Louis Walsh may not be a judge on The X Factor 2018, but he’s still having an effect on the ITV show thanks to contestant Brendan Murray.
You see, the Irish singer was actually managed by Louis during Ireland’s bid for Eurovision glory in 2017.
21-year-old Brendan didn’t make it through to the final of Eurovision with his song Dying to Try, although Louis said at the time that he “was definitely one of the most popular acts in Kiev” during the second semi-final.
Check out the performance below to see the young star in action during Eurovision 2017.
So, far from being a fresh face on The X Factor, Brendan already has a wealth of performing experience behind him. As well as his Eurovision bid, he was a member of Irish boy band Hometown from 2014-16, again managed by Louis Walsh.
The band released songs that reached Number One in Ireland, including Cry for Help below.
Brendan also has his own YouTube channel, with covers of everything from Sia to the Jackson 5 – meaning he won’t be short of tracks to perform if he makes it through to the rounds of X Factor.
How did Brendan Murray get to the X Factor 2018 live shows?
Despite his experience, Brendan initially struggles during his X Factor audition, with Simon Cowell saying his choice of song – Ella Eyre’s We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off – failed to impress.
“I see an issue here and the issue is lyrically that song didn’t suit your voice,” he told Brendan, before saying that he will suggest an alternative backstage for him to perform.
Brendan later returned to the stage and sings Kate Bush’s This Woman’s Work. And although forgetting the lyrics – several times – he impressed the panel, going through the competition with four yeses.
At the Six Chair Challenge round, Murray once again impressed the judges, with the 21-year-old plumber delivering a pitch-perfect performance of R.E.M’s Everybody Hurts.
“In my opinion, you’re in a completely different league to everyone else we’ve seen so far,” said Cowell. “Do you know what’s so charming? you don’t even know how good you are.”
Murray got the ultimate praise, however, from mentor Louis Tomlinson, who pressed down on the ‘Golden X’, giving the singer safe passage to the Judges’ Houses.
On reaching Murray’s Ibiza home, Murray shined once again, impressing Tomlinson and guest judges Nile Rodgers and Liam Payne with a touching cover of Nothing Compares 2 U by Prince.
The singer was safe during the first live show of the competition, but found himself in trouble during week two, narrowly escaping elimination after a sing-off with Janice Robinson.
The judges were split after his cover of Radiohead’s High and Dry, but deadlock and the original public vote meant Brendan was safe to sing another week.