Louis' secret plan leaves fans stunned
X FACTOR judge Louis Walsh has revealed the secret to Mary Byrne's stage-stealing success on Saturday night.
The Westlife supremo told the Herald how he advised his talented performer -- dubbed MaBy -- to "hold back" in the run-up to the crucial first-night programme in order to save her voice.
"She was genuinely really sick, she had a very bad bout of laryngitis so I told her to save herself a bit during the rehearsals for the first show. Then when she came out, no-one was expecting her to blow everyone away but that's exactly what she did," he said.
More than 750,000 viewers in Ireland watched the determined star perform 'It's A Man's World' for the first round of live auditions, with a massive 15million UK viewers tuning in to the show.
The Ballyfermot Tesco employee (50) has now been installed as one of the hot favourites to win this year's hit programme and mentor Louis has no doubt that she'll go very far in the competition.
"She will be in the overall final. I think she got one of the biggest number of votes on Saturday night and she definitely got the longest ovation from the audience. They had to cut off the clapping to let the judges speak but it went on for well over a minute," he continued.
"Mary can absolutely win this because she offers something different. She's a real person, she appreciates every bit of success and this is her time. The public love to see someone deserving get a big break and she so deserves this. She's so grateful for all that has happened."
The mum-of-one is tipped to sing another big ballad on Saturday.