Singing sensation Janet Devlin looks set for The X Factor final but the Co Tyrone girl took her first steps to fame thanks to Sunday Life — in our School Stars talent show last year.
As a judge that night, almost 18 months ago, I described the then 14-year-old school girl as a “better-than-the-original Taylor Swift” as she belted out a flawless rendition of one of the country singer’s hits.
But, despite her amazing performance, I didn’t place young Janet in the top three of The X Factor-style provincewide talent show, where 21 super-talented schoolchildren battled it out for glory.
I was unfamiliar with the song she had chosen to sing but the saccharine, over-wrought US ballad just wasn’t my cup of tea — the overall performance was a touch dated and, as Simon Cowell would no doubt say, “not that relevant”.
And, with many of the other contestants singing songs they had written themselves, playing instruments and dancing as well as singing, us judges agreed that Janet’s performance, while vocally flawless, lacked a little sparkle.