FOR more than four years, Lisa Mondy had become the girl who had survived having her head inside a large great white shark as it attacked her in Port Stephens.
Then she grabbed a microphone.
Ms Mondy, 28, became the darling of Australian television for a few minutes on Sunday when her stunning version of London Grammar’s Strong on X-Factor earned cheers from audience members and judge Dannii Minogue only a few bars in.
The song’s title was appropriate for Ms Mondy, whose appearance on national television alone was testament to enormous strength.
Ms Mondy was bitten several times by a great white shark after falling from her wakeboard in March 2011 at Jimmys Beach.
Her injuries were such that she had not been able to play a guitar since and had long forgotten the times she had played gigs at a few joints at Nelson Bay.
‘‘It was really emotional, I couldn’t pick up a guitar without getting emotional and singing had become part of that,’’ she said.
‘‘It took a long time for me to just sing around the house again.
‘‘It was always a passion and a type of therapy for me, it is good for your soul and I have been lost without it.’’
But Ms Mondy found the strength to audition online for X-Factor and was then given the chance to perform on stage, which was seen on Sunday night.
Her strength of character was on full display during the performance, which earned this from judge and crooner Chris Isaak: ‘‘Sharks none, singers one.’’
In an interview for the show’s website, she said it was hard to choose a highlight after receiving unanimous praise from judges Guy Sebastian, Dannii Minogue, Chris Isaak and James Blunt.
‘‘My heart was racing and once I started singing I just went for it,’’ she said.
‘‘There couldn’t be a highlight, they said such wonderful things and I’m so flattered by them.
‘‘One of the comments was that I’m no longer going to be the girl who got attacked by the shark, I’m going to be the girl that can sing.’’
Ms Mondy will appear on the show next week