DUBLIN singer Melanie McCabe has insisted this year will be third time lucky for her on the X Factor - because she's a new and improved version of herself.
Despite swearing she'd never audition for Simon Cowell's talent series again after being booted off last year, Melanie is giving the show one last attempt.
The 18-year-old, who auditioned in Manchester last week, believes she has what it takes to go all the way this time around and is hoping her brand new image will help please the judges.
"I just wanted a new image, I didn't want to go back as the same person because I think the judges want you to come back different and fresh," she told the Herald.
"I took the bull by the horns and decided to dye my hair brown and dress more like myself - it definitely went to my advantage.
"Last year I dressed up a lot and it didn't go my way - so this time I was determined to be more myself and casual, that helped," she said.
"Getting the knock last year made me want it so much more - I had a taste and got so close, so this time I'm willing to work extra hard.
"My voice and stage presence has improved since last time and I've been getting a lot of stage experience too.
"I've a lot to prove now, there's a lot of expectation, but I'm prepared."
The secondary school student flew over to the UK with her mum to audition in front of Louis Walsh, Gary Barlow, Tulisa Constavlos and Mel B.
She belted out a rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water and it went down a storm with audiences in the stadium.
But unlike previous occasions, Melanie didn't tell anyone she was auditioning - even the rest of her family.
"I didn't tell any friends or anything, mum was the only person who knew.
It was too hard telling people I didn't get through last year after Miami. We just told people we were going to London shopping.
"If I didn't get it this year, I seriously wouldn't go back again - at this stage it's embarrassing. I wouldn't give up singing, I just wouldn't do the X Factor route."
However, the Dubliner insisted she has a good feeling about the 2012 competition.
"I have a good feeling about it. I know Louis would be really encouraging of me too, he was so upset for me last year.
"The reaction from my audition was good and I was really happy. I honestly didn't know how it would go, I put my own twist on an old song and it was a gamble, I stepped out of my comfortable zone."