Crunch time for star Mary as fans urged to get out and vote

ON SONG: Dublin singer battles sickness in bid for X Factor final

Melanie Finn, Showbusiness Editor

IRISH X Factor fans are being urged to pick up the phone and vote for Mary Byrne this weekend.

Tesco till worker Mary (51) is in the semi-final -- and fears are growing that she could be eliminated this weekend.

It is thought the Dubliner will fight it out with rapper Cher Lloyd for viewers votes -- but many believe that Mary could survive and Cher be sent home.

This week will see the judges lose their power to save an act -- it's all down to the public vote and this could work in favour of mum-of-one Mary. Her mentor and X Factor judge Louis Walsh is urging all Irish people to vote for Mary this week.


He believes that if she gets past the semi-final, she will have a hit single on her hands for the future.

He has mentored the Ballyfermot diva all the way through to tonight's tense semi-finals since first discovering her at the Dublin auditions.

However, he has revealed that she faces an uphill battle to make it through to next weekend's final showdown.

"I'm honestly a bit worried about Mary," he said. "The theme is club classics, it's dance anthem -- but that doesn't really suit Mary. It's a hard thing for her to do, it's not her thing. It suits younger people better. I am a bit worried for her."

He still believes that her version of The Way We Were is going to pull in the most votes for her -- should she manage to make it through to the final four.

"If she gets through this week, she will get a record deal but I think that Mary, this weekend, is vulnerable. If people in Ireland vote for her, she'll be safe but it will be hard."

She will also be performing Gloria Gaynor's hit Never Can Say Goodbye as she competes against Matt Cardle, Rebecca Ferguson, One Direction and Cher Lloyd.

Mary was also hit with ill health during the week and had to pull out of the Narnia premiere in a bid to save her strength for tonight.

She also knows that she'll have to perform without the support of her daughter Debbie (23), who couldn't get the day off work. Debbie has described the situation as "a bit of a nightmare".

"I'm not going to be able to make it to see mam," she said. "I have used up all my work days off so I'll be staying in Dublin this weekend and cheering on mam from the pub."

Talented Mary has confirmed that she'll be coming back to Dublin next Tuesday on Budget Day for a big 'welcome home' party in Ballyfermot.

This weekend more than 18 million viewers are expected to tune in to see the semi-final of the competition.