herald

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Meet Dubliner Melanie (18), who is set to rock this year's X-Factor

A Dublin teen who is the favourite to win this year's X Factor is living proof that if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

Melanie McCabe (18) from Whitehall in Dublin failed to make it through to the finals of the competition four years ago.

She was told by judge Cheryl Cole that she was too young and to try again in a few years time.

The advice has obviously paid off because, yesterday, judges Gary Barlow and Kelly Rowland deemed her a potential winner.

The Take That star was coy about his favourites.

"There's one Irish girl that I think can go all the way to the end," the 40-year-old chart-topper said at the launch of the reality show yesterday in London.

Meanwhile, Destiny's Child crooner Kelly Rowland also pointed out the Irish lass and her show-stopping talent.

"She's such a star, she comes out on stage and she really makes it her own. You can see that she wants it really bad. She's really young but she's so talented.

"You Irish guys have a beast in the competition this year," she said.

Speaking to the Herald recently, Melanie was adamant she would do whatever it took to get to the finals.

"I got through to the last day of boot camp four years ago, but Cheryl told me that I was too young.

"She said she started in the industry at 15 and that I would be too vulnerable.

"I was only 14 and my voice hadn't even properly developed yet. This time I was better," Melanie revealed.

The pretty blonde wowed the judges by singing a powerful ballad in Manchester and, despite admitting that it was "nerve-wracking" performing in front of thousands at the auditions, she loves being on the stage.

Having waited another year after the minimum age for contestants was raised to 16, the teen insists she is much stronger now and feels more confident about her voice.

"Now my voice is more womanly. I'm quite a soul singer, I like really big powerhouse songs. Beyonce is my idol," she said.

A source close to the budding superstar said that as soon as Mel walked on to stage, Louis recognised her.

"Louis remembered her straight away, so she obviously left a big impression last time she was there," the insider revealed.

Mel is not the only Irish star in the making, though. Louis claims there are four Irish girls in the running this year, including Belfast-local Jolene Burns, Omagh native Janet Devlin and fellow Dubliner Meghan Burke.

hnews@herald.ie

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