A singing cowboy from Queensland has bared his soul on The X Factor, telling a TV audience of two million people that he came on the show hoping to reunite with his children.
Justin Standley has not seen his kids in 12 years and is so desperate to find them he poured out his story on The X Factor.
"I have 3 children and this is rather personal and I've had trouble locating them for a very long time, and I know this is crazy, but I thought if I got over my nerves and my shyness up here, and sang well enough, then perhaps they would see me on TV and feel proud of their dad," Justin said.More stories from Today Tonight
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"It's truly something I live with every single day. You miss them every day, you pray every day and you look for them every day and you've missed out on 12 years of their growth.”
“You know what, and it's probably a terrible thing to say, but it's like they died, I don't know who they are, in my mind I still have 2 little girls and there's a little baby boy."
Not only was Justin dealing with the loss of his kids but also coming to terms with his sexuality, realising he was gay.
"When it first happened I tried to follow them through the primary schools but that was a no go. I've also tried through different things, the electoral roll, Centrelink, family services and Western Australia, because that was the last place we were living," Justin said.
"It was heartbreaking, and I tried for a long time to find them, and then I stopped looking when I was coming to terms with my sexuality and I went through quite a deep depression and I believed that perhaps I deserved what happened, perhaps I didn't deserve to be a dad because I'm gay."
The X Factor judges were not only moved by Justin's story, but also his performance - the cowboy couldn't believe he was sent through by the judges.
His plan may well pay off. After an overwhelming response to his story Justin has a strong lead about where his children may be.
"I want to tell them and reassure them that I've always loved them, that they've always been in my heart, that I pray for them and I've thought about them every single day and I will continue for the rest of my life until I find them," Justin said.More The X Factor
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