Talented local singer Conor McGinty has said he is overwhelmed with the support he has received following his X Factor audition success.
The 21-year-old, who is from Derry and lives in Carrigans, said he has been inundated with messages of support from local people and beyond since his audition was aired on Saturday night.
The Boots photographic assistant received a round of applause from the judges in Dublin after performing a rendition of ‘Say Something’ by A Great Big World.
Conor got the thumbs up from all judges to progress on to the next stage, as did barman Niall Sexton from County Derry.
The Magherafelt 22-year-old delivered a note perfect version of Sarah Bareillies’ ballad ‘Gravity’.
Conor told the Journal the reaction to his successful audition has been “incredible”.
“Saturday was the first time I saw it myself. We all went to the house in Carrigans and then all headed into Badgers in Derry for a few drinks.
“At the audition itself I think it was such a long day by the time I got to the stage the nerves had gone away. I was more nervous watching it back on TV than I was at the audition.
“As much as I was auditioning to try and get myself a break, it was also to make Derry proud and make my family proud.”
He added that he thought Niall was “fantastic” and said the two have become firm friends, while adding that the Irish contestants regularly use What’s App to stay in touch.
“The next stage now is boot camp in London in two or three weeks,” he said. “I’m excited about that. Once your first audition goes that well, you have to try and improve on that to make the next stage.”
There was disappointment on Saturday for 19-year-old potato farmer Jordan Devine from Strabane, after he failed to secure a place with a rendition of Robbie Williams’ ‘Candy’. The judges felt it wasn’t Jordan’s time this time round, but they all took a shine to the young Tyrone man.