Mary's dream continues as Louis reveals recording deal
'THE X Factor' singer Mary Byrne is to record an album of cover versions that won her acclaim on the ITV show and embark on a solo tour around Ireland in 2011.
Plans for the 51-year-old Ballyfermot woman were revealed to the Irish Independent by her mentor Louis Walsh, who denied the Tesco worker's elimination from the show last Sunday night had been "a fix".
"'The X Factor' is not a fix . I would never be involved in anything that was a fix. I wanted Mary to win so much, I voted for her 50 times on my own phone. I did everything possible to get her though," said Walsh.
"The way she left the show was completely above board. Nothing underhanded went on. I swear on my mother's life."
While Walsh was defending 'The X Factor', the remaining Irish contestant in the competition, Niall Horan (17), from Mullingar, who is part of boyband One Direction, has called for support from Ireland for the final this weekend.
"I'm the only Irish person left so I would love Ireland to support One Direction. We wanted to come over to Ireland this week but couldn't because of the bad weather," he said on Ireland AM yesterday.
Walsh, meanwhile, rubbished claims that the programme makers decided to ditch Ms Byrne in favour of 17-year-old rapper Cher Lloyd.
Ms Byrne was quoted in a UK tabloid interview allegedly calling 'The X Factor' "a fix" in which they "fixed it for me to lose". But Walsh claimed Ms Byrne had been misquoted.
The mother of one is to be a guest on Friday's 'Late Late Show' where, Walsh claimed, she would set the record straight.
"Mary will be denying all this rubbish that has been printed. It's obvious to me all of this is coming from rival channels and rival TV programmes who want to damage 'X Factor'."
Ms Byrne has signed to Modest Management, which represents former X-Factor acts such as JLS, Alexandra Burke and Leona Lewis.
Hundreds of viewers complained to UK broadcasting regulator Ofcom about the 11th-hour decision to introduce a sing-off to the last weekend's semi-finals which meant Ms Byrne's dreams of winning the show were shattered.
However, Walsh stressed Ms Byrne had a bright future ahead.
"Simon Cowell has signed Mary to his Syco Record label to do this album. He thinks of Mary as the new Susan Boyle.
"We're all behind her."