Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 May 2015

X Factor songbird Janet Devlin gets a flock of celebs tweeting

Janet Devlin from Gortin near Omagh
Janet Devlin from Gortin near Omagh

From a talent competition at school to taking centre stage on The X Factor, Tyrone teenager Janet Devlin has come a long way in the past few months.

The 16-year-old from Gortin has emerged as an early favourite to win this year's series after an outstanding audition, which blew the judges away and brought the audience to its feet.

Janet, wearing a knitted dress, chunky cardigan and laced-up boots, looked nervous as she performed the Elton John classic Your Song, garnering huge praise from the judging panel.

Already she's the bookies' favourite and she has attracted a large celebrity following on Twitter, including Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Sara Cox, Lily Allen and Olly Murs.

Earlier this year Janet, a pupil at Drumragh Integrated School in Omagh, took part in a province-wide School Stars competition, formerly known as Stars In Their Eyes. Performing a song by Taylor Swift, she won her own school heat. But she was pipped at the post at the final of the contest, held earlier this summer at the Waterfront Hall. By coincidence, Dungiven schoolboy Eoghan Quigg also made the final twice, failing to win both times. He then went on to compete and come third in The X Factor.

Drumragh principal Nigel Frith said: "Janet took part in the contest at our school and was up against some very stiff competition, but she won it outright. I was very impressed with her voice.

"The thing with Janet is that although she knows she's good, she never draws attention to herself. She's humble, modest and very popular with the other pupils. There's certainly nothing of the diva about her. She goes about her business quietly but I think she has a deep confidence which will help her in The X Factor."

Two years ago Janet took part in local competition Glenelly's Got Talent. Compere on the night Sean O'Kane said: "She had a lovely voice and a presence on the stage. She was going to take part again this year, but wasn't allowed to do so because of The X Factor."

Radio Ulster's Across The Line host David 'Rigsy' O'Reilly said he had been impressed by Janet's distinctive voice and endearing personality.

"She came across as very sweet and her performance was pleasant. She definitely stood out as one to watch," he said.


New X Factor star Janet has revealed she is glad Simon Cowell has left the show - because she thinks he would have hated her.

She said: "I was kind of happy Simon wasn't there because I thought he'd hate me.

"Simon always just tells it straight. But then I found out Gary was worse in terms of being honest, although, thankfully, he was good to me."

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