Entertainment

Agony and ecstasy as Irish acts make final stages of hit show

Sean and Conor Price
Sean and Conor Price

Meet the two Irish acts who make the final stages of this year’s X Factor – with one making it to Simon Cowell’s house.

The Sunday World can reveal Wicklow brothers Sean and Conor Price will be whisked off to Cowell’s mansion in Los Angeles for the Judges’ Houses stage, having made it to through to the last six in the groups section.

However, it’s bad news for beautiful young Dublin sextet F.A.E., who are cruelly sent home by Cowell having made it to the Six Chair Challenge.

Their furious manager Alison Vard Miller told the Sunday World that aspiring youngsters should “avoid reality TV and Simon Cowell” and branded the show as “ruthless”.

The Price brothers may be familiar to shoppers on Dublin’s Grafton Street as they regularly busk there, sometimes for charity.

Sean (17) and Conor (15), from Blessington, also featured on RTE kids programme Swipe and appear in the opening credits.

They have released an EP called Change, which reached No. 9 in the Irish iTunes chart, while their debut track Déjà vu has amassed 40,000 hits on You Tube.

The brothers play originals and cover songs, ranging from Justin Bieber to rap music.

An observer at their bootcamp audition in Wembley revealed: “They sang Beggin by Madcon and Sing by Ed Sheeran.

The audience liked them after their first track, but Simon wasn’t keen, so they sang Sing.

“They are a dead cert for the live shows in my opinion, potentially the new One Direction.

“One brother sang, the other was rapping and playing the acoustic guitar – they’re like Shawn Mendes meets Ed Sheeran.” F.A.E. consists of Kelly Irwin, Alana Fox, Katie Ball, Louisa Farrell, Charley White and Kez Higgins.

They are aged between 16 and 18 and hail from the Ballinteer area on Dublin’s southside.

All the girls are still in school, with two just finishing their Leaving cert.

 

An onlooker at their audition recalled: “They sang Masterpiece by Jessie J.

They wore white jeans and different coloured jumpers and looked like skittles.

“Simon then asked them who chose the choreography and the group said their teacher. Simon said they should sack their teacher and that the audience wasn’t feeling them.

“They got through to the Six Chair Challenge by the skin of their teeth.”

The teacher targeted by Cowell is Alison Vard Miller, a daughter of Kathy Vard of the famous Vard singing sisters.

When contacted by the Sunday World she said she was restricted in what she could say about how the girls did on the X Factor.

However, Alison – who runs the Miss Ali Stage School – was highly critical of the process they went through.

“They got far in the competition and obviously I can’t give further comment about it, but it was a ruthless situation in London and, as their manager, I found it very cut-throat,” she stressed.

“I think a lot of young people today have the wrong impression of the music industry, that you have to become a winner of one of these reality TV shows.

I think that is absolute nonsense. “I did see an opportunity to see how they would get on and they did extremely well.

But if I was giving a comment as a manager, I would tell young people to avoid reality TV competitions and just have belief in themselves.

It can work for them without the help of Simon Cowell.”

Louis Walsh has the Boys category this year, Nicole Scherzinger has the Girls, while Sharon Osbourne has the Overs. We can reveal there will be only six weekends of shows this year, with contestants being voted off on both Saturday and Sunday nights to increase tension.