CHANNEL Seven's The X-Factor is a place where dreams can come true or where hearts can be broken.
For Barry Southgate of Kellyville, who is one of 12 X-Factor finalists, it's a chance to step out from the musical shadows and be crowned this season's winner.
"It's definitely a dream come true for me and a long time coming," Southgate, 30, said.
"I'm finally there; I feel awesome and I can't wait to smash it."
Southgate will be one of three contestants to be mentored by Dannii Minogue in the over-24s group during the course of the live shows.
In previous episodes, Minogue has not been the singer-songwriter's biggest fan, calling his work "pedestrian".
Southgate said her comments are to push contestants with potential.
"In the beginning it was really hard because as you heard, all those comments by Dannii were really hard to take," he said.
"In hindsight now, I've learnt that Dannii only says stuff to people that she really believes in and that she can see potential and to push them.
"We really click and I love her ideas."
The X-Factor isn't the only TV singing competition Southgate has tried to crack the music charts with.
In 2004, Southgate made it to the finals on season two of Australian Idol.
"I found it really difficult," Southgate said.
"The pressure and the attention and all that kind of stuff was pretty weird and hard.
"After the show I went overseas, and I've been cutting and grinding for a long time.
"I thought 'you know what, I need to get to the next stage'. And I told myself that I would never do another reality show again. But I just thought that I'm going to regret this if I don't do it."
Southgate grew up in a musical family. Both his parents sing, so it was only natural he pursue a career in the music industry.
Before X-Factor, he has worked with various bands, musical groups and some of Australia's top artists including Guy Sebastian, Stan Walker, Delta Goodrem and Paulini.
But it has been his solo performances on The X-Factor which he said has helped him to grow as an individual artist.
"I think the main thing is to be honest, let go and think that its OK not to be perfect," Southgate said. "I think this show has pulled back the layers and helped me to be me."