Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 6 May 2015

X Factor's Northern Ireland teenager reaches final in Australia

Andrew Lawson
Andrew Lawson
Andrew Lawson

A Northern Ireland teenager is singing his way to X Factor glory ... on the other side of the world.

Rather than face weekly grillings from Simon Cowell, 18-year-old Andrew Lawson is instead causing a sensation on the Australian version of the hit show.

He crooned his way to the final nine on the live show following his version of Frank Sinatra’s ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ on Sunday.

The talented singer’s family emigrated from Lisburn to New Zealand when he was six and settled in Australia five years ago.

After getting into the prestigious Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Andrew decided to defer his course and try out for the show. “I wanted to get going and kickstart my singing, which is why I left the course,” Andrew said.

“I heard about the auditions and decided to give it a go.”

Boyzone’s Ronan Keating and singer Natalie Imbruglia, who are on the judging panel, were blown away by Andrew’s talent at the audition stage. And he impressed guest mentor Kelly Rowland at the judge’s house stage in New York.

Since then, the teenager has been gaining a huge amount of fans, including his grandmother Marlene Finch.

She has been watching the show over the internet from her home in Hillsborough.

“It’s great, very exciting. He is one lovely, lovely boy,” she said.

The proud granny remembers how a young Andrew would sing John Denver songs when she picked him up from Ballymacash Primary School.

Andrew’s mother Julie Lawson has flown from Queensland to Sydney each week to cheer on her son. “It's just one of those things that you can't really afford, but you can't afford to miss, “ she said.

The live show goes out on Sunday with the results show broadcast each Monday.

All the family have been getting behind the young star. His aunt Jenny Dunlop said: “Monday morning is very stressful in this house when the results are coming in, so I don’t know how my sister is feeling.”

Andrew began playing guitar when he was seven and now writes his own songs. His father Harry Lawson, who owned the family butchers in Bridge Street, Lisburn, before moving to New Zealand, introduced him to many musical greats including classic crooners Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

“They are great story-tellers. My dad grew up with that music and has always played it ,” Andrew said.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Nightlife Galleries


Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News


Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant


An opportunity to expand your horizons is too good to ignore. Studying or travelling abroad will keep you far from home, but absence will make the heart grow fonder. If you have a beloved pet, make arrangements to travel with your companion. Don't let small inconveniences keep you from exploring new vistas. Have you been yearning to write a book? Begin now, while you have some stellar cosmic energy at your back. Great things can happen if you take a risk.More