It Takes Two - The Contestants
PAUL O’BRIEN - Actor, Home and Away
Paul O’Brien may be used to laying down the law on Home and Away, but now it’s time for the 29-year-old to receive a different type of judgement.
“Everyone wants to sing deep down. As a kid I dreamed of being in a band and listening to the screams. I’m looking forward to working with such talented people, learning from my mistakes and experiencing the adrenaline of performing live,” said Paul.
Born in South Africa, Paul led a nomadic existence as a child, living across Australia, South Africa and Mauritius before settling on Queensland’s Gold Coast at the age of seven.
At 21, he moved to Melbourne to pursue an acting career, dabbling in the stand-up comedy circuit while looking for work. He subsequently starred in several short films, stage productions and the independent Melbourne feature Parallels.
Paul was rehearsing for a one-man show when he landed his big break in 2005 - the role of Constable Jack Holden on Home and Away.
Conscious of the influence his work on Home and Away has on children and teenagers, Paul has produced a video, Beach Rules which emphasises sun and surf safety and great tips for body board riding. He has recently returned from spending three weeks in the UK during the Christmas break performing the lead role in the pantomime Aladdin.
A former chef, Paul can be found experimenting in the kitchen, specialising in seafood and Italian dishes. A singer/guitarist, Paul can salsa dance and loves surfing, body boarding, golf, skiing and water skiing.
Paul OBrien’s chosen charity is STARLIGHT CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION, which brightens the lives of seriously ill and hospitalised children and their families throughout Australia. Starlight does this by providing a range of innovative programs which restore the fun, laughter and joy that illness takes away.
“These kids are so amazing and so happy despite the tough time they are going through. You don’t realise how lucky you are until you see how gutsy these kids are under adverse circumstances.”
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Professional singer biography
JADE MACRAE - Pop Princess
Born of professional New Zealand born musicians living in the UK, Jade has been surrounded by music, stars, studios and stages all her life.
Her parents, pianist David and vocalist Joy played with all the big names of the time: Elton John, Van Morrison, Neil Sedaka, Roy Orbison, Cliff Richard, Cat Stevens, Tina Turner, Ronnie Scott…the list is long and remarkable.
Jade began learning piano at age three, then violin at eight. It was only natural then that Jade would gravitate to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music to do her HSC. Like any struggling student Jade paid her way through school by working nights and weekends, although not packing shelves or waiting tables. Instead she sang with whoever needed a vocalist, from gigs with Renee Geyer and Disco Montego, to tours with Jimmy Barnes.
It was while singing with Jimmy Barnes that bass player – and managing director of Workstation records – Michael Hegerty noticed Jade’s incredible talent. Together they worked on her self titled debut album. Notable for a debut artist, Jade wrote most of the tracks on the album and co-wrote the remainder, proving herself not only an accomplished performer but a gifted songwriter as well. The stunning tracks lead to major label interest, with Roadshow Music confirming the deal in mid 2004.
Jade’s first album cemented her as a star on the rise in the Australian music scene, producing three top 40 singles and winning the 2006 and 2007 Urban Music Awards for Best Female Artist. Jade’s debut album was also nominated for ARIA, MTV & APRA awards in 2005/2006.
Along the way Jade performed the National Anthem at Australia’s World Cup qualifying victory against Uruguay in front of 80,000 fans at Sydney’s Telstra Stadium, and over 35 million viewers world-wide. She has also performed on Centre Court for the Australian Open Women’s Tennis Final before a worldwide TV audience.
A prolific song-writer, Jade currently splits her time between writing songs in Australia and overseas for major artists from around the world including the UK, France, Germany and Asia, and working towards the highly anticipated completion of her new pop album tentatively titled Get Me Home. Late last year Jade also released a hot new music video In The Basement that featured a much-publicised passionate kiss with her It Takes Two TV partner Bobby Morley.
Let’s see if Jade can bring her touch of “Superstar” to her IT TAKES TWO partner’s singing.
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CHLOE MAXWELL - Presenter and mum
A versatile and magnetic presenter and performer, Chloe Maxwell has an uncanny feel for what is hot in music, fashion and style - but is singing in her genes?
“I love music and I sing in the shower. I like testing myself and putting myself out of my comfort zone but don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely terrified. If I can do something like this I can do anything,” said Chloe.
Since moving to the Gold Coast with fiancé, The Gold Coast Jetstar Titans rugby legend Mat Rogers, Chloe has made a name for herself on radio with local station SEA FM.
Last October, Chloe and Rogers welcomed daughter Phoenix to their family, along with son Max and Mat’s older children Jack and Skyla.
