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Sharon saves the day for our new X Factor sensation Mary

MUSIC mogul Sharon Osbourne is helping Irish X Factor star Mary Byrne (50) cope with her nerves as she becomes X Factor's star attraction.

On Saturday, viewers in Ireland and the UK saw Tesco till worker Mary wow Simon Cowell with her powerful rendition of Tom Jones' I Who Have Nothing. The panel, which also included Louis Walsh, Cheryl Cole and guest judge Katy Perry, all voted for Mary to be sent though to Boot Camp.

It is understood mum-of-one Mary (50), from Ballyfermot, has got through to the next stage and has met Sharon. Former X Factor judge Sharon is now acting as an adviser to Louis Walsh. The team were holed up in Adare Manor in Limerick, where Louis and Sharon are mentoring the Over-28 group.

A source revealed that the Tesco worker, who is being dubbed MaBy and NuBo by her army of fans, had almost quit the talent competition a few days ago.

"Mary has a fantastic voice but she lacks the confidence to go with it," the source said.

"On Friday she almost pulled out of the show because she was so nervous, but Sharon had a word with her and convinced her to stay."

Mary's best friend, Patricia O'Connor, explained that Mary was entered into the competition by her sister.

"She always said she'd like to make it but it was her sister that gave her the push and entered her into the competition."

Mary, who already has thousands of fans, was delighted to be compared to Britain's Got Talent runner-up, and now global sensation, Susan Boyle. "It's a huge compliment to be compared to Susan. She has become a huge star and has an amazing voice so I'm thrilled.

"She is of a similar age and I guess neither of us look like your typical star.

"We have both waited so long to do what we are doing. But I'm embracing the limelight. I'm aiming to get to the live finals, get a nice contract and become the singer I want to be.

Battled

"My family will keep my feet on the ground. I will just keep things real and stay true to myself.

"I am very close to my three brothers and one sister and their families.

"The prize money would make a huge difference to me daughter (Deborah, 23) and my family. There are so many things I could do with it.

"If I got above my station they would know what to do to bring me down."

On Saturday, viewers heard how Mary had battled with low self-esteem before taking auditioning for X Factor.

When quizzed by singer Katy Perry as to why she had waited so long before going public with her talent, Mary told her that she had "low self-esteem" for many years.

She is now trying to shed three stone after admitting her weight "doesn't look good" on telly.

But if it were all to end tomorrow, she would happily return to her job in Tesco.

"I would have no problems going back and sitting on my checkout. But I'd never stop singing."

Paddy Power has already shown confidence in the 50-year-old and has slashed her odds from 8/1 to 5/1.

hnews@herald.ie


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