Belfast Telegraph

Oz X Factor star Andrew Lawson needs the text factor

In less than a week Northern Ireland could have its very own X Factor winner — but your help is needed.

Lisburn sensation Andrew Lawson has reached the final of the Australian X Factor and is asking the province to get behind him and cast votes during this weekend’s showdown.

After singing over nine live programmes to stay in the competition, the teenage crooner is just five days away from becoming this year’s winner.

People in Northern Ireland will be able to vote by text from 10am on Sunday until lines close at midnight, and Andrew is looking for all the support he can get.

Lisburn mayor Paul Porter is getting behind the campaign.

“I would like to encourage everyone to vote for Andrew to hopefully see him crowned winner of X Factor Australia,” he said. “It is great that a locally-born talent has been successful in such a high-profile music talent show.”

The 18-year-old performed twice during Sunday’s live show.

Andrew’s mother Julie said the young singer had been disappointed with his first song after receiving criticism from the judges, especially Boyzone singer Ronan Keating.

“When he gets comments from Ronan he really takes it to heart because above all the other judges I think Ronan is the one he looks up to most,” she said.

Flanked by a troupe of female dancers, Andrew sang a version of Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl.

Afterwards Ronan said: “I think you looked really uncomfortable in that performance.

“I think it’s too late in the contest for that to happen. We are in the final four — we are supposed to have people that can actually win the competition and sell records globally and that for me was a lacklustre performance.”

But the teenager — who has been dubbed the new Dean Martin — bounced back from the criticism when he got on stage for a second time and wooed the audience with the Frank and Nancy Sinatra classic Somethin’ Stupid.

And the judges were also taken in by Andrew’s laidback lounge style. Ronan said: “Andrew, I’m delighted we have two songs from each of the contestants tonight because you totally redeemed yourself with that performance.”

And singer Natalie Imbruglia agreed. “That reminded me of what we loved about you in your first audition,” she said.

Andrew, who emigrated from Northern Ireland with his family when he was six years old, has a hectic week ahead as he prepares for his biggest challenge yet.

On Thursday he will fly back to his old school in Noosa in Australia with mentor Kyle Sandilands to perform. The pair will then visit the family home for afternoon tea before Andrew sings at the local surf club.

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