The Devastating Death Of 19-Year-Old ‘X Factor’ Contestant Nathaniel O’Brien

Samantha Agate
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The Devastating Death Of 19-Year-Old 'X Factor' Contestant Nathaniel O'BrienSeven Network

The X Factor Australia contestant Nathaniel O’Brien first appeared on the show in 2014. Fans had high hopes for this rising Australian star who completely blew everyone away with his audition. However, tragedy struck just a year later when he died in a devastating car crash.


Nathaniel O’Brien Died After Competing On ‘The X Factor Australia’

Before his audition, Nathaniel spoke about how he was bullied and called names from a young age. He moved to Adelaide to attend music school which was a better environment for him. He attended his audition with his mom and his dad who were his two biggest supporters. When he stood in front of the judges, he gushed about how much he loved school. He sang “Heaven Knows” by Rick Price.

His audition was so incredible that it had all of the judges standing up on their feet. The audience gave one of the longest standing ovations of all time. “I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house tonight,” judge Natalie Bassingthwaighte said after the performance. “Your voice is so angelic.” Judge Ronan Keating complimented Nathaniel for having so much control in his voice.

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“It’s a big voice, full of control. You had the entire room under a spell, there’s no other way to say it” Dannii Minogue added. He became an early front runner of the competition and made it into the Bootcamp stage. He was eliminated shortly after but had an outcry of support behind him. But everything changed in November of 2015 when the 19-year-old was driving after playing at the Burra Country Music Festival in South Australia. His car crashed into a tree right before he was due to play another gig. He was the only one in the vehicle and died at the scene.

Nathaniel’s death rocked The X Factor Australia community forever. Natalie took to Twitter to express her condolences.

Dannii Minogue spoke during the show about Nathaniel’s death. “I want to send our love out to Nathaniel O’Brien and his family. Unfortunately, he passed yesterday. [He was] a beautiful person, a beautiful singer and such a beautiful soul” she said as she held back tears.


Nathaniel’s Family Hopes To Carry On His Legacy

Nathaniel’s older sister Michelle Osborn spoke out after suffering the tragic loss. “He loved his family, he loved helping. He would do anything for anyone,” she said. Nathaniel had made a huge impact on his family and everyone around him. “He was kind, he thought of others before himself all the time. He would hate to see his parents, all of us, hurting like this. It’s going to leave a big hole, especially for my parents. We are a very close family … the contact is constant, we are together at every special occasion.”

Nathaniel is just one of the incredible talent show contestants who is no longer with us. Check out our tribute to the other contestants down below.

SEE ALSO: SIMON COWELL CALLED CONTESTANT ‘NIGHTMARE’ AND YEARS LATER, SHE KILLS HERSELF

“It has hit us all very, very hard,” she continued. “We just want people to know that we are so very grateful for the messages that have flowed through since the accident and for the media coverage.” Michelle also mentioned that their sister Tracey Rains planned on recording some of the songs that Nathaniel wrote before his death.

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