Mary's dreams of making it easier for her Irish fans to vote are dashed

Melanie Finn

MARY Byrne's hopes of overhauling the tele-voting system for Ireland's X Factor fans have been dashed.

The Herald can reveal that despite pleas from the crooner (51), TV3 is standing firm and claiming there is "no hope" of having the system changed to make it easier for Irish people to vote for her in the hit contest.

MaBy made an appeal this week for TV3 to put the voting number up on screen during the programme, as opposed to having to wait to log on to the station's site to cast a vote once the show ends.

"I definitely need Ireland to get behind me, big time. I do know it's awkward because I believe that TV3 doesn't have the number up on screen. We are hoping we can sort that out at some stage for those who are not computer-minded. I know myself that I wouldn't have a clue about computers and I wouldn't have a clue how to get the numbers up," she stated.

Yet a TV3 spokeswoman said the existing system will have to remain in place for the foreseeable future.


"It's a non-runner, for this year anyway. The phone lines are 100pc controlled by ITV. Ireland has a different number for people to register their votes. But because we're taking our cue from ITV, the running order for contestants can change literally a minute before the show goes on air, which means all the numbers would change as well," she explained.

"To avoid confusion, we have to wait until all the acts are finished for ITV to release the right numbers. That leaves zero room for error.

"We're just delighted that Irish viewers can vote again in the show, that's the most important thing from our perspective."

The tele-voting system had to be completely overhauled after a litany of errors which saw viewers' votes not being registered properly. For the past few years, Irish X Factor fans have not been permitted to cast their votes in the show, even when Jedward featured in it last year.

However, negotiations between TV3 and ITV resulted in Irish viewers being able to cast their votes for contestants such as Mary Byrne and One Direction's Niall Horan by logging on to the station's website after the show.

The Herald has learned that Mary will sing The Pretenders' hit Brass in Pocket this Saturday.

Each of the remaining seven contestants will be performing a duo of songs in a bid to stay in the show another week. Mary's first song will be the U2 smash hit All I Want Is You.