Northern Ireland’s Australian X Factor hopeful Andrew Lawson misses out
It was a bittersweet moment for Northern Ireland’s Australian X Factor hopeful.
When Lisburn 18-year-old Andrew Lawson entered the talent contest he never thought he would be standing on stage in front of a screaming audience in the final.
And so the night was tinged with disappointment when it was announced that he had come third in the contest Down Under.
Rocker Altiyan Childs — the bookies favourite — went on to claim the X Factor title yesterday.
But there was a row over rock ballad Somewhere In This World — written for the final and performed live by the three finalists.
Andrew’s mentor Kyle Sandilands claimed that when he first heard the song he could not imagine it being played on the radio and said “the song sucks”.
Fellow judge Natalie Imbruglia said the song had not been chosen with Andrew in mind.
“I don’t think that song suits the type of artist that you are. I think you sang it well, I think you gave an emotional delivery, I just don’t think that song suits the kind of artist that you are,” she said.
After he was eliminated his mother Julie also questioned the choice of song for the winner’s single. She added that judge Ronan Keating was harsh on him, but that she was proud of her son.
“In our hearts he’s definitely a winner,” she said.
“I don’t think Ronan’s comments last night helped. Never mind, Andrew is happy and that’s my main concern. We love him and look forward to what his future will bring.”
His aunt Jenny Dunlop said: “Andrew coming third out of all the thousands that auditioned is just fabulous. He will always be a winner to his family; he has really done us proud. This is the start of something big for Andrew.”
She agreed that the winning single was written for a rock singer and did not complement Andrew’s crooner style, but said the teenager was looking forward to moving to Sydney to pursue a career in music and record an album.
Andrew, who left Northern Ireland aged six with his family, received positive and negative comments from the judges during the live final on Sunday night.
He performed four times during the show. The judges loved his jazz version of Frank Sinatra’s Fly Me To The Moon and praised his version of The Eagles’ Heartache Tonight. But they were critical of his rendition of his performance of Somewhere In This World.
Boyzone star Ronan Keating was particularly harsh on the teenager.
“I just don’t think that was a good enough delivery and a good enough performance and I can see it in your face you know it.”