“The children have been helping me with my training. We’ve spent all holidays on Singstar, they hate me because I keep winning. I hope that helps me on the show. They are going to be surprised to see me on television as they have only seen me as a mum. “
Discovered in 1992 by Chic Management founder Ursula Hufnagl, Chloe soon became in-demand for numerous high profile national and international commercial campaigns.
However, she became a household name as the Jeans West girl, featuring in a three year television and print advertising blitz.
In 2000, she became a presenter for Ten’s E! News, before hosting Premiere on Fox 8 and Arena’s Stylebyte.
Chloe spent a further three years on Foxel’s music channel, Channel [V], before hosting WILD TV on Seven and appearing as co-host on Ten’s The X Factor.
Chloe is supporting WORLD VISION, Australia’s largest overseas aid and humanitarian organisation.
“I have been an Ambassador for World Vision for many years and have a sponsor child in India. Having traveled to Ethopia, I saw first hand the phenomenal work they do, it was inspirational,” she said.
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Professional singer biography
DAVID CAMPBELL - Swing superstar
There is little doubt that David Campbell is one of Australia's hottest entertainers and he can now add mentoring to his credentials, guiding Jolene Anderson to become the winner of It Takes Two last year.
Comparable to Frank Sinatra as a classic all-round entertainer, David’s talent and diversity leads him as one of Australia’s most popular personalities.
The proof is in his top musical honours at the 2006 Helpmann Awards as Best Male Actor in a Musical for his performance in Sunset Boulevard. Add to that his smash Platinum album The Swing Sessions and you know you have a seasoned performer imparting their wisdom on It Takes Two.
David has enjoyed an extensive career in musical theatre, which has been recognised by a host of awards. After years on the New York stage, David returned to Australia in 1999 to take the lead of Johnny O'Keefe in the record breaking rock’n'roll musical Shout!
In 2005, David co-hosted Australia's Top 20 Countdown on VH1 as well as Sydney’s No 1 night radio show, the Arse About Countdown on Nova 96.9 FM. He also joined a star-studded cast for a turn on the country’s leading TV program Dancing with the Stars.
In 2006, David returned with The Swing Sessions and took the nation by storm with what he does best: singing sultry swing songs he was born to sing with a full orchestra backing him. The Swing Sessions was recorded mostly live, in an old-school style, featuring all the classics.
The album was produced by It Takes Two’s very own musical director Chong Lim, and together with a full orchestra, David and Chong locked themselves away in a studio in Melbourne and recorded The Swing Sessions mostly live, in an old-school style, featuring all the classics.
“What I tried to do with this record was to pay tribute to my heroes, ultimate showmen like Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jnr and Tony Bennett, men that made me the singer that I am.”
David teamed up with Chong again in 2007 and released Swing 2. The album has surpassed the success of the previous album and is now double platinum. He will start his biggest national tour immediately following It Takes Two.
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SCOTT DRAPER - Professional golfer / tennis player
Scott Draper has achieved success in two competitive sports making him one of the rarest categories of athletes, but flexing his vocal cords is an entirely different challenge.
Luckily the professional sportsman does not shy from stepping outside his comfort zone.
“If I had the choice of being a professional golfer or being able to sing in front of an audience, I’d pick the later. Music has the ability to touch you, to give you goosebumps. I love a challenge and am excited about trying something that I am passionate about,” says Scott.
Beginning his tennis career in 1993, Scott won over 120 professional matches during an impressive 12-year career. A Wimbledon junior champion, he achieved a singles career high ranking of 42 on the ATP tour, was a three-time member of the Australian Davis Cup Team and won a career ATP singles title in the 1998 Queen’s Club Championship. Scott also won the Australian Open Mixed Doubles with Samantha Stosur in his final year in 2005.
Draper made a brief return to the tennis circuit when he coached Lleyton Hewitt at the 2007 Australian Open but turned down the chance to work with the former No 1 and the security of coaching, deciding his future lay not on the tennis court but in playing on the professional golf circuit.
An all round sportsman, Scott took to golf to escape his grief after his first wife, Kellie, died of cystic fibrosis nine years ago. He took the skills and mental abilities of one sport and put them to good use in another. During his two years on the Australasian Tour he placed 4th in 2006 NSW PGA Championship, qualified for the 2006 Nationwide Xerox Classic placing 66 in his first ever US event and successfully gained a 2007 Australasian PGA Tour card.
In February 2007 he proved he could cut it in another sport when he won the New South Wales PGA Championships, giving him his first professional title.
Last year, Draper turned his talents to a completely different medium – writing. He has just released his first book, Too Good: The Scott Draper Story; a story of determination, grief and ultimately inspiration.
