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Am I the only one to see through Saint Bressie and the guff he spouts about staying 'real'?

Bressie-mania has swept the Irish nation like a flu epidemic -- and with many of the same symptoms among women (teary eyes, sleep deprivation, inability to focus at work).

And while it is akin to an exiling offence not to embrace the singer/ songwriter du jour -- especially for a man, as it must surely be borne out of rampant jealousy -- perhaps we need a reality check.

Sure he played for Leinster. And yes, it's not Bressie's fault that he's good-looking. Nor is it his fault The Voice, for all its claims to be a totally new kind of talent show, produced final acts that would have appeared in You're A Star finals any other year.

It is deeply ironic, however, that the 'Mullingar Beefcake' has made his name on a show that purports to place substance over style, and gives a chance to performers who are not all about looks, while at the same time riding a wave of popularity based largely on his own physical appearance.

This is done out of necessity, because let's be honest, does anyone -- even the hordes of women clamouring to see him on his nationwide tour -- think that Bressie's musical output is outstanding or memorable?

More grating, however, is Bressie's tedious banging on about "keeping it real", how he's all about real shows, real people, and doesn't buy into any of the superficial or manufactured aspects of celebrity.

This week, when asked why he agreed to do The Voice, he replied: "There was no bull****, and no contrived Come Dine With Me s****, because I can't watch that kind of stuff."

Unfortunately for Bressie, he is talking nonsense.

Yes, CDWM is edited, but it is unscripted, unrehearsed, warts-and-all, and through a combination of tiredness and drink, reveals aspects of people's character that most would want well hidden.

The Voice, on the other hand, is scripted, rehearsed, and shamelessly manipulative in its editing. It may be less over the top than The X Factor, but to suggest that it's more "real" than other reality tv shows, and that it has unearthed a musical gem no other show would have discovered, is laughable.

Because for all of Pat Byrne's likeability and talent, the suggestion that he's "on his way to make a million" is nonsense.

He's more likely to play a couple of nights in the Imperial Hotel, Cavan, after Bressie has finished his own residency...

So a few words of advice, Bressie. Hang on to the smouldering looks. Keep the five o'clock shadow neatly trimmed. Keep pouring yourself into those tight tops. And keep up the "I'm too busy to have a girlfriend" line.

But please stop banging on about the show being "real."

Otherwise, Bres, you're letting yourself down.


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