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9 reasons to appreciate X Factor's Mary Byrne

It has been 7 years since we first met Mary on the show.

THE X FACTOR truly peaked in 2010. That was the year that they introduced us to Matt Cardle, Cher Lloyd, Aiden Grimshaw, some boyband called One Direction, and of course – Mary Byrne.

1. She’s the quintessential Dublin mam

X Factor sightings - London Source: John Phillips

It’s so easy to imagine her doing everything a mam does. In the picture above she looks like she’s heading to a parent teacher meeting and that she’s going to make a lovely dinner afterwards.

2. Anyone who worked in a supermarket could relate to her.

X Factor's Mary Byrne returns to Ballyfermot - Dublin Source: PA Archive/PA Images

She had a favourite till (number 40) where she sat every day. Mary went from slaving away on checkout number 40 every day of the week to hanging around in Louis Walsh’s castle.

louis walsh

Her quick rise to fame didn’t change her. In 2015, she admitted that she still misses the tills in Tesco sometimes.

I work mainly at nights and there are times, especially during the day, that I really miss being on the tills. I miss the camaraderie and the friends and chatting to the customers and the craic we used to have.

3. Katy Perry judged Mary’s audition and approved of it.

After Mary auditioned, she received a standing ovation, was told that she was Cheryl and Simon’s favourite Irish audition, was warned by Louis that Tesco was going to be in trouble, and she received approval from Katy Perry, who called her amazing and brave.

Source: The X Factor UK/YouTube

4. She supported Neil Diamond and performed in front of 55,000 people in the Aviva.

Any time last night’s Ireland v Denmark match crosses your mind, try to just think of how wholesome and nice it is that a Tesco worker sang to a stadium full of people there.

Denmark Training Session - Aviva Stadium Source: Donall Farmer

That eases the pain a little bit.

5. She was gas on Celebrity Bainisteoir.

For someone who was so demure and glamorous on The X Factor, she really didn’t hold back when the referees annoyed her. The language out of her.

Source: RTÉ - IRELAND’S NATIONAL PUBLIC SERVICE MEDIA/YouTube

6. She doesn’t shy away from discussing her mental health.

Talk Talk celebrate sponsorship of X Factor - London Source: PA Archive/PA Images

Many of the people we see speaking out in the media about mental health are difficult to relate to. Of course when we see celebs, millionaires and models talking about their depression, it serves as evidence that anybody can be affected.

However, people like Mary Byrne, who are in their 50s and work in regular jobs in supermarkets, are rarely given any kind of voice by the media. This year Mary spoke candidly about her struggles:

I suffer with depression. I’m on medication, and I suppose you still do [suffer] even when you’re taking medication.
I feel depressed today, but there’s a difference between feeling a bit down and out of sorts and something that you feel constantly. That’s the difference with depression.

7. She’s probably Ireland’s most famous bisexual woman.

X Factor Live Tour - Wembley Arena Source: EMPICS Entertainment

In 2011, Byrne revealed that she had a relationship with a woman when she was in her twenties.

8. She has done it all at this stage.

Mary paced herself nicely after the X Factor by working on musicals, TV shows like Operation Transformation and Celebrity Bainisteoir, a double platinum album and writing a book. Add her work experience in Tesco onto that, and she has genuinely done everything bar release a fragrance.

9. She’s genuinely a great singer.

Source: The X Factor UK/YouTube

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About the author:

Kelly Earley

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