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Lightweight Amy takes Voice by storm

They say it's all about the voice, but that wasn't strictly the case for Voice of Ireland contestant Amy Cooney.

The Liberties native says shifting a staggering eight stone finally gave her the confidence to appear on stage in front of those famous revolving chairs.

Amy (27) had struggled with her weight for years and thought no one would want to see her sing on their TV sets.

"I remember going to see The Voice in The Helix and sitting in the audience with my friends," she said.

"They all said you should go for that. But I thought, 'Who would want to see a fat mess like me on the telly?'."

But Amy decided to apply after getting a gastric band and dropping over eight stone.

"I was 26 stone," Amy said. "The doctor said, if you don't do something about it, you will die of a heart attack."

Gastric band surgery is dangerous but Amy says her family supported her fully.

"I said, 'Listen, I know this is dangerous and I could die on the table, but I want to get it done'. They were all really supportive.

"I flew to Belgium to get it done. It cost €4,500, so it's the same price as a cruise. Except this is your life you're changing."

And Amy says she now has confidence in spades.

"I feel so confident I could walk around town in nothing but my knickers."



compliments

Amy's story may seem to sit at odds with the show's mission statement that success has nothing to do with looks.

But Amy insists that the talent show is all about the voice.

"It has nothing to do with how you look. I just needed to get the surgery done to improve my own confidence.

"I thought I was a fat mess. People used to pay me compliments, but I didn't believe them. It was only when I lost the weight I realised I was lovely."

Her new outlook has given Amy a new lease of life.

"I've always wanted to sing," she said. "And when I walked into The Helix, I felt totally at home. I just felt so sure of myself."

But watching her performance on camera will be a little more difficult.

"I will be scarlet watching it. I'll be cringing when I'm watching it. Let the slagging commence," she laughs.

hnews@herald.ie