Tura Beach musician and volunteer firefighter Sam Stevenson set the crowd on fire during his audition on Australia's Got Talent on Tuesday night.
The Bega Valley local performed a soulful rendition of Cold Chisel's When the War Is Over, receiving a standing ovation from the live audience as well as all four judges.
"It was incredible - the sort of thing you dream of," Stevenson told ACM after the Channel 7 episode went to air.
- Watch Stevenson's performance on 7news.com.au here
While he has performed to Bega Valley festival crowds and at gigs aplenty in recent years, he acknowledged nerves heading on to the AGT stage.
"It was exciting, but I was really nervous too. It was confronting to be on television and on stage with a live audience at the same time."
Before performing, Stevenson shared his experience of the "emotional rollercoaster" of fighting fires during the 2019/20 Black Summer and the Tathra fires of 2018.
"It feels like Armageddon.
"There's an emotional rollercoaster that you go through, in terms of fear that all firefighters face when you're going into something really, really intense like that.
"But I don't dwell on stuff like that. I try and move forward and now's my chance to get back to what I love, and that's music."
He certainly hit the right notes with the judges.
David Walliams praised him for the "magical" performance.
"It was one of the first times you're not watching an audition anymore, you're watching a performance.
"I could sit here all night and listen to you play and sing."
Alesha Dixon said Stevenson gave her Mick Hucknall vibes with his "beautiful, raspy, soulful voice", while Kate Ritchie got a surprise when he revealed they had attended the same school.
"I was a few years younger than Kate so she won't remember me," he told ACM afterwards. "But all of us obviously knew who Kate Ritchie was," he added with a chuckle.
The friendly banter continued backstage as well, as Stevenson mingled with the wide variety of acts hoping to get noticed through the talent show.
"We were there for two days filming. You see some wonderful different types of people.
"It was incredibly entertaining. You just didn't know what was going to come next!
"I got to know some of them backstage and they were all lovely people. Everyone was there to have fun."
Back home, Stevenson has several upcoming gigs as well as the launch of a new album of entirely original tracks.
He will be playing this Friday, October 21, at the Taste of Eden event welcoming cruise ship passengers to Seahorse Inn, Boydtown, and at the Eden Gardens Country Club on October 23.
Then on November 26, he has a special night at The Twyford, Merimbula, playing tracks from his upcoming album, which he was hoping to release about the same time.
When ACM spoke with Stevenson he was working one of his shifts with disability support and mentoring service Roundsquared.
While he loves his work, the response from his audition appearance on AGT may mean a shift to full time musician was on the cards.
"It's been phenomenal, the result of this in just one night," he said of the response.
"I've had an amazing number of messages and calls this morning. Hopefully something comes of it and I can be looking at full-time music in the future."