Borrisokane man Pauric O'Meara is tipped for success after storming the stage at the Voice of Ireland on Sunday night, writes Niamh Dillon.
The 21-year-old musician was cheered on by family and friends after impressing the judges with a reworked version of Mark McCabe's dance hit Maniac 2000.
His original version of the song caught the attention of all four judges in the blind auditions with fellow Tipperary native Una Foden the first to turn her chair.
All judges praised the originality of the young songwriter with Una telling the young musician she saw a "huge market for someone like you who can sing and write his own songs".
However, it took former Westlife member Kian Egan a little longer to recognise the cult hit which first entered the Irish Singles Chart in March 2000 before going on to become one of the top selling songs ever in Ireland.
Pauric's version of the song has also been making waves online, racking up 84,000 views on Youtube since airing on RTE1.
The talented musician, who cites his inspiration as everything from dance music to trad, said it was his family's encouragement that finally persuaded him to give the competition a go, adding that his sister, Ciara, was always the first person to offer drive him to a gig. "She's my self -proclaimed number one fan."
However when it came to choosing a mentor, Pauric said he had a definite choice in mind having been a huge fan of Bressie's band the Blizzards growing up.
Pauric, who is a studying to be a primary school teacher in Mary Immaculate College, will now go through to the battle stage of the competition, which will begin airing on February 22.
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