Wednesday 13 November 2019

Northern Ireland’s Janet Devlin tipped by judges as ‘the one to beat’ on X Factor

Janet Devlin (16) from Gortin near Omagh, wowed X Factor judges Tulisa and Louis
Janet Devlin (16) from Gortin near Omagh, wowed X Factor judges Tulisa and Louis
Louis Walsh declared that Janet is the 'one to beat'
Janet performing in her first audition
The girls group at judge's house Kelly Rowland in Miami
Melanie McCabe from Whitehall who is through to judge's house stages of X Factor
X Factor judge Gary Barlow. Photo: Getty Images

Maureen Coleman

The X Factor dream of Northern Irish teenager Janet Devlin is very much alive after she got through to the next stage of the X Factor.

The 16-year-old schoolgirl remains the frontrunner in this year's competition, with Louis Walsh declaring her the “one to beat”.

Janet, who sat her GCSEs earlier this year, is now in Miami to join mentor Kelly Rowland.

The former Destiny's Child star will team up with Oscar-winning singer Jennifer Hudson to choose her four acts for the live shows.

After her first round performance of The Script's hit single Falling To Pieces, the Omagh pupil said: “When you get here you realise that you actually want it so much more than you thought, and that is so scary.

“Everybody has the same dream and they want the same thing that you want ... it's nerve-racking.”

Judge Tulisa Contostavlos said Janet’s solo left her “a very happy bunny”, while head judge Gary Barlow said that every time she sang, she gave him “tingles”. Rowland also said she loved her.

The contestants were then whittled down again, with Janet getting a call-back to the second stage of bootcamp. This time she won over the judges and an audience of 5,000 at Wembley Arena with her version of Aerosmith's I Don't Want To Miss A Thing.

The judging panel selected 32 acts to go through to the judges' houses, but Walsh said his money was on Janet, adding: “She's the one to beat in this competition at the moment.”

Barlow added: “Every time she sings, it's like I've never heard that song before and I like it better, I like it better than the original.”

Janet was overwhelmed when she discovered she was going through, saying it was the best day of her life. She looked shocked when Rowland broke the news to the girls that she was taking them to Miami.

Janet is the second Irish contender to make it to the judges' houses. 16 year old Melanie McCabe from Whitehall in Dublin is also through and will be fighting for a place with Janet Devlin in the girls’ category for the live finals. Mum of four Michelle Barrett from Ballyfermot, had her dreams dashed when she wasn;t selected for the overs category by the judges.

With Rowland mentoring the girls, it was also revealed last night that Gary Barlow will look after the boys, Louis Walsh the over 25s and Tulisa Contostavlos, the groups.

Next week the four judges, with their guest mentors, will select their four finalists for the live shows. In a scoop for the X Facor Robbie Williams will join band member garry Barlow in LA to help select the final boys for the live competition.

Belfast Telegraph

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