Singing priest is Australia favourite
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Singing priest is Australia favourite

Fr Robert Galea.

Fr Robert Galea.

Robert Galea is a Christian, a priest and a musician, in that order, but this winter he is also set to be an X Factor Australia favourite.

The 33-year-old Maltese singer and songwriter based in Bendigo, off Melbourne, was urged to sign up for the reality show by his youthful fan base. He decided to audition as he did not want to look back on this opportunity in 10 years and regret not giving it a go.

Fr Galea is still at the audition phase and has made it through boot camp for the show that will kick off this Sunday. His audition will air on Thursday in Australia.

However, reports are already flagging him as a favourite. The Herald Sun described him as a charismatic singing priest, set to break down stereotypes and a fan favourite on the X Factor.

It would be lovely to win but that is not my aim

Nicknamed the Singing Seminarian, Fr Galea had spoken of his excitement to spread the Word of God through his music in an interview with The Sunday Times of Malta just before he was ordained priest in Malta in 2010.

Nowadays, he spends 150 days a year touring the world – the US, Asia, Europe and Australia, where he moved to in 2006 – to speak to 300,000 youths about hope and dignity.

“I’m a musician, so I do this through music. No matter who you are, where you come from, no matter your addictions or orientation, my basic message is that we are all loved and have a beautiful dignity as loved children of God.

“It would be lovely to win but that is not my aim. My ultimate aim is evangelisation, giving an opportunity of faith and hope to people.”

Fr Galea’s audition for a singing reality show reminded some of Sister Cristina Scuccia, the Italian Ursuline nun who won last year’s season of The Voice of Italy.

However, Fr Galea pointed out, the context was different because Australia was one of the most secular places on earth while Italy was one of the most religious.

“I’ve been spat at on the streets in Melbourne and shouted at three times in my own church, so I know that even by just being on TV it is enough to be a good witness.

“It is challenging but, at the end of the day, I’m going to go on stage and be myself – sing and encourage people,” Fr Galea said.

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