'I was thrown back with that comment' - Donna McCaul on Simon Cowell's mean 'The Fly' remark about brother Joe on X Factor
Singer Donna McCaul has defended her brother Joe following a comment made by Simon Cowell about his looks during The X Factor auditions.
As Joe (27) sang at Bootcamp judge Cowell remarked, "Is there any way, like that movie The Fly, you can put that voice into another contestant?".
Joe had spoken about his look prior to his performance, saying, "People don't expect what I have to offer. I'm not your typical looking popstar, am I? Ginger hair, glasses, freckles. Kind of an uglier version of Ed Sheeran. But I think I've been given a talent, so I'm using it."
Speaking to Ryan Tubridy on Radio One, Joe's sister Donna (with whom he represented Ireland at Eurovision) defended her brother.
Of Cowell's mean remark, she said, "I was thrown back with that comment.
"Then again, he took that criticism. Joe has been taking a lot of criticism since Eurovision and I think what he's doing is showing people that's not going to knock me down."
Donna went on to say that looks are irrelevant.
"Let's be honest - how many famous singers out there do not look like stars? It's all about the vocals, the songs, the hits. I don't think anybody should worry about how they look. If you have it you have to go with it."
She also pointed out he was chasing his dream in the face of adversity.
"People commend him for going in and doing it after everything he's been though, the whole MS thing as well," she said. "Fair play to him, he got himself back together and back on track."
Donna is currently pursuing a solo career in LA and has recently recorded vocals for a film directed by Julia Roberts' brother Eric as well as a song which will appear on American Horror Story:Hotel, the FX horror series currently starring Lady Gaga amongst the familiar cast.
The 30-year-old singer described the vocals of the song on Roberts' movie as "raunchy".
"It was very weird recording it!" she revealed. "It's very early days Madonna sounding. It's dancy, it's a very club sound but my vocal that they wanted on it had to sound a little bitch raunchy."
The move to LA was prompted by the need for a "complete change somewhere nobody knew me". She entered the US version of The Voice and revealed, "I'm going to be involved a lot more than people think at the minute."