Scott’s chosen charity is the CYSTIC FIBROSIS FOUNDATION, which is committed to curing and providing quality of life for people with Cystic Fibrosis.
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RICKI-LEE COULTER - Pop superstar
Can’t Touch It and Love Is All Around proved that Ricki-Lee was a huge force to be reckoned with on the 2007 Australian music charts, while Sunshine, Hell No! and Breathe previously secured her longevity well before that.
Initially born in Auckland, New Zealand, Ricki-Lee moved to Queensland’s Gold Coast when she was only three weeks old, and has lived there to this day.
Raised on the family’s 20 acre property in the heart of the Gold Coast hinterland, Coulter has settled back in her heartland after marrying long-time love Jamie Babbington last September.
Coulter was thrown into the music industry purely by accident. A talented netballer, Coulter played at a state level and was destined for professional netball career until a knee injury and reconstruction ensured she would never play again.
After her mother overheard her singing around the home one day, Coulter started gigging around the Gold Coast and secured lead roles in a number of pro-am musicals.
Her star rose when she was selected to appear in the second series of Australian Idol, coming in 7th place. She signed with independent label, Shock Records and released her self-titled debut album in 2006.
Coulter was an original member of the platinum-selling group The Young Divas, but left in April 2006 to return to her solo career.
In early 2007 Coulter embarked on a two-month international writing trip before launching her follow-up album Brand New Day. Her first single Can’t Touch It debuted at number two on the ARIA Singles Chart and remained in the Top Ten for over two months. Her follow up single, Love Is All Around, debuted at number five only months later.
Ricki-Lee will be releasing her third single on March 15th, Can’t Sing a Different Song, which was written in the heart of London last year. The tune has been debuting across televisions in Europe for over six months now, after being picked up by a major brand for a TVC. Cant Sing A Different Song has been described by industry peers as “cutting edge and like nothing else in Australia at the moment” and has been earmarked for massive success in this country and potentially overseas.
Meanwhile in news abroad, it was confirmed in late 2007 that Ricki-Lee had secured two international record deals, one with the legendary Ministry Of Sound for European territories including the UK, and the other with heavyweight independent label, Pony Canyon in Japan.
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VIRGINIA GAY - Actress, All Saints
From the bright lights of the operating theatre to the bright lights of the stage, actress Virginia Gay is set to shrug off her nurse’s whites for a little bit of glamour.
“I love the idea or fantasy if being a singer and It Takes Two looks like heaps of fun although it really terrifies me. I believe you only have one life so you should do the things that terrify you,” Virginia says.
Best-known for her role as Nurse Gabrielle Jaeger on Seven’s drama All Saints, Virginia fell into acting after being admitted into the Newton High School of Performing Arts after a demanding to be auditioned.
Upon graduation, Virginia initially studied a Bachelor of Arts (English literature and Performance Studies) at Sydney University, but decided to pursue acting full-time after she found she was spending her time with the student dramatic society.
She successfully auditioned for the prestigious Western Australian Academy of the Performing Arts. She honed her skills outside university by performing in local Perth theatre and theatresports and was awarded the 2005 Coles Myer Vocational Student of the Year (WA) in 2005.
During her studies, she tried out for the character of Ricky. Although didn’t get the part, the directors were so impressed that she was asked to audition for the role of Gabrielle, which was specifically created for her, after graduation.
Virginia is an experienced MC; plays piano and trombone; and is skilled in contortionism, juggling and mime.
In her spare time, she loves yoga, writing comedy and often attends live music and theatrical events.
Virginia Gay is supporting MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERS; an international medical aid organisation, providing free and urgent healthcare to people in need regardless of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. Every year, Médecins Sans Frontières Australia sends medical professionals and people with technical skills to help patients who may otherwise receive no medical care; and also works hard to raise funds and awareness.
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IAN MOSS - Australian rock legend
Born and raised in the Alice Springs, Ian Moss pursued music at an early age, learning classical piano around the age of seven. It was a luke-warm welcome to the world of sound – until he discovered guitar at the age of 11.
Ian thundered through the basics for a couple of years until he was a teen and Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Cream exploded onto the scene. He was hooked.
Leaving not long after for Adelaide, Ian immediately fell into the like-minded company of Don Walker, Phil Small, Steve Prestwich and Jimmy Barnes. Cold Chisel was born in 1973 and its imprint on Australian society – Flame Trees, Khe Sanh, Cheap Wine and Bow River – still stands to this day.
After Cold Chisel disbanded in 1984, Ian was quiet until 1989, when he burst back onto the scene with his 1989 debut solo album, Matchbook for which he won five ARIA awards. The first single, Tucker’s Daughter, peaked at No. 1on the singles chart and was followed by Out Of The Fire, Telephone Booth, Mr Rain and Such A Beautiful Thing.
