NAMBUCCA'S man of few words, with the big voice, Mitchell Callaway, is a star on the rise.
The performer renowned for his tatts last night made it through to the Top 24 in Seven's hit show the X-Factor.
Conquering his nerves with another standout performance, Callaway has wowed the judges having overcome a mountain of challenges in his life.
As he took his first shaky steps towards the stage for his X-factor audition, Mitchell said he glanced down at the words "Last Hope" tattooed on his knuckles as a reminder that this was his last chance to change his life.
And he's the first person to admit he's led a turbulent life.
Mitchell says he has overcome a near-fatal spinal injury, which saw him break his neck in three places in a local game of football, and a lifetime of brushes with the law.
"I had one of those attitudes where I thought I was invincible - untouchable," Mitchell told TV Week.
"I'm looking to grow and make myself better.
"I had Last Hope written on my knuckles because it was my last hope to wake up to myself and put my life together.
"It's just nerve-wracking thinking that I have to go in there and do it in front of judges.
"Doing it at home in front of mum and dad is a different thing, but going in front of someone who is famous and makes a living out of it is pretty hard," Mitchell said.
"I couldn't stop my legs from shaking I was scared real scared," he said.
Mitchell has earned praise from Darren Hayes of Savage Garden-fame.
"He's like your raw ingredient for X-Factor it has never been nurtured, never been mentored, there's something really edging and cool about his voice," Hayes said.
Mitchell Callaway is in the "Over 25" group being mentored by judge Natalie Bassingthwaighte.
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