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*Second Time Lucky*

The past few months have proved to be something of a roller-coaster ride for 20 year old Danielle Stearman. After narrowly missing out on being crowned Australia's first solo Popstar, the talented singer is back in the spotlight and about to release her debut single, Tell me if you like it. "The whole experience has been up and down," Danielle happily admits. "I came away from the series and thought, 'What do I do now?' And now I'm back up in Sydney again and it's all back to normal." Having made it to the final two in the Popstars countdown, only to be pipped at the post by Scott Cain, Danielle is elated to be given a second chance at pop stardom. "All my friends and family are really excited," she beams. "It's just great that I've got a schedule now. I love the fact that now I know what I'm doing!" In many ways, the sunny blonde believes things have ultimately worked out for the best. "I think it was good timing for me, to have a month off and sit back and decide if this is what I really wanted," Danielle says. "If I had decided during the series that I didn't want to be there, and If I'd actually won, I would have no choice. There would be no way out. I was really happy when Scott won. I'd been thinking about it for a few days before and decided I was happy just to have got that far." Of course, there could only be one official winner on Popstars, but Danielle is not surprised the record company decided to also release her single. "I don't think they expected to have two such great tracks," she explains. "I think both tracks came up really well, and we put a lot of effort in." Having handled the incredibly tense final days of the series with aplomb, Danielle also believes she has what it takes to succeed in the industry. "I'm pretty determined and I don't want to be in this industry for just one hit," she asserts. "I think that's my advantage - I will work hard. I think that's a confidence Warner [Her record company] has in me." Was she concerned how Scott would react over his former rival's single being released? "I was a bit worried," she admits. "But, ultimately, I think he's happy for me." After surviving the intense Popstars experience together Danielle remains fond of Scott, as with all the other finalists. "Living together, we established that support system, so if somebody else was releasing something I'd be there supporting them," she says. "I've spoken to Scott and he seems to be loving it. I think he's had a ball and I think he's handled the pressure really well. It's been a bit of a roller-coaster for him - you know, smalltown boy now being a national icon." Irrespective of the final result, participating in the third Popstars series has been a gamble which has paid dividends for Danielle. "It's an opportunity money can't buy you," she believes. "You take it all on board, and then you can focus and plan and go for it. This industry can be so fickle - I've learned that. You can be hot one day and cold the next."

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