He has followed this with the albums World’s Away, Petrol Head and recently, two acoustic albums, live acoustic Six Strings and his current album, Lets All Get Together.
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JULIA MORRIS - Comedian
This loud and colourful personality can talk her way out of any situation, but can she put her vocal chords to better use?
“I saw the finale of It Takes Two last year and it looked like as much fun as you could fit in one lifetime. I am scared of not being serious enough for some of the musical styles,” Julia said.
Multi-Logie Award winner Julia grew up on the Central Coast, navigating her way through high school via stage musicals and music. A talented flautist, she attended Pan Pacific Music camps held by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
She became known throughout Australia when she appeared in comedy sketch show Full Frontal in the early nineties. This led to hosting roles on Great Aussie Bloopers, The Morris Report on In Melbourne Tonight and a regular spot on Beauty and the Beast. During this time, she was also part of TTFM’s breakfast team.
Julia moved to UK and quickly dominated London with her quick wit, appearing in a guest capacity on numerous British sitcoms, standup comedy, panel and quiz shows and entertainment news programs on both television and radio.
She hosted many programs including Men In Frocks, the BBC’s coverage of the 2005 & 2003 Eurovision Song Contest, Liquid News and was a regular on quiz shows Stephen Fry’s QI and Elvis Has Left The Building; and appeared in the BBC1 sitcoms Happiness and Not Going Out. UK radio credits include writing and starring in The Powder Room and Inner voices for BBC2 and regular Sunday host for LBC.
Julia regularly tours the comedy festival circuit, appearing at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival, Vodacom Funny Festival (South Africa), Just For Laughs (Canada), Letterman Showcase (Sydney) and has supported Richard Pryor, Robin Williams, Mark Curry and Ardal O’Hanlon.
In 2006, she was given a one year television development deal with New York production company Picture This TV.
Julia has toured all over the world and performed several one woman shows in London’s West End. Her theatrical credits include the drama Hunting Diana and musical I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change!
Her UK successes in comedy were recognised with a Herald Angel Award – Excellence in Live Performance in 2001 and a Time Out Comedy Performer of the Year Award in 2004.
Upon returning to Australia, Julia has appeared on numerous talk shows and guested on Spicks & Specks and Thank God You’re Here. Last year, she presented The Singing Office for Fox 8.
Julia is currently performing in the Comedy Festivals with her new show Julia Morris in Shoosh Please! She kicks off the tour this year at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, followed by the Cracker Comedy Festival in Sydney and then the New Zealand International Comedy Festival.
Julia and her husband Dan are in the process of relocating to Australia with their 13-month old daughter Ruby.
Julia Morris’ chosen charity is THE EMILY TAPP FOUNDATION INC, which is dedicated to awareness, early detection and prevention of melanoma.
“I had a melanoma removed several years ago so am aware of the importance of early detection but not everyone is. Emily’s story touched my heart.”
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Professional singer biography
DAVID HOBSON - Opera Singer
David Hobson is one of Australia’s best-known and favourite opera singers and he can now add dancer to his repertoire. But it’s all been by accident!
Having endeared himself to a mass television audience mentoring Erika Heynatz to victory in series one and placing third with Mimi MacPherson in two series of It Takes Two, David’s dancing skills were put to the test when he appeared in last season’s Dancing with the Stars. It was a brave move as his unique dancing ability had been the subject of discussion but his efforts were rewarded with a final three finish.
In November 2007 David released his latest album, The Promise - an eclectic mix of classical and contemporary repertoire including two original compositions written by David.
Growing up David was interested in all forms of music, and in fact began his career fronting rock bands, but he attended the University of Melbourne with the view of becoming an economist or lawyer. The universe, however, had other plans and after television exposure whilst playing pop and jazz music and demonstrating some theatre work he had composed, The Victoria State Opera came knocking! Subsequently and unintentionally, he became an opera singer.
David has sung many lead roles for Opera Australia as a star tenor. He has also appeared with most of the State opera companies in Australia as well as making numerous concert appearances. Internationally, he has appeared with the San Francisco Opera.
David is also a composer and has proved a huge success in this area with compositions of a music theatre version of Macbeth, the chamber opera Remembering Rosie, and the soundtrack to the film, One Perfect Day, which was awarded Best Score by the Australian Film Critics Association.
He has been invited to perform at major events including the AFL Grand Final, Carols in the Domain, Carols by Candlelight and a concert in the Great Hall, Canberra for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
David has won numerous awards including a MO Award for Operatic Performer of the Year, the Sydney Critic's Circle Award, The Age Performing Arts Award for Best Performer in Opera, and an Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) Award in 1998.
