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The contingent of supporters from Fermoy who were in the Helix on Sunday night last to watch local girl Kelly Mongan perform, know something of what it felt like to be a Katie Taylor supporter in the ExCel arena in London when she won her Olympic gold medal last year. They beamed with pride watching Kelly walk out onto the stage to perform. A huge cheer went up from the audience for the beautiful and talented girl from Fermoy.
The music started and, after a few bars of the Elton John classic, 'Sorry seems to be the hardest Word', another huge cheer went up. She hit the start perfectly.
"Emotion was high in our group and you could see tears of joy in the eyes of her supporters as she hit the final note perfectly," said local man Donal O'Lochlainn who organised for the group to travel up to the Helix to support Kelly. Among them were winners of a draw made locally for tickets for the performance.
A near perfect performance was recognised with rapturous and thunderous applause and, in the judging afterwards, whoops of delight went up as each judge heaped praise on her performance. Sharon and Bressie gave her an eight apiece while Jamelia went higher again, awarding her a nine. Jamelia said it was "beautiful, perfect" while her mentor, Kian called it 'flawless'. She was in the lead in terms of judges' marks. Out in the audience, the 30-strong group from Fermoy were passing around 'thumbs up' signals.
In her interview after her song, Kelly plugged her hometown and mentioned the band of supporters who had travelled from Fermoy. "She's a real local hero and our champion," Donal says.
Kelly will be back onstage in the next round of the competition this Sunday night. That's provided her baby decides not to make an early arrival!
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