Wannabee star Michael is out but not down

DRIVING Brian McFadden’s Ferrari was a small consolation for Michael Leonard, who has been eliminated from You’re a Star.

The 22-year-old from Belcoo, Co Fermanagh, was in the home of the Westlife star yesterday, after 625,000 voters chose to send Mickey Harte and Simon Casey through to the final.

"I was gutted when the result was announced but I've taken it on the chin and I feel absolutely grand now," said Michael yesterday.

In his final appearance, Michael sang his own personal choice, Rock and Roll Kids and his Eurovision song, I Couldn't Love You More. However, voters opted for Mickey Harte from Donegal, who sang We've Got the World and Simon Casey from Offaly, who sang A Better Plan.

"I was told that there was only about 50 votes between me and Simon. But we all get on very well, especially myself and Simon we're great mates," Michael said.

The 625,000 votes from last Sunday's show earned 375,000 for RTÉ, 02 and Eircom Response, a subsidiary of Eircom. Although the Fermanagh singer has received no firm offers of a record contract yet, the experience of singing for a live television audience of more than 700,000 has been a huge boost for his career.

"I want to keep the ball rolling with the singing. Brian McFadden has been listening to some of my songs and he's considering recording one of them," he said.

The show's biography proclaimed that he wanted ladies to fall at his feet but Michael said he's more than happy and "didn't write a word of that". Fans have given Michael a Westlife-style reception over the last few month and he said he was looking forward to a break.

"You can't go out without people asking for autographs. It is good, but it's tiring too," he said.

Many of Michael's supporters in Fermanagh and Cavan spent more than 20 attempting to get him to the final:

The final of You're a Star will be shown at 8pm on RTÉ1 on Saturday, March 8, and the winner, who will represent Ireland in the Eurovision song contest, will be announced live on Sunday at 8pm.

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