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JOHN MANGOS - Television anchorman
John Mangos has always been used to reporting the news, but now he’ll be making the headlines as a celebrity contestant on It Takes Two.
“I’ve never had aspirations to sing, I’m actually quite shy, but it was too exciting an opportunity to pass up. I am up for big challenges and since my son Kosta was born in December, every day is a celebration,” said John.
A familiar face on Australian television for almost 30 years, John is currently senior anchorman for Sky News Australia and is a regular on Seven’s Sunrise and Sydney talkback station 2UE.
John started his career as a state and federal political correspondent for National Nine News before moving to Los Angeles as the Nine Network’s US correspondent.
At the request of ‘The King’ Graham Kennedy, John returned to Australia to co-host the Coast-to-Coast news program. Back at Nine, he made documentaries, hosted the Sunday night program Our World and was a guest host of Today and Midday.
John briefly moved to Ten to present Eyewitness News, but returned to Nine a year later as Midday’s international roving reporter.
For two years he hosted At Home With John Mangos on the Seven Network and became the breakfast announcer on Sydney radio station 2KY.
He launched the cable station Greek Australian Television on OptusVision, where he hosted a twice-weekly current affairs program.
John is the Director of Media for corporate relations firm FD Third Person and is heavily involved in charity work. He is the patron of the Trish Cairns Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation and an ambassador for Day of Difference (Sophie Delezio).
He is heavily involved in sport as an official ambassador for the Sydney Swans Football Club and was last year honoured with life membership.
In his spare time, John loves to cook and has taught cooking classes at the Sydney Seafood School for the past 13 years.
John lives in Sydney with wife Tanny. The couple recently celebrated the birth of their first child, Kosta, last December.
John Mangos’ chosen charity is THE SYDNEY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL, Randwick one of Australia's leading specialist medical centres for children, providing quality, comprehensive and expert clinical services to the children and families of New South Wales and beyond.
“I have been involved with fundraising for the hospital for many years. It is a great institution, staffed by some of the finest individuals in medicine, and does credible work looking after specific illness related to children.”
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Professional singer biography
WENDY MATTHEWS - Australian singing legend
Wendy Matthews has a reputation as an artist par excellence with a sublime, expressive voice that never fails to move those who hear it.
This is exemplified by the reality that Wendy’s music is now in more than a million homes in Australia – all her albums to date have multi-platinum status. There are few artists in Australia that can cite Wendy’s credentials, seven ARIAS, 19 singles and 7 top selling albums.
Wendy has an immense talent to capture and define a diverse range of styles in her music. She takes songs from every genre and makes them her own, from jazz to blues, from rock to gospel, from soul to outright infectious pop and then, of course, there are the beautiful ballads.
Born in Montreal Canada, Wendy joined her first band and left home as a teenager, busking her way across the USA to Los Angeles where she met Glenn Shorrock who invited her to tour with him in Australia in 1982.
Wendy immediately became an in-demand session singer, appearing on many commercial jingles and backing vocals for the The Models Out of Mind Out of Sight and became a semi-permanent member of the band. She also sang on albums by The Rockmelons, Peter Blakeley, Jimmy Barnes, Tim Finn, Richard Clapton and Icehouse
In 1987, Wendy collaborated with Kate Ceberano on the ABC-TV soundtrack for the series Stringer. You’ve Always Got the Blues was released the next year reaching the Top 5 national charts.
Her first number one hit in Australia was as lead singer of the group Absent Friends with the song I Don’t Want To Be With Nobody But You.
Wendy then went into the studio to record her solo debut, Émigré (Double Platinum) which earned her the Best Female Artist and Best Debut Single at 1990 ARIA Awards. This was followed by the Triple Platinum album Lily and in 1992 she picked up the ARIA for Best Female Artist and Best Single and again in 1993 Best Female Artist. The Day You Went Away was the highest selling single of 1993 and single of the year.
Wendy then followed up with another two studio albums The Witness Tree and Ghosts. In 2001 Wendy released Beautiful View featuring the hauntingly beautiful title track. 2004 saw the release of the chilled-out Café Naturale, an eclectic suite of songs which immediately evokes a feeling of familiarity.
Wendy is currently working on her ninth album, a wonderful collection of favourite songs that inspired her. As she puts it “an album of singers who made the singer – women who made the woman.”
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SARA GROEN - Channel Seven weather reporter
Weather patterns may be challenging to forecast but harnessing her vocal abilities could be Sara Groen’s toughest test.
