No sibling rivalry in Idol pursuit
HE’S got a voice equal to his brother’s and musical talent in spades, but for now Byron Bay’s Russ Walker, sibling of Australian Idol grand finalist Stan Walker, is happy to let his brother shine.
Russ, 24, who is musical director at the Byron Bay Christian City Church, will be among the hundreds of fans willing Stan, 18, to victory in the grand final of Australian Idol at the Sydney Opera House next weekend.
But he admits to some fierce sibling rivalry in the past.
“We’ve always been pretty competitive,” he said.
Russ even once considered following a path similar to Stan.
“I tried out for the New Zealand Idol about six years ago, but I didn’t even get past the producers,” he joked.
And a few years ago he and Stan were pitted against each other in the Ballina Idol competition. Neither made the final.
But those around Russ are full of praise for his talents.
Pastor Elise Knoetze describes his voice as ‘anointed’.
“He’s amazing. His voice is like nothing you’ve heard before,” she said.
Is it better than Stan’s?
“I don’t want to get myself into trouble, because I know them both, but I will say he’s just as good as Stan,”
Dad Ross is also full of praise for Russ’s voice, comparing it with former Idol winner Guy Sebastian.
Russ’s workmates at a cooking oil factory in the Byron Bay Arts and Industry Estate enjoy his voice on a daily basis.
“I sing all day at work,” he said.
“Every job I do, all I do is sing and do my work.
“I sing so much that my boss has offered to pay for my headphones so I can keep everyone entertained.”
Russ says ‘music is his life’, but his young family is his highest priority and he doesn’t have the ambition of his little brother.
“I love music, but I wouldn’t want to be away from my wife and children,” he said.
Russ is committed to his music with the church and is recording an album of songs of praise and worship.
He says right now he couldn’t be prouder of Stan.
“I get emotional even just thinking about my little brother making it to the final of Australian Idol and even if he doesn’t win he’s got his foot in the door,” he said.
“I used to just get annoyed by him, but to see him changing and becoming a man in front of our eyes, it’s just amazing.”