X Factor: Westlife’s Shane Filan backs Sam Callahan: “He reminds me of Mark Wahlberg”

Louis Walsh’s guest judge compares singer to Wahlberg’s days as pop star Marky Mark


Louis Walsh’s act Sam Callahan hasn’t had much luck with the judges throughout this year’s X Factor, but Westlife’s Shane Filan has spoken out in support of the 19-year-old star.


Shane, who joined Louis Walsh in Saint-Tropez for Judges’ Houses and helped choose Sam for the boys’ category, says: “Sam has a huge personality. He’s funny, honest and cool – his confidence is brilliant. He reminds me of Mark Wahlberg back when he was singing as Marky Mark.”

Yes, pre-action movies and Hollywood glamour, Mark Wahlberg busted out a rap or two as frontman of the band Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch in the 90s. 

Shane is confident Sam can do well, even though it was widely thought he would end up in last week’s sing-off. And given “you remind me of a young [insert famous singer]” is one of Louis Walsh’s favourite sayings, we’re sure Sam’s mentor agrees.

Of the various criticisms Sam has had, in particular from judge Gary Barlow about his weak vocals, Shane says, “You couldn’t have anyone better giving advice than Gary Barlow. But it isn’t always about the best vocals, it’s about putting on a performance too.”

And if anyone knows about getting the moves right, it’s Marky Mark….


The X Factor continues this Saturday and Sunday at 8:00pm on ITV