'You are in a completely different league to everyone else' - Brendan Murray gets Golden X during explosive X Factor Six Chair Challenge
Irish X Factor hopeful Brendan Murray has earned the coveted Golden X from mentor Louis Tomlinson during the nail-biting Six Chair Challenge on Sunday's X Factor.
The 21 year old Galway native was one of the last to sing in the Boys' category and his faultless rendition of REM's Everybody Hurts wowed both the audience and judges.
This series, judges Simon Cowell, Robbie Williams, Ayda Field and Louis Tomlinson each have a guaranteed safe seat to give away during the dastardly six chair challenge.
One lucky hopeful in each category earns a Golden X, comparable to the Golden Buzzer on Britain's Got Talent, which sends them straight through to judges' houses, the final stage before the live shows.
Following Brendan's performance, which earned him a standing ovation, Simon Cowell commented, "You are in a completely different league to everyone else we've seen so far. Do you know what's so charming about you? You don't even know how good you are."
Boys' mentor Louis Tomlinson rose from his chair and said he would like 'a word' with Brendan before running to the Golden X and pressing it, sending the shocked singer through.
Speaking to Independent.ie Brendan reveals he never suspected what Louis was planning.
"I didn't realise at all - when he asked to speak to me I thought he was just going to ask me to sing again. But then he ran over and pressed it and I couldn't believe it."
Brendan, who was a member of boyband Hometown, which he joined at 16, and who also represented Ireland at Eurovision last year, says he still gets "emotional" thinking about that moment.
"The talent going for X Factor this year is so good, I just feel really grateful to be there," says the modest singer.
Speaking about the challenge to Independent.ie on Saturday, Brendan said it is as "cut-throat as it is on the telly".
"It's the wait that's the killer - you're constantly waiting to see what happens and it's the worst thing about it," he said.
"When I watched in on telly before and somebody would take someone's seat I'd be like, 'oh, he lost his seat' but when you're in that situation you have a different mindset.
"It's as cut-throat as you see on telly. It can be taken away so quickly. They can build you up and then just chop you down. It's very stressful."
Whose seat Brendan will claim will be revealed on the show next weekend.
Also in tonight's show Simon Cowell chose his final six Girls, having asked Georgia Burgess (20) and Maria Laroco (17) to have a sing-off. He chose Georgia so she joins Bella Penfold, Maria Maureen, Molly Scott, Scarlet Lee and Shan in his final six.
Ayda also finalised her Overs after asking Danny Tetley (37) to sing a second song and then giving him Burgundy's chair. However, Burgundy took the chair and left the stage with it.
Robbie then asked him to return and sing with Panda and moved them into his Groups category.
Ayda's final six are Danny Tetley, Giovanni Spano, Janice Robinson, Louise Setara, Ricky John and Olatunji Yearwood.
The X Factor continues next weekend on Virgin Media One.