You don’t need Simon Cowell to make X Factor magic. In Granard last week, children from the ages of six to nine took to the stage in Lus na Greine to create their only little piece of X Factor magic and, boy, did they have the X factor?
Lus na Greine Resource Centre was packed to the gills on Thursday morning as parents, family members and friends turned up to see about a dozen local stars show off their talents.
Onlookers were treated to a morning of high class revelry that would have made Messrs Cowell, Walsh and company look on in quiet satisfaction.
Siobhan Harton, who adopted the role of MC, said the day was all part of giving youngsters a chance to showcase their talents in a relaxed and carefree atmosphere.
“Something like this is great because it gets all of the kids involved, builds their confidence and lets their creativity go wild,” she confidently stated, amid a backdrop of lively chatter and growing excitement.
A development worker at the centre, the Mullahoran native is clearly at home in her role there.
“I love it, I really do,” she smiled. “There is just so much going on the whole time and the kids are just great. But the biggest thing I would say are the volunteers. They have been amazing, they really have.”
Part of a long line of action packed summer camps involving children and teenagers from Granard, Mullinalaghta and Abbeylara, the morning featured eye catching performances from acts headed by the likes of Jedward (Gemma Columb, Leah Hanlon and Aobhinn Lynch), Katy Perry (Charlotte McDermott, Ella O’Dea, Sinead O’Neill, Aisling O’Hara and Mia Smith) and Taylor Swift (Hannah Hagan).
“Can we get your autographs later?” yelled the centre’s co-ordinator Eileen Finan to the delight of the audience.
The sheer excitement on show was hard to contain and as photographer Shelley Corcoran carefully lined up groups one by one, one eager little voice could be heard shouting: “When is this going in the paper?”
Performers on the day were: Katy Perry singing ‘Firework’-Charlotte McDermott, Ella O’Dea, Sinead O’Neill, Aisling O’Hara and Mia Smith. Short sketch involving Goldilocks, Cinderella, The Two Princesses and Hello Kitty-Siobhan McDermott, Ellen Reeves, Caroline Kiernan, Lucy Norton and Laura Higgins; Tin Whistle-Brendan O’Reilly; Jedward-Gemma Columb, Leah Hanlon and Aoibhinn Lynch; Taylor Swift-Hannah Hagan; Irish Dancing-Geraldine Hynes; Puppet Show-Mia Smith and Siobhan McDermott; Carly Rae Jespson-Dervla Lynch.
Nobody envied the task of the three judges, Roisin Finan (Cheryl Cole), Luke Norton (Simon Cowell) and the rather puzzling addition of Cameron Diaz played by Deirdre Flynn. But showing excellent judgement, and not a little diplomacy, no overall winner was picked with a range of awards being handed out across a string of different categories instead.
“You were all fabulous,” cried an evidently proud Ms Finan. The audience signalled their agreement with whoops of delight and cheers of support, raising the roof to the same level as an X Factor auditorium.