Janet Devlin captures Kelly Rowland’s heart to secure X Factor finals spot
A shy schoolgirl from Northern Ireland is gearing up to sing in front of millions of X Factor fans next weekend after securing her place in the live finals of the hit TV show.
Viewers watched last night as 16-year-old Tyrone teenager Janet Devlin discovered her fate at the hands of mentor Kelly Rowland and guest judge Jennifer Hudson in Miami.
The girl from Gortin in Co Tyrone, who has become a YouTube sensation since her first audition, is now preparing to perform in front of a TV audience of millions when the live shows begin this Saturday night.
Janet, one of eight girls battling it out to sing on the live shows, was last to audition at the weekend.
Before her performance, a nervous Janet said: “I have never been so scared in my life. Getting sent home would just crash me right down again. Today can literally change your life forever — nothing's ever going to go back to normal after this step. It means everything.”
The quirky teen, who has been compared to singer/songwriter Ellie Goulding and Cranberries front woman Dolores O'Riordan, performed in bare feet, telling Kelly: “I prefer wearing no shoes. It makes me feel more grounded.”
She then sang the Christina Aguilera hit single Beautiful.
Afterwards, Kelly said: “I love her, you could hear a pin drop in this room. She sets a tone in a room that's insane.”
She then added: “I want her to come out of herself a little bit more.”
Despite her growing fanbase and popularity with all the judges, the Drumragh Integrated College pupil was unsure if she had done enough to impress the two singers. She told presenter Dermot O'Leary: “I hope that it was enough to get me through but I don't know. I don't really want to go home, but I feel like I am.”
Janet was one of the last two girls to find out how she had done. Kelly commented on her innocence and vulnerability and told her she needed more confidence for the live shows, asking her if she could handle the pressure.
The former Destiny's Child star was in tears as she broke the good news to Janet, telling her: “When I see you, it reminds me of being 16. I don't want you to miss anything.”
Janet has been one of the front runners since her first performance of Elton John's Your Song, which won over the four judges, prompting Gary Barlow to say that he believed a girl from Northern Ireland could win this year's series.