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Singer Mary Byrne defends Simon Cowell after Jedward’s X Factor comments


Singer Mary Byrne

Singer Mary Byrne

Singer Mary Byrne

Former X Factor star Mary Byrne has said that she had “no problems at all” with the show amid revelations from former contestants that there was an abuse of power behind the scenes.

Irish popstars Jedward caused chaos when they began a Twitter tirade criticising The X Factor and Simon Cowell, claiming that contestants were mistreated during the competition.

The twins, who made it to the live finals back in 2009, claimed that “every contestant on X Factor was a slave to the show and got paid zero while they made millions!”

2010 runner-up Rebecca Ferguson has called for a parliamentary inquiry into the music industry’s mistreatment of talent, adding that there needs to be better protection from “bullying” agents and managers.

While several former contestants have spoken out against The X Factor, others said that their time on the reality show was a fantastic experience.

Mary Byrne, who shocked viewers with her captivating performances in the 2010 series and became known as Tesco Mary, spoke on Newstalk about her experience on the show, and said that she was “treated very, very well.”

She told listeners: “I have no problems with The X Factor at all. Yes, it was hard work. Yes, you had to sign contracts. And yes, the businesses took some money off you but I also made money.

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“It was a huge platform for me and I was treated very, very well.”

Mary described the show’s creator Simon Cowell as “a very kind man.”

She continued: “I feel sad for anyone who feels disappointed by what happened to them but from my point of view, we were told everything. We had it all explained to us. We had our own representatives, lawyers, the crew were great to us, and Simon himself.

Brendan Murray, who came in fifth place on the 2018 series, echoed her sentiments and agreed that he “can’t fault X Factor.”

The Tuam native shared: “Overall I had a really good experience. They treated me really well on the show.

When asked about the contestants who are now accusing The X Factor of mistreatment, Brendan said: “That’s the music business. You’re going to get knocked and you’re going to meet a few crooks along the way that are going to try to take advantage of you.

“But from my experience, I can’t fault anyone or anything. I can’t fault X Factor. If anything, X Factor has benefitted me,” he added.

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