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Three years after Cheryl kicked her out, Melanie's in boot camp

A Dublin teenager turned down at the X Factor auditions three years ago will progress to the boot camp stage of the competition tonight.

Melanie McCabe first appeared on the reality TV show when she was just 14 -- and pop star Cheryl Cole told her at the time to go back home as she was so young.

This year, Melanie returned to the contest and managed to impress pop mogul Louis Walsh and the three new judges, Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos and Kelly Rowland.

The 18-year-old was asked to perform two songs on her audition for the programme, which will be aired tonight, and she easily showed her talent by belting out Rihanna's Only Girl In The World.

Melanie's auntie, Fiona Ufton, who lives in the UK and has been in constant contact with her talented niece, said she was good enough to be in the live finals.

"This is what she wants and she's a very ambitious young lady with a tremendous talent and a great maturity," Fiona said. "She's taking everything in her stride."

Melanie isn't the only Irish native to make the crucial boot camp stages of the X Factor. She will be joined by a Wexford singer, who was a finalist in You're A Star. The Herald can reveal how aspiring star Sheila O'Sullivan (28) bowled judges over with her performance at auditions earlier this year. Sheila took to the stage at EventCity last June and wowed the judges with her vocals.