herald

Monday 20 August 2018

Mary shares tips for success with X Factor hopeful Laura

X FACTOR veteran Mary Byrne has been passing on her wisdom to some of this year's contestants.

The Dublin singing star has provided a little inside information to the show's new hopefuls as they embark on the journey towards the finals.

Performer Laura O'Neill (inset) who has made it through to bootcamp, said that Mary has been in touch in the early stages of the competition.

"The best advice she gave me going to bootcamp was 'enjoy it, be yourself and give your best, that's all you can do'," she said.

Laura, who sings with The Firm alongside PJ Salmon, Jay Clarke and Darragh Oglesby, has been asked to play a gig in Mary's hometown.

And the mum-of-one is expected to be in attendance at Tim Youngs of Ballyfermot on Saturday night after the screening of The X Factor.

"Who knows, it could be my last gig in Dublin for a while," said Laura, who has been sworn to secrecy by producers.

The singer was rejected by the judges during her first audition, but was given a reprieve when her friend made a last-minute plea.

"This is the start of my journey as I develop as an artist and it's all a learning curve," Laura said. "Everyday I learn something new, I'm like a sponge I'm just trying to absorb everything I can and enjoy every moment."

Laura, who teaches at The National Performing Arts School Dublin, said: "Gary is most definitely the head judge this year but each judge is also equally holding their own.

"Gary Barlow has a lot to say and sometimes contestants might not like it but you have to remember as a contestant, he is one of the highest paid songwriters out there in a very successful band."

The Raheny local got to meet some of the former contestants on set and bonded with some of the other Irish contestants.

"Olly Murs is a cheeky chappy, very flirty and great fun," added Laura (22). "I'm looking forward to the future a lot. My plan B, which I have just in case, is ready to rock."

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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