Louis Walsh: I had plastic surgery because of Simon. Never again
Melanie Finn meets Louis Walsh
LOUIS Walsh has revealed how he went under the surgeon's knife at the insistence of Simon Cowell. The Mayo music mogul told the Herald how he reluctantly agreed to plastic surgery after boss Simon said it was "essential".
However, the X Factor judge (58) insisted that he would never again have plastic surgery -- even if it jeopardises his chances in America.
"The only thing I had done is to have the fat removed from under my eyes. That was last year," he said. "Simon said it was essential because of high-definition TV. The eye thing was all I've had done. There will be no Botox or anything like that."
Louis went on to have a pop at Cowell, insisting he is the weakest judge in the competition. And the outspoken Irish judge also hit out at fellow judge Cheryl Cole, claiming she got the easiest acts and doesn't have to work hard.
Speaking to the Herald, he took swipes at his X Factor colleagues and stood by nasty comments he had made about Cheryl when he told her on air: "It's not all about you, Cheryl."
The pair have been at loggerheads on screen since the start of the new series, with both snapping at each other during the live shows.
He has also had a gentle pop at producer Simon, who has only two acts remaining in the competition.
"I got the weakest categories. I got the four acts that no one else wanted and I've got three of them left so I think that's a result for me," he continued.
"Simon Cowell has lost two of those groups already. If I had those groups, I'd still have the four left. I think he's the weakest judge this year. I think he has to get his act together."
And on Cheryl, Louis wasn't pulling any punches. "She's got the easiest acts, she doesn't have to work that hard. Last year I had Jedward and JLS. They didn't win the show but they've been the most successful acts. I predict Mary's going to be the most successful act of this series," he said.
However, he insisted that he and Cheryl were still good friends despite the simmering tension.
"When people work together and know each other well, they're entitled to have the odd row. That's what people do," he said.
"I just had a lash at her, we're still good friends. We like to make it real, it's not a love fest.
"We are judges, we are in a competition and I want to win."
He went on to explain how he, Cheryl and fellow judge Dannii Minogue are still in the dark about Simon's plans for an American version of the hit show.
"We honestly don't know what's happening or who's going over -- it's all up to Simon but lets just say, everything is up for grabs," he said. "We have to wait until he makes the final call on it."
The Herald can also reveal the woman behind his dramatic new hairstyle -- Simon Cowell's celebrity hair and make-up artist Julia Carta.
The part-Spanish brunette, who has worked with everyone from the Corrs to Sienna Miller, was behind his new hair colour after opting to give him a "more youthful" look.
The manager is now a shadow of his former self after shedding more than half a stone in weight since returning to the hit programme. Yet he puts it all down to the excitement of being back on the show, which is pulling in an estimated 13 million viewers this series.
Louis also revealed how returning to the X Factor again has been bitter sweet for him -- as it marked the first anniversary of Stephen Gately's tragic death.
He said it was hard to believe that a year has passed since the Boyzone star's death in his Spanish apartment on October 10, 2009.
"The anniversary was last week, I'll never forget that as Stephen used to always come down and watch the show. All I can say is, I hope he's in a better place, I really do," he said.
And he added how he's in the dark about what the next few years hold in store for his remaining Boyzone bandmates.
"I know they're going to do a tour next year but I don't know what the future is for them."
The famous Irishman is now facing into the third round of live X Factor programmes after losing one of his acts this week in the form of Storm.
However, he firmly believes that his act Mary Byrne (50) can sell as many records as SuBo -- and could go on to become the most successful contestant ever.
"I think Mary can absolutely win the competition. She's got everything.
"I'm planning big songs for her every week. There's no tricks, no showy dancing, it's just about the voice," he explained.
"I think every woman does identify with her and it's great for the show because she's not like anybody else on it. The other people are dividing up the votes, she's just different.
"Her age won't hold her back, nothing will. It's all about her voice, Susan Boyle sold eight million records, I think Mary will also sell an awful lot. It's all about your voice, people don't buy your records for how you look."
Louis also reckons it's thanks to all the Irish voting for Rebecca Creighton (17) in Belle Amie and Niall Horan in One Direction that they're still in the show. "Simon was the one who didn't want to come to Dublin as he thought it wasn't worth his while but now it's the Irish people who are keeping him in this competition because they're voting for the Irish boy and the Irish girl," he added.