RTE producers were thrown into a crisis after a contestant on The Voice of Ireland went into labour the night before she was due to perform.
Singer Catherine Hughes followed in the footsteps of last year's Voice finalist Kelly Mongan by getting through the auditions while heavily pregnant.
However, unlike Kelly, the 29-year-old went into labour 11 days ahead of her due date just hours before she was expected to battle it out for a place in the live finals.
Catherine was due to fight it out with Sligo girl Laura May Lenehan for a place on team Jamelia during the gruelling battle rounds.
But TV bosses were left with a dilemma with doubts over whether Catherine would be fit to perform for her place on the show, in scenes that will air this Sunday on RTE1.
Nine weeks on, Catherine, who went on to give birth to a bouncing baby boy, described the situation as “something out of a TV show”.
Catherine and her husband Darren are delighted with son Eoin, who was born last December. “You couldn't write it,” she told the Herald.
The contestant, who works as a wedding singer, went into labour while staying in a Dublin hotel and was forced to drive halfway home to her native Armagh before meeting husband Darren who got her safely to hospital.
“I felt fine all day in rehearsals then I got back to my hotel and went into labour around 3.30am,” she said.
“When I rang Darren he couldn't believe it, but the contractions weren't bad at that stage so the hospital said I was ok to drive because otherwise I would have had to wait for hours for him to col
lect me. It was funny that when I was driving one |of Dolores O'Riordan's songs with the Cranberries came on the radio. I did worry about what would happen with the show, but my baby was the |main concern.”
Catherine's baby drama is not the only worry for the contestants on this Sunday's episode, with producers slapping a no-talking ban on Peter Whitford from Team Dolores, who has been suffering from a severe sore throat and cannot sing a single note.
Things are heating up between the mentors and the contestants, some of whom will be available to perform for their fans when the Muller Corner Red Chair Tour comes to Dublin next Saturday week.
Tune into The Voice of Ireland, RTE One, 6.30pm on Sunday