While weather and climate change are important issues to Sara, she is now set to master the skills of vocal training and performing when she adds singer to her growing repertoire.
“It is such an amazing opportunity to perform live on stage with a big band and a talented professional singer. It is a challenge, a lot can go wrong with live television and it quite often does. I just hope that my nerves don’t get the better of me,” says Sara.
January 2007 saw Sara join the top rating Seven News team as weather presenter reporting on Sydney’s weather conditions and environmental issues. The former Beyond Tomorrow reporter had covered many meteorological stories during her time with the science and technology program so reporting on the weather was the next logical program.
Sara joined Seven in 2002 as a presenter and segment producer for national children’s program Saturday Disney. She juggled her role on the show with both university and acting studies.
She came to the attention of producers of Sydney Weekender in 2004, joining the popular travel/lifestyle program as a reporter while continuing to complete her studies and in 2005 graduated from Monash University with a BA in journalism.
A reporting role on Beyond Tomorrow followed in 2006 which combined her journalistic and reporting skills and love of travel. Sara travelled extensively with the show spending large periods of time in USA, Canada and Brazil reporting on science and technology innovations.
Sara is supporting CAMP QUALITY, a non profit organization that is committed to bringing hope and happiness to every child living with cancer, their families and communities through ongoing quality recreational, educational, hospital and financial support programs.
“I became a Patron for Camp Quality last year. I attended some of their camps when I worked on Saturday Disney and I was inspired by their emphasis on the importance of fun and laughing and the support they provide to the kids and their families. This advice became invaluable when my own mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Fun played such an important part in her recovery as it does with Camp Quality.”
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ADAM HARVEY - Country music singer/guitarist
It’s hard to believe that 33-year-old Geelong born singer Adam Harvey, described as the ‘best in the business’, started off his working life as a truckie and goldminer.
While driving trucks at a goldmine near Bendigo, the three-time Golden Guitar Male Vocalist Of The Year (2002, 2004 and 2005), Golden Guitar Vocal Collaborator (1998 and 2001) and two time Golden Guitar Album of the Year (2002 and 2008) winner would perform at the local pub in return for free beer.
During his time at the mine, Harvey would write down ideas for songs and dream of life as a professional musician. Dream became reality with the release of his first album, Sugar Talk, which yielded three hit singles.
However, Harvey’s first break came at the age of 10, when he appeared on a touring Tamworth on Parade show in Geelong. He only knew one song – ‘Old Dogs and Children and Watermelon Wine’ – and so simply sang it again when the crowd demanded an encore. Years later Adam realised his childhood dream when he met Tom T Hall, the writer of this song, in Nashville and spent an afternoon with him.
After high school, Harvey was enrolled in university to study Horticulture but dropped out to tour with Tania Kernaghan and pursue a country music career.
With several number one hits, five albums and multiple ARIA nominations, Harvey has won fans through tours across Australia, Canada, China, New Zealand, Ireland and US. He fulfilled a life-long dream in 2001 when he was invited to perform at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and has been invited back again this June.
On Australian day this year, Adam won his seventh Golden Guitar award, for his latest album I’m Doin’ Alright, which is his second for Best Album of the Year.
In his spare time, Harvey enjoys fishing, collecting vinyl records and Phantom comics.
He lives on the Central Coast with wife Kathy and their two young children.
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MARK WILSON - Judge, Dancing with the Stars
It’s time for judge Mark Wilson to feel what it’s like to be on the other side of the panel.
“I’m not at all nervous at this point because I’ve competed a lot,” Mark said.
“On Dancing with the Stars I was nervous but it was something I’d trained for. I’m completely in a new space now. If you’re off-key everyone can hear it,” Mark said.
“I was in a band once. Like most blokes, I taught myself how to play guitar and screamed out to AC/DC. They replaced me not long after!”
Five time Australian Dancesport Champion Mark became a household name when he became one of the judges on Seven’s hit series Dancing With The Stars.
A well-respected judge already within the ballroom dance industry, Mark has adjudicated most major championships in Australia, including the Tattersalls Australian Dancesport Championship.
As a dancer he competed throughout the UK, Europe and Japan and twice was ranked 15th in the World Dancesport Championship Finals. He also won the professional series of ABC TV’s That’s Dancin’.
A director of two businesses and the owner/instructor of the JAMM Dance Centre, Mark is passionate about educating youth about dance and subsequently, self-esteem.
Mark organises the [“yellowtail” by Casella wines] Victorian Dancesports Championships and he is on the marketing committee for the 2008 IDSF Latin World Championship.
Mark Wilson’s chosen charity is the ST VINCENT INSTITUTE, which looks after juvenile diabetes and cancer research.
