HE might have moved from Narromine when he was six-years-old, but The X Factor's Dean Pritchard still holds the central west close to his heart.
Going by his stage name, Dean Ray, the spunky singer has taken Australian audiences by a storm.
Comfortably sitting in the top seven finalists in the competition, X Factor fans may think they have Dean all figured out, but there is certainly more to the aspiring rock singer than meets the eye.
Now living in Melbourne, Dean said he tries to visit the central west when he gets the chance.
"I've still got quite a lot of cousins out there," he said.
"Anyone with the surname Pritchard or Jenkins you can almost guarantee I'm related to them."
Although he's tracked his way from NSW, to Queensland and now Victoria, Dean said there is certainly a different mentality when comparing city and country living.
"There's more tension in the city," he said.
"It's every man for himself."
Dean said whenever he's lived in the country, he's always felt like "part of a team".
"When I've been struggling, I've come back to the area for work," he said.
"I've done a lot of work at the sale yards and on a few properties around Dubbo."
When his time in the X Factor competition comes to an end, Dean said he will be looking forward to the next step.
"I still want to perform so hopefully I'll have a few more people in the crowd at those shows," he said.
The apple does not fall far from the tree, with Dean's parents both involved in the music industry as a duo called Itchy Feet.
Dean's father said his love for music began at an early age.
"He would sleep in a guitar case backstage when we were performing," Mr Pritchard said.
Dean originally started on drums when he was nine years old, he said, and showed promising talent.
"He's got good rhythm," Mr Pritchard said.
He said his son had "done the hard yards" before he started in the competition, leaving school at the age of 16 to pursue a music career and consequently struggling with the balance between work and play.
But beneath the struggle, Mr Pritchard said his son has pushed himself to come off on top, attributing that to his country upbringing.
"I think because he's grown up in a country environment, that's kept him down to earth," he said.