Grieving Janet Devlin to sing on X Factor just hours after her granddad is laid to rest
Published 14/10/2011 | 07:32
X Factor star Janet Devlin will deliver an emotional performance on tomorrow night’s live show — just hours after her beloved grandfather is buried.
The Tyrone teenager has been left devastated after the sudden death of her granddad Michael Devlin on Wednesday, but has opted to compete in this weekend’s programme after speaking with her family.
The shy 16-year-old — who is tipped to win the competition — has said she will dedicate her performance to his memory.
Her brothers and close friends will be in the audience to lend their support.
It is understood Janet was given permission by X Factor bosses to return home for tomorrow’s funeral, but decided to continue because it’s what her grandfather would have wanted.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last night, a source close to the singer said the pair had been very close.
“Naturally Janet is very upset,” she said.
“Janet discussed the situation with her parents and it was decided that she should remain in the competition this weekend and not attend the funeral.
“Her grandfather was so proud of her and loved to listen to her sing. Janet and her family knew that he would want her to perform this weekend.”
The source said Janet has been receiving lots of support from fellow contestants, including over-25s hopeful Sami Brookes.
“All of the contestants have rallied round her — Sami has become a mother figure to Janet recently, and even gave up her bedroom last night so Janet could have a room to herself,” she added.
“Janet will be putting her all into her performance in memory of her grandad. Her brothers and closest friends are coming to the studio to support her — it will be an emotional weekend.”
An X Factor spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Janet’s grandfather has unfortunately passed away, and that the funeral is planned for Saturday.”
It is expected to be a highly-charged night, with a love and heartbreak theme planned for this weekend’s show. The contestants have been asked to show their “vulnerable” side by performing romantic tracks.
Janet, who is from Gortin in Tyrone, has been the bookies’ favourite since she impressed the judges with her rendition of Elton John’s Your Song at the auditions, and has been compared to singer/songwriter Ellie Goulding.
She sailed through the first live show last weekend with Coldplay's track Fix You. Judge Louis Walsh told her she was “incredible”.
“You've got Celtic soul, you're the voice of an angel,” he said.
Fellow judge Tulisa told the student she was “mesmerising”, and Gary Barlow agreed, telling her she was “totally unique”.