Cassie Ramsay, 16, and Lauren Blewitt, 17, meet their idol, Harrison Craig, at Woden Plaza on Wednesday. Photo: Jay Cronan
Harrison Craig and his impossibly long eyelashes transfixed a crowd of teenage girls, children and even the occasional great-grandmother at Westfield Woden on Wednesday afternoon.
Cassie Ramsay, 16, of Gordon, and Lauren Blewitt, 17, of Gungahlin were the first in line to meet the 18-year-old winner of The Voice, waiting for six hours to meet their idol.
They were shaking and crying after they met him as the politely-spoken teenager patiently signed autographs and posed for photographs with his squealing fans.
Cassie Ramsay and Lauren Blewitt take a moment to collect themselves after their meeting with Harrison Craig. Photo: Jay Cronan
"He's just so sweet. It's him. He's not faking being him," Cassie said.
"He's being true to his heart and he sings from his heart and I just love him. Oh my god, my mascara is running."
Macgregor great-grandmother Berry Ridley, 69, said she voted "oh probably 100 times" for Craig to win the finale of the singing show.
"I would have been devastated if he didn't win," she said.
"I think he's a wonderful young man and I wish him all the best."
Emily Ackroyd, 14, of Flynn was jumping up and down with excitement.
"His voice is amazing," she said.
Audrey McGrail-Bateup, 8, of Gordon, thought Craig was "handsome".
"I think he's a good singer."
The slightly-built singer from Melbourne won the second series of The Voice just over a fortnight ago but has already released his debut album More than a Dream, which hit No.1 on the iTunes and ARIA charts, and embarked on a tour of Westfield shopping centres.
"It's been crazy but just fantastic, really enjoying it," he said.
At Woden, Craig sang just one song You Raise Me Up (keeping fans hanging on until he returns for a full show in Canberra on November 16) and the crowd was screaming as he reached the song's crescendo - and just about any time Craig looked or waved at them.
He is taking the attention in his stride.
"I suppose just don't let it go to you head. I think you just have to remain quite humble and really know where you want to go and remain on that path because if you stray, you may not get back on it," he said.
Craig's coach on the show was singer Seal, who has returned to the United States but has kept in contact with his young charge.
"Occasionally we'll actually talk but it's usually a text or something like that," he said.
"He texted me and said, 'I heard Brisbane was great today' and I was like, "How did you know? You're on the other side of the world!' So it's great that he's keeping that level of interest in life and what I'm doing in my life."
Admired as much for his battle with a stutter and his devotion to his mother and brother, Craig has emerged from The Voice with a squeaky-clean image.
"Worst habit? I guess you could probably pin me for playing too much Xbox," he said.
"That's probably about it. I'm not straight cut but I'm not a devil child either."
And he dismissed recent comments from former contestant Nicholas Roy, who said The Voice was more drama than documentary.
"I guess it varies from person to person. I don't really have a lot to say about that. For me, I know I had a really enjoyable time on there," he said.
Craig also met with some children through the Cerebral Palsy Alliance before his Canberra performance, gently talking to them and posing for photographs, including with Bailey Whitton, 6, of Queanbeyan.
Justy Lai, 15, of Chapman presented him with an artwork she had done.
"That's beautiful. That's amazing," he said.
Courteney McLean, 14, of Sutton, and her friend Olivia Blucher, 15, of Harrison, got to meet Craig backstage thanks to some high-level connections.
"My dad is the manager at Big W. And he's, like, the best dad right now," Courteney said.
And what was it like to meet him?
"Oh my god."
"He's so nice."
Harrison Craig will be performing at The Playhouse in Canberra on November 16.