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Professional singer biography
RACHAEL BECK - Star of stage and screen
Racheal Beck is one of Australia’s most in-demand performers in musical theatre and television.
Currently much of the award winning actor’s time is dedicated to musical theatre; including her most recent role of Beth in the Australia/New Zealand live concert tour of Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds.
Rachael is widely remembered for her award winning role opposite Hugh Jackman as ‘Belle’ in Beauty and the Beast, which won an ARIA Award for the Best Soundtrack/ Cast / Show Release in 1996.
Over recent years, Rachael has also worked consistently in Australia’s most popular theatre productions, including Eureka, Cabaret, Singing in the Rain (which earned her a prestigious MO Award nomination), and The Sound of Music. Prior to that, Rachael performed in myriad productions including Call Me Madam and Big Hair in America.
Rachael's other stage credits include her Green Award nominated performance as 'Fantine' in Les Miserables, 'Rumpleteaser' in Cats, Secret Bridesmaid's Business and Me and My Girl . She has also appeared with in A Little Night Music and Henry IV.
In 1992, Rachael performed the role of Judy Garland in her own one-woman show, Young Judy written by John Beck.
An impressive list of television credits include Stingers, Mercury, The Feds, This Man This Woman, GP, Flying Doctors, and her popular role as 'Sam' in Hey Dad over three years. She has also appeared in the film Ocean Boulevard.
Rachael worked with Todd McKenney and Tommy Tycho in 2005 in a series of concerts entitled Broadway to Hollywood with Symphony Orchestras around Australia. She also starred as Peg Hartigan in the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Summer Rain.
In 2006, Rachael performed alongside her husband Ian Stenlake in the Pajama Game – a bright and fast paced Broadway classic, and featured as one of the stars in the prestigious Show Stoppers series of concerts at the Sydney Opera House.
In January 2007 Rachael and Ian celebrated the birth of their first child Tahlula.
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CANDICE FALZON - Ironwoman
Professional Ironwoman and Surf Life Saver Candice Falzon may have conquered the ocean, but will she make waves with her singing abilities?
“Like a lot of children I grew up dreaming of being a rock star. It Takes Two will allow me to live my dream, at least for a couple of months.”
Candice was literally a beach babe, growing up minutes away from Maroubra Beach in Sydney. Her ensuing love of the water soon saw her parents subsequently enrol her in the local Nippers.
A natural runner, Candice also began swimming training. She combined these two talents by competing in Ironwoman challenges, winning her first state medal as an Under 13.
The same year, she was selected for the Uncle Toby’s Super Series Surf Life Savings Pro Circuit, becoming the youngest ever competitor to turn professional at the age of 14.
Candice went from strength-to-strength and, two years later, was crowned the NSW State Ironwoman Champion after winning four medals in both the board and Ironwoman events.
Candice also competed in the gruelling Coolangatta Gold in 2007 and in 2008 will be competing in the Kelloggs Nutri-grain Ironwoman series.
In her career to date, she has won 60 medals in the Sydney branch titles, over 10 at state titles and six Australian medals.
Candice is also a sought-after model and has been the face of Running Bare sportswear, Rival swimwear and Infiniti Fitness. Profiled in numerous national magazines, Candice appears regularly on television sports programs.
Candice Falzon’s chosen charity is BEYOND BLUE; a national, independent, not-for-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, anxiety and related substance misuse disorders in Australia.
“Beyond Blue raises awareness and assists with identifying the signs of depression. There are so many young people suffering in silence or taking their lives due to depression. It is important that they recognise that there are people who can help and that other people are in a similar situation.”
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Professional singer biography
ANTHONY CALLEA – Australia’s record breaking pop star
With Australia’s fastest-selling single of all time under his belt, Anthony Callea has certainly proven he’s more than an Idol.
His extraordinarily precise and emotive performance of The Prayer is still officially the fastest and highest selling Australian single of all time. His ARIA Award winning single shot straight to number one on the official charts where it remained for an amazing five weeks.
Anthony followed his debut single with another multi-platinum number one single and a multi-platinum number one album. He embarked on an international song writing trip for his latest top ten offering - his A New Chapter album - that features two top twenty singles. Anthony also released a Live Concert DVD that later screened as a television music special on Foxtel.
Anthony has embarked on two successful national concert tours and appeared as special guest for touring international superstars including Ms Diana Ross and Westlife.
Anthony has performed for a host of international dignitaries including the late Luciano Pavarotti, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Frederik and Princess Mary of Denmark.
Anthony made his theatre debut in the acclaimed opera production ‘Dead Man Walking’, directed by Nigel Jamieson (Sydney 2000 Olympics Opening Ceremony). In November 2007 Anthony played the role of Mark in Perth’s musical production of ‘Rent’ alongside Tim Campbell and Nikki Webster.
