Two South West starlets are one step closer to becoming the next Australian Idol, earning places in the Top 24 of the nationwide reality television singing competition. Busselton teenager Phoebe Stewart and Margaret River surfer Sash Seabourn proved themselves throughout last week’s numerous group challenges to secure their places, overcoming half of the selected talent who were sent home. Clinching positions in the Top 32, the South West pair went on to impress judges in their solo challenges to make it through to the coveted Top 24 and live shows. At just 15 years old, Stewart first wowed judges in her audition with a soulful rendition of Adele’s One and Only, proving her vocal talent once more with a powerful rendition of the Selena Gomez hit Lose you to Love Me. One of the show’s youngest competitors, judges commented on how her young age may be a hinderance in the scope of the competition, judge Amy Shark calling it a “numbers game” but admitting that the panel were “150 per cent sure” she should continue forward in the competition. Meanwhile, Margaret River’s Seabourne dazzled with yet another unique version of Cece Peniston’s 90s classic Finally, following up his acoustic cover of Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody that first earned him a golden ticket. Accompanying himself on guitar in both performances, his flair was described by judge Kyle Sandilands as “exactly what (he) is looking for.” “Something refreshing, something exciting, something that’s different from everything else we’ve seen, I’m super pumped,” he said. Also in the region, Bunbury op-shop worker Lucy Smith won over judges with her “haunting” audition, singing The Divinyl’s Pleasure and Pain, but was sadly sent home on Monday night’s episode after the chorus line group challenge. Australian Idol continues on Seven and 7plus, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings.