THE bookies have dramatically shortened the odds on Shannon Murphy to win this year's coveted Voice of Ireland crown after she swept through the first round of the live shows last Sunday night.
The Castletownroche teenager was in cracking form as she belted out her version of The Lumineers hit 'Ho-Hey' - receiving a rousing reception from the studio audience and competition judges.
Most importantly, her performance hit the right note with the live TV audience - who helped put her through to the next live show with the highest score of all the 12 contestants.
Speaking to The Corkman this week, Shannon said that last Sunday night's show had dispelled any doubts she may have had about her ability to win the competition outright.
"I never expected to get the biggest score on Sunday. To be honest, I did not have the mindset that I could win the competition. I have now," she laughed.
The bookies are also confident she can do it - slashing her odds from 40/1 to 4/1.
"It's amazing the difference that one-and-half minutes on stage can make. It's really nice to know that people are supporting me, particularly those watching at home who made the effort to give me their votes," said Shannon.
However, she did admit that nerves almost got to her as she waited in the wings to go onstage. "I was shaking like a leaf and felt I was going to faint. The pressure at this stage of the competition is so intense, a huge step up from anything that I have gone through before," said Shannon.
"Luckily for me one of the first people I saw when I took to the stage was my mam and that calmed me right down," she grinned.
The joy of going through to the next round was also tinged with a bit of sadness as she had to say goodbye to friends who did not make it through.
"It was a bittersweet experience. You make good friends and it is tough to see them go home, but I suppose that is part of the whole experience and you just have to get used to it," she said.
Another thing she will have to get used to is the public attention she now receives following her on-screen success.
"People are coming up to me asking for autographs and posing for pictures. It's mad," she admitted.
Next Sunday, Keith Hanley from Charleville and Kelly Mongan from Fermoy will sing live for the right to join Shannon in the next round.