Mary gets her mojo back with a little help from her friends
Mary Byrne "got her mojo back" last night and got through to the next round of 'the X Factor' thanks to Westlife.
The chart-topping boyband paid for her daughter Deborah to fly over to London for the second weekend running and she surprised her mother backstage just an hour before she performed for the cameras.
"I walked into Louis Walsh's dressing room and there she was. We threw our arms around each other. I wasn't expecting to see her and it gave me the boost I needed to go out and sing my heart out," Ms Byrne told the Irish Independent last night.
Performing George Harrison's track 'Something' -- but as covered by Shirley Bassey -- the Tesco worker from Ballyfermot in Dublin said she was back on song. "I feel fabulous. That's the sort of song I love to do. I am a big woman and I love to have big songs belting out," she said.
Even head judge Simon Cowell, who the previous week had dubbed the Ballyfermot woman a "pub singer", admitted he was impressed.
"As annoying as this is, Louis did actually choose the right song for you," he said. "You sang it much better than last week. I tell you what, you have definitely got your confidence back."
Judge Cheryl Cole added: "I think the beauty of you is that you sing with such experience because you've lived life."
But Louis Walsh summed up her performance best.
"Mary's got her mojo back," he said. "Mary, I'm glad you've got your confidence back. That was very emotional, I believed every word. You love that song."
Ms Byrne stressed it was daughter Deborah, who she has been living apart from for six weeks, who had inspired her show-stopping performance and thanked Westlife, who she met performing their new single 'Safe' on the show the previous weekend.
"I was missing Deborah terribly, especially around the time of my birthday, but I feel now I'm ready for the challenge ahead. In fact I feel like I'm ready to win," she said.
However another Irish 'X Factor' star found himself saying sorry to his Irish fans.
Niall Horan (17) from Mullingar, who performs in boyband One Direction, made the apology after he wore an England football jersey at the England/France game in Wembley on Wednesday night.
Writing on his twitter account last night, the teenager, who will switch on Mullingar's Christmas lights tomorrow, said he had only worn the Three Lions shirt "for a laugh".
"Sorry about wearing the England shirt . . . Football (is) football . . . plus I'm gonna buy the lads Irish shirts. It was only a laugh. Proud to be Irish," he tweeted.