville in NSW.



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