90s style on show in
Longford Youth Factor

Crowds flocked to the Temperance Hall once again this weekend to support the ten talented acts which remain in the Longford Youth Factor.
The contestants, who appeared on the stage for the second week of the show, are evidently improving as the weeks go on. The theme this week was 90’s pop which proved less difficult than last week’s Diva theme for some of the contestants.

Crowds flocked to the Temperance Hall once again this weekend to support the ten talented acts which remain in the Longford Youth Factor.
The contestants, who appeared on the stage for the second week of the show, are evidently improving as the weeks go on. The theme this week was 90’s pop which proved less difficult than last week’s Diva theme for some of the contestants.

This era went down particularly well with the parents and older leaders, some of whom could be seen dancing and singing along with the contestants.

It was left in the hands of Charlotte Fox to open last Saturday night’s show singing One by U2, and again the Mean Scoil Mhuire student left a lasting impression on both the crowd and, more importantly, the judges. Benny O’Brien commented on, for the second week in a row, how “unique and brilliant” Charlotte’s voice is. Liz Leavy suggested that Charlotte pick an “upbeat” song next week while also stating how vocally strong the young contestant is. With such positive comments two weeks running there is no denying Charlotte is one to watch in the competition.

Niamh Sheehan sang “Hit me baby one more time” by Britney Spears on the night. The judges were impressed with Niamh’s attempt at such a well known and challenging song. Although pitchy at times, dressed just like Britney herself in the video, Niamh worked well with the crowd and worked the stage well. We look forward to seeing more of Niamh’s moves on the dancefloor next week.

Up next was the young girl with the big voice, Emily Doyle. Emily looked great as she took to the stage in a navy and cream polka-dot outfit singing ‘Shoop, shoop’ by Cher. Maureen Dunne described the youngest contestant’s performance as “absolutely brilliant” and that she was so engrossed in her performance that she didn’t get to write a note on it. Benny O’Brien pointed out how Emily is “the youngest in the competition and is not trying to be anything else”. He also told Emily that her performance on the night was his favourite over the two weeks.

Jordan Grant, who opened the show last week, again “sold her song”. Singing Shania Twain’s ‘You don’t impress me much’ Jordan looked and sang like a pop star, as acknowledged by judge Liz Leavy. Maureen Dunne recognised that the young Wilson’s School student is confident and consistent in her performances. Let’s hope that consistency continues on throughout the competition.

Lacuna, the only band in the competition, wowed the crowd and the judges again this week. Minus the penguin on base guitar, the four lads made the crowd go wild. Liz Leavy commented on how well the band interacts with the crowd by saying hello when they come out on stage, and that their personalities come through in their performances.

The lead singer, Connor, was singled out on the night and complimented for his great vocal ability. Benny O’Brien could only describe their rendition of The Proclaimers ‘500 Miles’ as “incredible” and the “overall best performance”. Bridie Gobl expressed how she is “looking forward to seeing them next week” as I’m sure many others are.

Evans shone on the stage this week, dressed in white jeans and a blue top he looked every inch the pop star, ensuring he wasn’t overshadowed in the style stakes by the girls. Although evidently nervous, Evans still manages to impress the judges and the crowd alike with his great image and voice each week. Benny O’Brien described the young St. Mel’s student as a “born pop star” even though he didn’t agree with the song choice on the night.

Helen McDermott was next up singing ‘Kiss me’ by Sixpence None The Richer. Benny O’Brien commented that he was watching the young Scoil Mhuire student for two years now and that her performance on Saturday night was her best so far. Helen, who wore a stunning red dress last week, had a funky laid back style this week which fitted in well with her song choice. Maureen Dunne was adamant she would see Helen next week. One girl that the judges felt improved immensely since her audition was Taisa. Bridie Gobl noticed that the Ballymahon student improved from last week but that she should use the stage more during her performances.

Maureen Dunne commented on how Taisa is vocally excellent and didn’t struggle with the key change in Tina Turner’s ‘Simply the Best’. Again the judges were certain that they would see this contestant again next week.

Mimi looked stunning again this week in a green and purple peplum dress as she took on Britney’s hit ‘Crazy’. Liz commented on the dress and recognised that Mimi was very self-conscious and that the contestant should enjoy herself more on stage.

Maureen was another judge who was impressed with the style on the night saying that Mimi looked “stunning”. This contestant has the look, needs the attitude and, more importantly, should try to enjoy herself more in order to enhance her performances.

Two contestants who were in demand on Saturday night were Katie and Wayne. The duo who performed in Mullingar prior to appearing on the Longford stage took on a well known song by the Goo Goo Doll’s “Iris”. Benny O’Brien put it quite simply when he said: “You either have it or you don’t, you have it.” He also said he was encapsulated by the instrumental played by Wayne on his glossy red guitar. Benny also commented on Katie’s “sweet, pure voice and its “lovely variations”. Maureen Dunne added that the pair possess “a chemistry that some groups never get”. The performance can only be described as brilliant and we look forward to seeing them next week.

Unfortunately, we have to lose an act each week and this week it was Mimi Igwilo we said goodbye to. I am sure all the girls will miss the style she brought to the show each week.

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. The 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 james.maher@foroige.ie