Anthony has accumulated a string of awards including Channel V Artist of the Year, Pop Republic Artist of the Year, an MTV Viewers’ Choice Award, Variety’s Young Entertainer of the Year, a MO Award and a Gospel Music Award, just to name a few.
At only 25, Anthony is now one of Australia’s most respected, in-demand and awarded singer/performer.
After guiding radio personality Jo Stanley on an emotional journey that peaked with a final two finish, Anthony will flex his vocal cords again for his return to It Takes Two.
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RUSSELL ROBERTSON - High flying Melbourne Demon (AFL)
The high flying Melbourne Demon is best and fairest on the football field but will he achieve the same results on stage?
“I am genuinely interested in music so who could turn down the chance to meet some great musicians and people? Having played football in some capacity for over 16 years, It Takes Two allows me to do something different,” Russell said.
It was television that first brought Russell Robertson to the public eye – he was drafted to the Melbourne Football Club from Tasmania’s under 18s after recruiters saw him featured in a home video on the Footy Show’s ‘Almost Football Legends ‘.
Making his debut in 1997, Robertson soon became known as one of the game’s best high-flying forwards, taking numerous “Marks of the Week” and twice leading club goal kicking.
The 2003 Best & Fairest winner had a golden year in 2005, playing for Australia in the International Rules series against Ireland. He was named the Leading Goal Kicker that year, an accolade he had previously enjoyed in 2001.
Last year Robertson experienced a setback after a strong start to the season. An awkward landing during the Melbourne v Hawks game saw him injuring the medial ligament in his knee, missing seven weeks of football.
Recently he signed a two-year contract with the Demons which will see him to the end of 2009.
A sought-after corporate speaker, Robertson is already well-known to viewers of The Footy Show and Before The Game. A talented singer/guitarist, Robertson has played in numerous bands including No Soup For You and the Russell Robertson Trio.
Robertson celebrated his first anniversary with wife Brooke Aust, a former Melbourne Storm cheerleader, last October.
Russell Robertson is supporting THE REACH BROADBRIDGE FUND to honour the life of Troy Broadbridge and the values for which he stood - honesty, integrity, determination, courage and acceptance of difference. The Fund makes a significant, positive difference in the lives of young people both in Australia and Thailand through Reach's activity based educational programs.
“Troy Broadbridge and I played football together for seven or eight years, I lost one of my great mates when he passed away in terrible circumstances. Trisha is doing a fantastic amazing job raising funds in the memory of a great mate. The fund helps others who are in great need and whose standard of living is very ordinary,” said Russell.
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KATE CEBERANO - Multi award winning singer
Kate Ceberano has been belting out tunes for over 20 years and is one of the country’s best known and loved singers, and can also add Australia’s favourite ‘dancer’ to the list.
Renowned for her soulful and powerful vocal style, Kate has won nearly every
entertainment award in Australia. She has released five platinum records and four gold albums, selling over 1 million albums in this country alone.
The sultry singer first came to prominence during her mid-teens as the lead singer for funk band I’m Talking. After one album, the group broke up leaving Kate free to purse a solo career.
And what a career it’s been. Her second solo album You’ve Always Got The Blues earned her an ARIA Award for Best Female Artist but it was the triple platinum selling Brave in 1989 that really set the charts on fire. It was the first album by an Australian female to reach the national No.1 spot and it produced four hit singles including Bedroom Eyes.
At the end of 1990, she received three prestigious MO Awards for Jazz Performer, Female Rock Performer and Contemporary Concert Performer of the Year.
In 1992, Kate performed the role of Mary in Jesus Christ Superstar to rave reviews. She followed this with her own late-night cabaret-style show on ABC TV called Kate Ceberano And Friends (1993-1994). Since then, she has released the critically acclaimed album Blue Box and her self-penned smash Pash. Next came The Girl Can Help It followed by the highly successful 19 Days in New York.
2007 was a busy year for Kate, having taken out the title of Dancing with the Stars Series Six champion, partnering former Olympic swimmer Daniel Kowalski for It Takes Two series two, and releasing and touring the 80’s inspired Nine Lime Avenue which describes a collection of songs connected to different memories from that time. The album achieved Platinum sales in Australia, and was followed by a sell-out National theatre tour.
The Melbourne-born songstress is married to music video director Lee Rogers, who has directed several of her music videos. They have a daughter Gypsy, who was born in January 2004.
Kate returns to It Takes Two to belt out tunes when she pairs up with a new celebrity hoping to win over the judges and audience once again.
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