Irish girl still in 'X Factor' running


IRISH TEENAGER Janet Devlin is one step closer to performing in front of a 10,000-capacity crowd at Wembley Arena after making it through to the crunch stage of TV talent show, the X Factor.

The Tyrone singer looked like the weight of the world lifted from her shoulders when her name was announced last in the list of four contestants going through unopposed during the results show.

Amelia Lily, who got a second chance after the sacking of Frankie Cocozza, went head-to-head with Craig Colton in the sing-off, resulting in deadlock. In the event of a tie, the decision falls back on the public vote with the contestant scoring the lowest – in this case, Colton – leaving.

Devlin will now join Misha B, Marcus Collins, Amelia Lily and the girl-group Little Mix in next week’s quarter-finals.

She has been under enormous pressure in recent weeks after some underpar performances and anxious moments; she even spent a few days in bed because of stress.

Rumours that Devlin and her formidable mentor, Kelly Rowland, have not seen eye to eye – over the teenager’s styling and song choices – added to the general feeling that the 17-year-old’s days were numbered, making her success all the sweeter.

And the consensus was that she came up with the goods on Saturday night’s live show.

Wearing an understated pink and purple maxi dress and eschewing the production bells and whistles favoured by some of the other acts, she turned in a charmingly straightforward cover of the quirky indie hit Kiss Me, winning some much-needed positive feedback from the judges.

Louis Walsh said that it proved she was a “real recording star” while her nemesis Gary Barlow conceded it was a “great improvement”.

But it wasn’t her only good news this week. She has also been confirmed for next year’s X Factor tour, which takes in 14 venues across Britain and Ireland, including two dates at Dublin’s O2 in March. Recently axed acts such as Kitty Brucknell, Johnny Robinson and The Risk are also on the bill.