Mary's supermarket sweep
Checkout worker wows the judges on 'X Factor'
Published 28/08/2010 | 05:00
Television viewers will get a first chance tonight to see the Irish supermarket worker who has been dubbed "the new Susan Boyle".
Mary Byrne stunned 'The X Factor' judges at the Dublin auditions in June when she sang Shirley Bassey's 'I Who Have Nothing'.
Show insiders have said that 'Mary from Tesco' has had the same impact on Simon Cowell and the other judges as Scottish woman Susan Boyle did last year on 'Britain's Got Talent'.
The Ballyfermot woman's performance will be shown for the first time tonight on 'The X Factor', on both TV3 and UTV.
Prior to her performance, the 50-year-old introduced herself to the judges, saying: "My name is Mary and I work on the tills in Tesco. I always sing at the till, I have to be told to shut up by the staff. What I really want to do is sing.
"I'm a really passionate singer. I want to be a legend tonight like Shirley Bassey or Tom Jones.
"Everyone at work is really supporting me; they tell me I have something special that makes the hairs on the back of their necks stand up when I hit the high notes.
"They really are excited for me and are supporting me all the way."
Her three-minute performance proved so popular with judges that Girls Aloud member Cheryl Cole was moved to tears, praising Byrne for her "incredible power and emotion", while Cowell told her she had an "amazing voice".
He added: "Mary, I think you've had the best voice out of everyone who has auditioned today. Seriously, seriously good. And actually, more than that, I really like you."
Fellow judge Louis Walsh joked that "Tesco could be in trouble", telling the shop worker: "You picked a big, big song and you hit every single note. That was one of the best auditions and one of the most real auditions of the day."
Meanwhile, Cole congratulated Byrne, saying: "That was my favourite audition from Dublin so far. It was just full to the brim with power, emotion and passion. I thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, I found myself getting goose bumps. It was fantastic."
When guest judge Katy Perry asked Byrne what had stopped her auditioning before, she was heard replying that she had "low self-esteem".
She was then unanimously passed by all the judges to go forward into the next part of the competition.
Meanwhile, former 'The X Factor' judge Sharon Osbourne was once again judging pop hopefuls yesterday when she joined filming for the talent show in Co Limerick.
The 57-year-old wife of rocker Ozzie Osbourne was invited to take part in the shoot at Adare Manor by Walsh, who is hosting his judges' homes section of the TV show at the five-star hotel and resort.
Programme-makers will continue filming today as Walsh puts the contestants he is mentoring through their paces. The Mayo man has previously used members of boy band Westlife to help pick his finalists for the live shows.
However, a ring of security around the luxury hotel yesterday ensured the try-outs remained behind closed doors.
It was Osbourne's daughter Kelly who alerted media to her mother's role in the new series of 'The X Factor', which started last Saturday.
Writing on 'Twitter', Kelly said: "My mummy just came to see me on set before she jets off to Ireland to film xfactor with louis!! I loooooove Ireland I wish I was going with her!"