Wednesday 21 February 2018

MaBy's thrilling comeback all thanks to daughter

Debbie 'so proud' watching her mum perform

Mary and daughter Deborah are interviewed on the spin-off show
Mary and daughter Deborah are interviewed on the spin-off show
Mary Byrne on stage at the weekend
Mullingar teenager Niall Horan of One Direction chats to Dermot O'Leary – they also made it through

Ken Sweeney Entertainment Reporter

'X FACTOR' sensation Mary Byrne has credited her daughter with helping her turn her fortunes around on the show.

The 51-year-old won through to the next round of the talent show last night after a startling comeback seen by millions.

"It felt fantastic to be through. I want to thank everyone in Ireland for all the the voting and all the love they are sending over. It really means an awful lot," she said .

The checkout worker from Ballyfermot in Dublin had struggled the previous week but banished all doubters on Saturday night with a stunning performance of 'Can You Feel The Love Tonight?' on the Elton John-themed episode.

Dressed in a stunning ball gown, Ms Byrne made the song her own in one of her strongest performances yet on the show.

And the mother of one credited her daughter Deborah, who travelled over to London to attend the live show, with her comeback.

"Having my daughter Debbie in the audience has given me my confidence back," Ms Byrne said.

"I am a lot more confident this week compared to last week because my daughter is here."

The 'X Factor' panel were in full agreement.

"I know you are back, Mary, as I can feel it in the room," judge Cheryl Cole said. "It is nice to see the twinkle back in your eyes."

Dannii Minogue added: "You definitely have your mojo back tonight. And the end note was spectacular."

Mentor Louis Walsh said: "You're not shaky this week. All that was shaky was your nerves. You're living that dream."

Even 'Mr Nasty' Simon Cowell admitted he was impressed by Ms Byrne's take on the song.

"Under normal circumstance I would not have liked that version, but because you have heart, it worked," he said.

But the most important person in the audience for Ms Byrne was her daughter.

Wearing a T-shirt bearing her mother's image, the shy Dubliner found herself at the centre of media attention and was brought out on stage on the later 'Xtrafactor' follow-on programme.

"I was just so proud watching my mum perform on-stage. She was just amazing. Back home, it's like the World Cup. Mary fervour has hit Ireland," she said on the show.

Speaking to the Irish Independent last night, the 24-year-old, who overcame her fear of flying to make the trip over to London at the weekend, revealed how she was coping with the attention.

"People were pointing to me saying 'that's Mary's daughter' and telling me how much they loved my mum," she said.

"It was amazing hearing the audience chant her name," Deborah, who was joined at the live final by her uncle Willie, cousin Mark and friends Nicola and Fran, said.

However, she revealed that the hardest part of the whole weekend would come today when she will have to say goodbye to her mother and return to Dublin. "We're both dreading that. It's going to be like getting separated all over again but I so want her to follow her dream," she said.


The other big Irish stars of the weekend 'X Factor' live show were Westlife.

Surrounded by flames, the boyband did their best to steal the show from headliners Take That, giving ITV viewers the world exclusive of their new single 'Safe'.

"It was probably one of the biggest performances of our lives," singer Kian Egan said.

Former 'X Factor' act JLS were the other musical stars of last night's show, which culminated in a performance by the reformed Take That, featuring Robbie Williams.

In the sing-off, Aiden Grimshaw was voted off in his head to head with Katie Waissel.

Irish Independent

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