By Luke Voogt
Despite reaching the final of Australian Idol and singing Whitney Houston hits onstage for big crowds, Emily Williams admits to nerves ahead of her first live-streamed gig.
“I’m like, hella nervous, because I’ve never done something like this before,” the Kiwi expat told the Independent.
“We’re going to give it a go and see how it turns out.
“When you’re doing something new there’s always that two per cent chance you might fail. But I think I’ll slay it!”
The former Young Diva will belt out the classics that helped her reach the 2005 Australian Idol final when she comes to Geelong Arts Centre next Friday.
The Idol runner-up’s set features some of the most recognisable songs of the past half-century, including a homage to her recent onstage role in The Bodyguard.
“Honey, it wouldn’t be my show if there was no Whitney,” she said.
In 2017 Williams made her musical theatre debut, playing Whitney Houston’s lead role of Rachel Marron in an Australian production of the iconic film.
“It was the scariest thing for me – even though it was one of the best experiences – it’s not easy to sing 13 Whitney songs in a night,” she said.
“Do you know how many people would have been comparing my vocals to hers? There’s just no comparison!”
But Williams said she was “secretly” a “perfectionist” and “quite competitive”, so she buried herself in learning the role as understudy to fellow Idol finalist Paulini.
“I literally dug myself a hole with Whitney,’ she said.
The gig helped the singer land a role in Australian horror film Boar alongside names like Ernie Dingo.
“Do you fricking believe it?!” she giggled.
“I never thought I was much of an actor!”
The live-streaming gig coming up at Geelong Arts Centre was her first, she revealed.
“I’d like to have this on my resume, ‘yes, she did a live-stream concert’.”
But the gig, with just a small crew and camera would be strange, she admitted.
“One of our biggest sources of adrenaline as singers is to perform in front of massive amounts of people,” she said.
“I can’t wait to build this momentum in my head. I’m just going to tell myself there are thousands of people there!”
As a “busy girl” constantly travelling and performing, Williams had used the COVID-19 downtime to write a new album of songs.
“This time I’ve had the chance to write songs that actually please me,” she said.
“We’ve had this time to reflect – I think all of us – on ourselves.”
She hinted she might play one or two of the new songs, but only if she thought she had them “perfect to a tee”.
Williams hoped the show would resonate with Geelong viewers.
“That entertainment factor of running up and down stage – it won’t be that sort of show,” she said.
“I think it’s going to be a little bit more intimate.”