X Factor: Mary Byrne offered money-spinning record deal
X Factor star Mary Byrne has been offered a secret €1m record deal that will make her rich beyond her wildest dreams - win or lose on the TV talent show.
The Ballyfermot Tesco check-out girl thrilled the judges again on Saturday night with a dynamic performance of the Barry Manilow hit Could It Be Magic.
Now top X Factor sources have revealed that 50-year-old Mary has already been guaranteed a money-spinning two-album deal by Simon Cowell, whether she wins the show or not.
The deal will spark a life-changing chapter for Mary who currently shares a modest three-bedroom home with her 25-year-old daughter Debbie, who she raised on her own since birth after the father walked out when she was pregnant. Cowell has been in talks with Mary's mentor Louis Walsh about turning Mary into the new Subo and believes she can sell millions of records worldwide by appealing to the older market.
The talks are being kept hush-hush by Cowell in a bid to keep competition for the winning prize - a €1m record deal - at fever pitch between all the contestants.
But a source close to Mary revealed: "The album deal has already been done, no matter what happens. She doesn't need to worry about money ever again thanks to her incredible performances on the show.
"Mary can't believe her luck. She went in to the audition hoping to make it on to the show - but she never believed in her wildest dreams she'd be such a big hit.
"Simon is determined to sign her to his record label and has already pencilled her into his release schedule for next year. She'll be guaranteed at least a million in the next 12 months -- and there's also talk of a tour, promotions and a number of endorsement deals.
"Tesco are also extremely keen to sign her up and pay her €100,000 for a TV ad campaign as soon as she is finished on the show.
"This is all new territory for Mary and she already has a personal advisor, appointed by the X Factor, to start negotiating deals on her behalf."
Mary also revealed how she struggled to make ends meet, as she raised Debbie on her own.
"We were never rich and we had to watch every penny," she said. "But we made it work.
"I'm comfortable enough now, but I'm in no way rich. Would I stay in Ballyfermot if I started making big money? Well, the truth is I don't know if it'd be possible -- but I'd cry my heart out if I had to leave."
Last night Simon Cowell lavished more praise on her performance: "You are truly the one to beat," he said. "You have the voice, the presence and the support from the public. You'll be a big star."
The judges were unanimous in praising the 50-year-old's performance, with Louis Walsh calling her the "people's champion".
Dannii Minogue agreed, and said: "You are a class act. You are turning into the woman we love. The more you get into it, the more I love it."
Cheryl Cole added: "Good on you Mary, for getting into the spirit of things... you can sing anything, you can sing absolutely anything. It was great fun this week, a great choice this week, and I've got to tell you Mary, you're a horny little devil."
Her mentor Louis Walsh triumphed: "Mary, you belted out every note in tune - everybody on the street loves you. You're the people's champion - and I love you."