'X FACTOR' judge Louis Walsh is always lumped with the "worst category" in the popular TV talent show -- but still believes Irish contender Mary Byrne can go all the way to the final.
Despite facing criticism over his choice of songs for Mary in the competition, he said he had a winner and predicted she could reach the final if Ireland got behind her and continued voting for her.
"I want her to get a recording contract," he said.
Defending the songs he chose for Mary in the show, Walsh claimed he knew a lot more than his fellow judges, Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue.
"I'm going to pick the songs that suit," he said. "I know what I'm doing with Mary. There's nobody else on the show like her."
Louis admitted that he didn't think Mary, from Ballyfermot in Dublin, would make it through to the next round last weekend because "everyone (on the show) is against her".
"But if Ireland gets behind her she can get to the final," he predicted.
Taking a break from his exploits on the popular TV talent show, Louis arrived at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin yesterday to record his part as the voice of The Master of the World for this year's Christmas panto, 'Aladdin'.
The panto features Boyzone star Mikey Graham and opens on December 1.
The high-profile Walsh revealed how he had not always felt comfortable being on stage and that he "hated" his first two or three years on 'The X Factor'.
And he hinted that, after working for seven years as judge on the show, he might do one more year before calling it a day.
"People don't realise how stressful it is. It's very public and I'm always given the worst category, but I'm not a magician."
Walsh added that the rows between him and Simon Cowell were "all true" and that Cheryl Cole "gets away with murder" on the show because she was "Simon's pet".
"I'm better than the rest of them," said Louis of his fellow judges. "I've a much better track record in music. I know what I'm doing regarding music."