X Factor: Odds tipped in Mary Byrne's favour as Irish fans get 'voice
Irish viewers will be able to vote in the first of the 'X Factor' live shows tonight -- boosting hopes that Dubliner Mary Byrne will win the reality competition.
The 50-year-old supermarket worker was forced to abandon rehearsals and take to her bed earlier this week after she contracted a virus, and has admitted to being "frightened".
However, last night as she sang in the final rehearsals, the Ballyfermot woman promised she wouldn't let illness rob her of "the chance of a lifetime".
"My throat is sore. I feel very tired and, if I'm honest, a bit frightened. But I will fight back because there is no way I will let myself down after coming this far. I'm doing everything I can to make myself well," she told the Irish Independent.
The singer will perform the James Brown hit 'It's A Man's World' on tonight's show, in the style of a recent version by Christine Aguilera.
"There won't be any dancers on stage with me, just some string players with violins. I was in the studio yesterday and there was a huge sense of excitement," she said.
There will be excitement, too, in her home suburb of Ballyfermot, and across the rest of the country, when the Tesco checkout worker takes to the stage.
"I know all the head people in Tesco will be in Downey's pub in Ballyfermot to watch and there's another big party in Tim Young's pub around the corner. I can feel the goodwill," she said.
Last night, Byrne said she still did not know what she was going to wear for the show: "They bought me a new wardrobe, but I've been too sick to try it on," she said.
She said she was still not 100pc well, but firmly believed she could win 'The X Factor'.
"Before I'm going to go out on stage, I'm going to have a little pray, take two deep breaths and tell myself 'this is the most exciting thing that will ever happen to me in my life. I'm ready for it," she said.
Also in tonight's live televised show, Rebecca Creighton (21), from Tallaght in Dublin, will perform as part of girl band 'Belle Amie'; while Niall Horan (17), from Mullingar in Co Westmeath, is part of boyband '1 Direction'.
"This is one of TV3's biggest shows, so we're delighted viewers all around Ireland can now take part. We have our fingers crossed for an Irish winner in 'X Factor' this year," a spokeswoman for the station said