Irish pop impresario Louis Walsh has praised the Irish 'X Factor' sensation Mary Byrne, saying that the show will be a 'life-changing' experience for her.

According to the British press, Walsh said the 50-year-old Irish singer, who still works as a cashier in a Dublin supermarket, is standing on the brink of fame: 'No matter how Mary does on the show, this is going to be life-changing for her.'

'There was no way I was going to let Simon stop her getting to the next stage. I think she has the voice and the down-to-earth appeal to go all the way.'

Walsh added: 'It annoys me when people say 'X Factor' is all a bland conveyor belt or pop factory. Mary is not from any pop factory and she would never have got the chance without this show.'