In the second article looking at potential artists to represent Ireland in Malmo 2013, the focus stays with former X-factor contenders and looks at lady with a big personality and even bigger voice. 53 year old Dubliner Mary Bryne has been tipped by many as a possible contender.
Mary first came to the attention of the Irish public in 2008 when she won a low key national tv talent show which included a recording deal, but the project vanished from public attention as soon as it was over. Mary continued working at a check-out in a Tesco supermarket but also sang in the pub scene in Dublin. But 2010 it all changed when she entered the UK’s X-Factor and blew the panel and audiences away with both her personality and voice. Each week Mary got a standing ovation and made the semi final before losing out to the teen rapper Cheryl Lloyd.
Mary consistently delivered on big ballads like “I who have nothing” and “You don’t have to say you love me”. She also demonstrated her fun side with her delivery of Barry Manilow’s “ Could it be Magic”. After her elimination she was snapped up by Sony Ireland and she began work on her first studio album “Mine & Yours” from which the single “I just call you mine” was released in March 2011. Without any promotional work the single got to number 12 in Ireland and to the surprise of many the album went to number 6 in the UK and topped the Irish Charts going double platinum.
Mary’s commercial viability was then taken up by Universal, whom she then signed with and began work on her second studio album, “…With Love”, which was release in November 2011. Mary worked with Eurovision winning song writer Phil Coulter on the album and whereas not as successful as the first album it still made top 10 in Ireland and top 30 in the UK. This was accompanied by numerous television appearances throughout Ireland and the UK.
Mary’s popularity in Ireland is unquestionable, as part of a national concert tour she had planned one night in a duet with Phil Coulter in the famous Olympia theatre in Dublin but due to public demand they sold out six consecutive nights with Mary getting numerous standing ovations on each occasion. This popularity was also witnessed in the musical theatre when Mary took on the role of Teen Angel in the stage show “Grease”, again getting rave reviews and ovations for her performance.
So what is the potential of Mary getting the ticket to Malmo, well in terms of the public vote it would be potentially very strong. Given a big ballad and with the powerhouse of Phil Coulter behind her there is enough energy to secure strong public interest nationally and reassurance in knowing that she can deliver a big performance. Because of her X-Factor fame Mary would also be recognised in a number of Western European countries which would be helpful but may be not be so popular with voters in Eastern Europe. The risk of Ireland opting for an older singer and a ballad could be considered as a step back by many Eurovision pundits, in particular younger fans that the likes of Jedward have managed to attract to the contest.
That said Mary has a genuine likeability factor that could win the juries over, her personality would attract a lot of media attention and she will deliver on the notes ……….. so will Mary check-out from one music scene and check-in to the world of Eurovision or will a new mammy stand in her way?