A couple of months back, the X Factor returned to Dublin, looking for some talent. The convention centre was awash with hopefuls and delusionals, and since Dannii was on maternity leave, Katie Perry joined Cheryl, Louis and Simon on the judging panel. With a light hangover from the night before, I sat down on Sunday afternoon to, nervously, watch what Ireland had to offer and from the get go, it was looking very embarrassing.

There were a few acts that stood out, even though they only showed a handful of Irish hopefuls, strange that. The firts being Temple Fire. A group of lads who claimed to have the much important, X Factor. To be honest, they weren't bad looking but my God, they hadn't got a note in their wee heads. Clearly the four boyos were only there for the giggle. As the auditions kept coming and going, Simon was seen to constantly ask the question...'Why did we come here?', while Louis prayed that something good would come from the trip as he knew he would be given a right kick up the behind from MR C. The highlight from the Irish auditions was Mary 'I'm fifty years old and I work on the tills at Tesco' Byrne. You can check her out at till number 40 (which I think is in Ballyfermot??) Normally, when the intro music is played, you can gauge how good or bad the audition is going to be. However, I had no clue what Mary was going to be like, Susan Boyle did pop into my head though.

So, Mary took the stage and began singing 'I who have Nothing' by Tom Jones, which is a massive song to take on. Within the first few seconds, I was blown away and the mouth hit the floor. She was amazing and at the end of the song, she received one almighty round of applause and even a standing ovation. As I and the boyfriend talked about how genuine she came across, and that we would love to take a trip to her Tesco, I found the inevitable happening. Mary Byrne managed to make me cry, and I was emotional enough, having the fear in me from the night before. What a woman. Knowing the she had done a great job, she awaited her fate from the four experts. Cheryl said it was her favourite audition of Dublin and Katy Perry posed the question about what her reason was for not singing for so many years, to which Mary replied 'low self esteem, darling!' Brilliant. At the end she received four yes's, so off to boot camp she goes.

What I do love about the Irish auditions is the fact that there isn't really any bull from the contestants. They don't care who they're signing for, once they get to go on stage. That was most definitely the case for the young Dwayne Edgar. Knowing he didn't have a good voice, he compared himself to Robbie Williams or Olly Murs, but was sure to entertain the crowd. His song of choice was Journey. The song started and so did he. It was, by far, the funniest audition I've seen. He was great. He had a laugh and totally won everyone over, even if the first line was shaky, he soon bounced back. The dance moves were something to cringe about, it looked like he was impersonating a swimmer of some sort, but he had the balls to walk up to the judges and shake each of their hands. In his bleedin' element so he was. He, like Mary got through to boot camp, but the little scamp managed to set me off again (Note from Ed: I believe Alicia was a bit hungover on Saturday), as his friends and family ran on to the stage to congratulate him and he started to cry himself. What a kid.

It wasn't only the Dublin auditions that were shown at the weekend, we also saw hopefuls from London and the talent was only ok. Except for the very scrumptious The Reason and Annastasia Baker (who you may recognise from three years ago, when she made it to the judges house, but was given the boot by Cheryl). She was ok, but only when Simon made her sing a different song as her first choice was terrible. Mr. Cowell claimed he had seen drag acts sing Tina Turner better. Harsh, but fair.

If you're able to, have a watch of Mary's audition, but be warned, have the tissues at hand and you can also have a goo at Dwayane, in-allin anwayaz.

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- Alicia Coyle

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