Fishmonger scaling heights of stardom
RUBY Mills is hoping to swap fish scales for musical ones on The X Factor.
Viewers will see the 24-year-old audition for the reality singing show's superstar judges on Monday night in The X Factor's season eight premiere.
The bright lights of the X Factor stage are a world away from Ruby's day job as a fishmonger at her parents' business, Red Shed Seafood.
"Our factory is right on the Burnett River. It's such a nice place to work," she told the NewsMail.
"The sun sets on the river every day when we're cleaning up, but it is a messy, smelly job.
"My dad's been doing seafood since we moved to Bundaberg (from Brisbane) about 20 years ago and it's just always been second nature to me."
Growing up on her family's 16ha property, Ruby said her creativity flourished.
"Fresh air is good for the mind, and you can sing as loud as you want," she said.
"Soul, jazz and blues are my roots."
The Shalom Catholic College graduate moved to Brisbane to study a diploma in music and music business through Central Queensland University.
But the devastating 2013 floods brought her back home to help rebuild the family business.
"We got flooded twice and we lost a lot. I know a lot of people were in the same boat," she said.
"We've always done wholesale but after we were flooded the second time we decided to go retail.
"I moved home three years ago to help them get started."
So how do her parents Tony and Marguerite feel about her pursuing her musical dreams?
"They're so supportive of my music and always have been. They are always pushing me to do things and reach higher."
Ruby hopes to impress returning X Factor judge Guy Sebastian, who is joined by new international singers Adam Lambert and Iggy Azalea.
"He's really relatable. I think that is because he's been in exactly the same position as all of us were in (on Australian Idol); he knows what it feels like.
"I also really like his sound. I've heard him do a few soul, jazz performances and I feel I would relate to him as a potential mentor."
Ruby believes her audition song choice will surprise many viewers, as it did the judges.
"I always have flowers in my hair and wear flowing clothes, but then I've got this quite big voice," she said.
The X Factor: Next Generation premieres on Monday at 7.30pm on Channel 7.