He's been called cocky, arrogant and creepy but Dean Ray pays no attention to the flak he has copped since appearing on Seven's reality singing juggernaut The X Factor.
Although the 22-year-old is aware he hasn't got off on the right foot with the Australian public, he says rather than dwell on the negative energy, he "thrives" on it.
"I love it - it doesn't bother me," he told AAA after Sunday night's live show. "I've had a lot of negative criticism since I've been on the show from the public. There are haters out there that think I look like a murderer and stuff like that. But bring it on, man. You can say whatever you want behind your computer, it doesn't worry me."
After delivering a stand-out acoustic performance of the Australian Crawl classic Reckless this week, it's safe to say the Victorian singer, right, has won a new legion of fans.
Proof of this has manifested on Australia's iTunes charts, with Ray's haunting performance becoming the only X Factor cover to make the top 20. Yesterday, the track was No. 16 ahead of Sia's popular power ballad, Chandelier.
Despite the song's success on the charts, Ray revealed he was initially concerned it wouldn't connect with younger viewers.
"I was worried about the younger generation as well because I haven't been able to engage with them as much playing the old Stones song and Aerosmith," he said.
Ray, who recently revealed his dark past as an alcoholic, describes Sunday's stripped-back performance as "the real me" and hopes his fan base will continue to grow.
"The show gave everyone this idea that I was some crazy-eyed rock star wannabe dude but it's not the truth at all," he said. "So it was good to show the softer side."
He is also thankful that judge Natalie Bassingthwaighte has stood by him. "Nat gets it, she knows that I'm real and that I'm a nice guy," he said.