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Dane describes himself as "not very tall, very oversized
"I don't exercise, I don't eat properly and I study too much," he laughs. "But I've got a great, big voice!"
His musical icons are Whitney, Mariah & Celine. "Whitney is my ultimate. My heart broke when she passed."
Dane is a proud Maori of Ngati Porou descent. His father left him, his brother and sister and mother when he was little. Mum is now seriously ill, with Dane living at home as her primary caregiver.
He is studying towards a Bachelor of Arts in screen and media studies with a view to possibly working behind the scenes in TV in some capacity.
His previous performance highlight was singing Whitney's 'I will Always Love You' on TVNZ's Close Up a few years ago. The show dubbed him New Zealand's answer to Susan Boyle, despite the fact he's never had a singing lesson in his life.
"I don't normally like to talk myself up but the thing that stuns people is my ability to sing high," he says.
"Not Mariah high, but high enough!"