Steph gets closer to dream
Dundalk's own soul sister Stephanie McCourt has made it through to the next round of TV3's X Factor show, despite an early morning group audition at boot camp.
Stephanie, who lives in London but whose dad, Chris and grandparents, Jim and Audrey are from Bay Estate, wowed the X Factor judges earlier this month when she chose Ella Fitzgerald's 'Summertime' after being given a second chance by the panel. After getting four yeses, the 27-year-old went through to the 'boot camp' stage, along with 180 others, which aired at the weekend.
Despite the tough conditions, Stephanie, who previously revealed her series of knockbacks as she tried to get her own music career off the ground, made it though to the next round, along with just half of those who joined her.
In an interview on Monday with the Argus, Stephanie, who was shown on TV crying with relief after she made it through, said she was delighted with the outcome.
She said: 'It was a group challenge and I have to say I found it very emotional. It's only 48 hours but it is so intense, you get no sleep and what people don't see is that we went on at 12.30 or one in the morning.
'People don't realise either that you're standing around in the cold for perhaps an hour before you go on stage and in the clothes you are wearing for the show. I was pretty tired, having been up all night the night before, practising, learning lyrics, so there is a lot of pressure on you when you finally get up there and you just have to hope it's good'.
Stephanie said the boot camp experience, where she was thrown together with other hopefuls and asked to learn and then sing a song together, was 'really emotional', so much so, she had mixed feelings when she was told she had made it through to the next round.
In addition, she admitted she wasn't happy with the song 'Be My Baby' her group was given, but unlike other contestants who threw tantrums on the weekend's shows over the song selection, Stephanie knuckled down and worked hard, singing 'incredibly well' according to the Daily Mail and getting through to the next round.
She said: 'It was one of those really weird moments, where you are supposed to be really happy and I was, but I was also sad, as James (fellow contestant) didn't get through and he really wanted it.
'I felt for the guy, I know what it's like to face rejection and if it was up to me he would have stayed and made it through. I'm not in control of it, but I empathised with him. And it looked like I was crying all the time, but I wasn't, though it was very emotional. I wasn't the only one crying'.
She is, however, delighted with the support she is receiving, including many followers from Ireland.
With the axe being wielded on half of the contestants, Stephanie said the weekend was 'pretty dramatic' and viewers can expect the next round to be even harder.