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Singer Soulé reveals she was devastated after being rejected by The X Factor at 16

But the rising star is now on judging panel with Louis Walsh

From left, Soulé, Stephen McLaughlin, Roz Purcell and Louis Walsh with student Leah Gow

Eddie Rowley

IRISH pop singer Soulé was left devastated at the age of 16 when she was rejected by The X Factor during their Irish talent search.

Now one of our rising stars, Soulé will team up with X Factor icon Louis Walsh next Friday to judge the Junk Kouture fashion final.

Today, the songwriter and performer from Dublin's Balbriggan says she has no regrets today about missing out on the opportunity to showcase her talent on The X Factor eight years ago.

"Back then I was at that age where you feel like it's the end of the world," Soulé tells the Sunday World as she recalls her disappointment at not making the cut to appear on The X Factor.

"I thought, 'I'm never going to get to do music now,' but I kept going and I think the good thing I got from it was great advice from the producers who did the auditions for the show.

"They said, 'You have such a great voice, but you're still really young.' I have such a baby face and when I was 16 I looked about 11, and even now people think I'm younger.

"Now I know the type of music I want to do in terms of my style and fashion. I'm more sure of that."

Soulé will join Roz Purcell, Louis Walsh and Stephen McLaughlin at the Junk Kouture final.

Soulé never got to meet Louis Walsh at the time because she didn't make it to the stage where the judges got to see her talent.

"You audition for producers before you get in front of the judges," she points out.

"Now I can't believe I'm on the Junk Kouture judging panel with Louis Walsh. It's actually cool. It's crazy. Life is just mad."

Soulé, whose real name is Samantha Kay, has made her mark in music as an independent artist with hits such as Love Tonight, which have earned her fans around the globe.

She will be performing at major Irish summer festivals this year.

She has 10 million Spotify streams and says: "I can see that there are people in the Philippines listening to Love Tonight and that's so cool.

"Music is able to travel today, unlike back in the day when you didn't have music streaming sites."

Roz Purcell and one of the finalists of the Dublin Junk Kouture final 2022.

The Junk Kouture final will take place next Friday at Dublin's Bord Gáis Energy Theatre and tickets for the event are now on sale through the theatre's box office and Ticketmaster.

The judges, including Roz Purcell and fashion designer Stephen McLaughlin, will be choosing the top nine designs by post-primary students, who will go on to represent Ireland at the world final in Abu Dhabi.

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