"We love you so much, Dami!"
That was the cry of the morning at John Paul College as former student Dami Im returned for a visit.
The 2005 graduate is one of three finalists in Channel Seven's The X Factor, and the ecstatic reception she received on Wednesday morning rivalled last weekend's One Direction concerts.
Hundreds of students in the Queensland school's blue and maroon uniforms lined the main driveway of the Daisy Hill campus from 7am, shuffled into place by teachers, Channel 7 staff and camera crews.
"I pity these kids standing for all this time in the sun," one mother was overheard saying.
However the kids themselves were not bothered. Equipped with hats – many adorned with pictures of Dami – they waved signs, cheered, and yelled chants like "Dami to win! Dami to win!" whenever the cameras required.
The magic of reality TV was revealed as a black stretch limousine did two test runs up the driveway to get shots from inside the vehicle.
Finally on the third run, at 10.15am, Dami and her mentor Dannii Minogue emerged from the limo to the great cheer of the crowd.
"Dami! Dami! Over here!" came the cries, as Dami and Dannii were greeted by school staff and given bunches of flowers.
Then it was back in the limo to get the pair emerging from the limo at a different angle.
Four heavily armed police officers were on hand to help with crowd control, and teachers could be heard yelling "Back! Back! Do not creep forward!" as dozens of curious youngsters craned to get a glimpse.
Dami seemed obviously chuffed by the hullabaloo, and tried to sign autographs as she was moved along a pathway towards a music block.
"She is an amazing, inspirational young Logan resident," said Mayor Pam Parker, who waited in a classroom with performing arts students ahead of an intimate tete-a-tete with the star.
"It makes us feel extra proud [that she's come back]... she's a wonderful ambassador for our city."
School vice-captain Laryssa Perkins – who has so many academic and cultural achievements stitched onto the extended pocket of her school blazer she will soon require a floor-length one – said her fellow performing arts students were "ecstatic" to see Dami in the flesh.
"We've watched her on TV, and to see her in person... it's awesome," the 17-year-old gushed.
Dami greeted former teacher Helena Freisberg with affection, and even recognised her son, student Liam, who was born while Dami was at the school.
"I remember you when you were inside!" laughed Dami, making a pregnant belly gesture.
"Oh, she remembers!" breathed another staff member nearby.
Mrs Freisberg pointed out the students individually, highlighting their skills as a string player or singer.
Dami famously never sang while at school, instead accompanying the choir on piano, and playing violin for the school's Silver Strings group.
After a few more photos, anyone who wasn't a staff member or from X Factor was asked to leave, in order for "exclusive" content be filmed for next Sunday night's show.
Outside the music block, Dannii Minogue took photos with a few remaining students, who were then shushed away by teachers.
"We love Dami, and she's the best," they were heard saying as they trudged back to class.