He flew the flag for Ireland on a hot air balloon at Eurovision 2017 in Kyiv. Now Brendan Murray was “Dying to Try” his luck on this year’s X Factor UK, as ITV broadcast his audition on the opening weekend.
Brendan faced the arena audience and a much-changed judging panel, with pop icon Robbie Williams, his wife actress Ayda Field and former One Direction member Louis Tomlinson joining the main man Simon Cowell.
The former Irish boyband member got off to a worrying start. As he tackled the Ella Eyre single “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off”, Simon realised something wasn’t right and stopped the audition.
“I see an issue here and the issue is I think lyrically that song didn’t suit your voice”. Fellow judge Robbie Willams agreed, “You’ve got an impossibly perfect pop voice. I think you just made the wrong song choice today”.
The judges asked the Eurovision 2017 singer to return with a different song before Simon suggested “This Woman’s Work”. Unfortunately for Brendan, he didn’t know much about the classic Kate Bush single. Trying to take in the lyrics backstage in such a short space of time, the pressure had clearly taken its toll.
Having already fluffed his lines twice on his return, Simon asked if anyone in the audience had the lyrics. Fortunately, Brendan still had his lyrics sheet tucked away in his back pocket. Singing from the sheet as Simon requested, a confident Brendan nailed the high note, just as he did in Kyiv.
All four judges gave him a standing ovation after the audition. “Congratulations, mate. You’ve just had your moment,” said Robbie. Louis felt the nerves during the performance, “You’ve got a really, really special voice. I was really hoping that you delivered and you absolutely have.” And Brendan is through to Bootcamp after receiving a yes from all four judges.
However, the British tabloid press hasn’t been as uniformly supportive as the X Factor judges. The Daily Mail has reported that Brendan’s former manager was Louis Walsh, a previous X Factor judge and close friend of Simon Cowell. The paper also noted Brendan’s Eurovision past and that he “even has his own Wikipedia page”.
What did you think of Brendan’s X Factor audition? Can he make it all the way to the live shows? Share your thoughts below!