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Celebrity Diary: Now the pressure is on. I've got to sing two belters ... but I've lost my voice

The worst thing possible happened to me this week -- I lost my voice.

I've battled so many things since I've been in this show, what with my arthritis and having to move out of the house to get some sleep, but this has to be the biggest setback.

Obviously, when you're singing these big songs every week and you're giving it your all, that's going to take a strain on you and it's little wonder that my voice just packed in.

So I've just been resting it and trying not to talk too much and hoping that it's better for tomorrow night. All the other contestants have gone through this at some stage, so I guess that now it's my turn. I pulled out of a rehearsal to give it time to come back.

What's making it more difficult is that this week, we have not one but two songs to perform.

And Simon Cowell has hinted that there is going to be a double eviction this Sunday. That has really put the pressure on all of us and the fact that there's only seven of us left now means there really is everything to play for.



FOCUSED

I've been talking to Louis every day and he's been a brilliant help, just in terms of giving me advice and helping me stay focused.

He helped me pick the songs he thought would best suit me, so I'm going to be singing a U2 song, All I Want Is You, as well as a hit by the Pretenders called Brass In Pocket.

They're two big belters of songs and I just hope I do them justice. I had some great feedback last weekend so hopefully I'll get out there and do my best again tomorrow night. I'm determined to prove Simon wrong -- I'm no pub singer.

Having said that, I'm in really good spirits. I have just been keeping the head down this week and trying to stay focused.

I spent two days back in the Kensington Hotel which is like a second home to me now. It's brilliant just to be able to get some time alone, to listen to my songs and just relax.

It's a big change for me living with so many teenagers and young people and I had forgotten how noisy they can be! So getting a few good nights' sleep really does make all the difference when it comes to your performance and just your general stress levels.

That's not to say that living in the X Factor house isn't fun though. We have a right laugh together and we all get on great. I have a particular soft spot for Rebecca Ferguson as she's just so down to earth and such a lovely girl and is a mum like me.

And I have to say, the more the competition goes on, the more I'm missing Dublin.

Having been away for so long now, I'm really starting to miss all my friends and family and most especially, my daughter Debbie.

To have her in the studio with me for the past two weekends has meant so much to me, it just gives me that extra bit of a boost exactly when I need it.

I don't know whether she's going to be able to make it this weekend but I'll keep my fingers crossed anyway. I know she's so proud of me and is delighted that I have got this far and, in a way, I'm doing this for the both of us.

Even though it's like being in a bubble while you're in this show, I have still heard about everything that's going on at home and I just think that none of the politicians are any good. All they ever do is line their pockets and think about themselves.

I'm glad that the X Factor is giving people a nice little break from all the negative stuff going on.

I definitely need Ireland to get behind me big time this weekend as the pressure's building up and it's all up to the public now. But nobody is safe anymore, we could all go out, no matter what the bookies say.

I was disappointed that TV3 can't put the number for me up on screen. We were hoping to sort that out at some stage for those who are not computer minded.

If I get through this weekend, and please God I do, I'm through to the semi-final and that's one step closer to being in the final.

The Irish public have done a fantastic job keeping me in so far so now I'm urging everyone to get behind me this weekend and get everyone on their computers, voting for me.

Music is the love of my life and I just don't want this dream to end.

Voting numbers will appear at tv3.ie/xfactorvote after the show


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