Irish music to the fore at Longford Youth Factor

The bad weather conditions last weekend did not deter the loyal supporters attending the Longford Youth Factor, as the Temperance Hall was filled once more for the third week of the competition. Ironically, it was an Irish music theme this week and the rain pouring down outside only enhanced that.

The bad weather conditions last weekend did not deter the loyal supporters attending the Longford Youth Factor, as the Temperance Hall was filled once more for the third week of the competition. Ironically, it was an Irish music theme this week and the rain pouring down outside only enhanced that.

Week three of the competition brought the sad news that contestant Taisa Ostrovskaja has left the competition. However, the show must go on and it was left in the capable hands of the youngest contestant, Emily Doyle, to open the show. Singing ‘Falling Slowly’ by Glen Hansard the “young girl with the big voice” proved she can take on any song. The performance proved a hit with Evelyn Nevin as she complimented the opening act on her “beautiful rendition, beautiful song choice and overall beautiful performance.” The judge even stated that Emily’s performance was “as good as any she heard on Broadway!” Liz Leavy commented on how well Emily “interpreted the song” and also on the “tenderness in her voice”. The Judge went on to say how she feels Emily is “getting stronger and stronger each week” and that “she looks forward to seeing her in the final”. Who knows where Emily could appear in the future!

Evans followed suit singing ‘For the first time’ by the popular Irish band, The Script. Judge Maureen Dunne praised Evans on the night for “acting out and owning the performance.” Bridie Gobl felt the young St. Mel’s student did a great job as he handled the different melodies in the song well. Evans also impressed Evelyn Nevin who complimented the young performer on having a “great stage presence and having looks that match the talent.”

Helen McDermott did wonders for Irish Tourism on the night as she chose the song ‘Remember when’ by Heathers. Bridie Gobl was a fan of the song choice on the night as she gave positive comments all around. The judge acknowledged that it was a difficult song choice due to the “changing rhythms and cord changes”, but that Helen handled them well and delivered a great performance. Liz Leavy was also impressed by Helen’s “natural talent” and the “unique twang in her voice.” Evelyn Nevin summed up the performance well when she described the performance as “really excellent.”

Following Helen was Jordan Grant who chose the song ‘Johnny Gotta Boom’ by Imelda May. Jordan not only sang like Imelda May on the night but looked like her too. Evelyn Nevin admitted that all she wanted to do during the performance was “get up and dance” and I don’t think she was the only one! Maureen Dunne complimented the Wilson’s Hospital School student for her “use of the microphone and her growing confidence.” Bridie described the performance as “terrific.” However, she advised Jordan to use the stage more during her performances.

Another contestant who looked great on the night was Charlotte Fox. The Mean Scoil Mhuire student took on another well-known song in Paddy Casey’s ‘Saints and Sinners’. Liz Leavy was delighted with the up-beat song choice on the night and complimented Charlotte on her “strong distinctive voice.” Maureen Dunne complimented Charlotte on her look and also on her “fine performance” on the night. Again the contestant was advised by the judges to make better use of the stage during her performances and also to “connect more with the audience.”

You couldn’t have been more Irish on the night than Lacuna who chose to perform ‘The Fields of Athenry’ as their song. Maureen Dunne’s initial reaction to the band’s rendition of the song was: “jeepers!” The judge complimented the band on “wearing and singing green” but warned the lads not to strain their voices. Bridie Gobl hoped the band had “voices left” after the performance and expressed how she was “glad to see young lads using their voices to back-up the lead vocalist”. The bass player on the night, who always has an interesting outfit onstage, wore the tricolour this week during the performance. Liz Leavy, who admitted to being the “devil’s advocate” on the night, was disappointed by the performance warning the band that they came across as “unsure of what they were at” during the performance. The judge acknowledged that the band is “brilliant” but that they should put in practice before next week’s show. Evelyn Nevin backed up Liz as she added “there’s no need to shout” and that the lads should “take it easier.” Although the vocals may have been disappointing on the night, the drummer was again singled out by the judges and was described by Evelyn as “fantastic”.

Niamh Sheahan was every inch the professional on the night she took to the stage despite being sick. The contestant chose to sing “The Man Who Can’t be Moved” by The Script on the night and received mostly positive comments. Surprisingly, Liz Leavy liked the “wispy” tone in her voice and felt the performance was better than last week’s performance. Maureen Dunne admitted that she felt the performance was “a little pitchy on the night” but understood this was due to Niamh being sick. Bridie complimented Niamh on the night for her “wonderful stage presence” and for “making the song on her own”. We hope Niamh gets better soon!

Our only duo of the competition, Katie and Wayne, were up next singing ‘San Diego Song’ by the Coronas. Evelyn felt the performance was “very real and honest” and that the pair engaged and interacted well with the audience. Wayne was complimented for his rapping, as well as his guitar playing, on the night. Liz Leavy again expressed her amazement at how “accomplished and professional” Katie and Wayne are. The judge also added that she felt “any song is safe in their hands.” Bridie Gobl told the pair how she” hopes they take on a duet” next week but described the performance on the night as “great.”

Unfortunately, as with every week, we must say goodbye to one of our acts. Supporters are the ones who decide the fate of the contestants and this week brought a twist. The two contestants with the lowest votes had to sing a second song for the judges, who then had to decide who would remain in the competition. The two acts with the lowest votes on Saturday night were Lacuna and Evans. After both acts performed, the judges decided that Lacuna would be saved. Evans, who showed off his skills on the guitar in the sing-off, was eliminated from the competition. We wish Evans the very best of luck in the future and we are sure he will continue to grow in confidence.

The organising committee wish to thank all the dedicated Volunteers, Foróige Staff, Supporters, Youth Committee and funders for all their continued support with the competition. The LY Factor returns next Saturday and doors open at 8:00pm and show begins at 8:30pm and finishes at 10:30pm. Parents are reminded to collect young people directly after the show. Any national school students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. As with all Foróige events Alcohol is not be permitted under any circumstances either outside or inside at the event. Thank you for your continued support and understanding. If you have any queries about the event or if you wish to volunteer with the Attic or Foróige please contact the Regional Youth Officer Jim Maher on 086 9672920 or email