SHE belted out Hey, Big Spender as if her life depended on it.
But Kathy Kay’s powerful voice wasn’t enough to get her into the boot camp stage of TV talent show The X Factor.
The pub landlady sang her heart out in front of Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh, Kelly Rowland and Tulisa from N-Dubz– as well as 3,000 people in the audience – at an arena in Cardiff.
But the success of Irish singer and former Tesco checkout worker Mary Byrne, who got to week nine in the show last year, proved to be the fly in the ointment for the 55-year-old grandmother.
Judges said Kathy’s voice, inspired by Shirley Bassey’s, was too similar to Mary’s.
Kathy, who is the landlady at The Green Dragon Pub in Lovedean Lane, Waterlooville, said: ‘Sadly I did not get through, but I had a fabulous time and I really enjoyed myself.
‘They said the type of song I was doing was not for them.
‘They had done it last year with Mary Byrne and they wanted something different.
‘Gary Barlow said “there’s no doubt you can sing, you have a terrific voice”. Louis Walsh said the same. I thanked them for the chance to be here and I said God bless.’
She said the atmosphere in Cardiff was electric.
A small contingent of regulars from The Green Dragon were in the audience to cheer her on.
The landlady said she didn’t sneak a tipple for Dutch courage before going on stage – preferring a cup of tea instead.
‘There were 3,000 people in the audience and I couldn’t believe how fun it was,’ she said.
‘The atmosphere was incredible. I was the 211,333th person to apply for the show, so to get as far as I did was absolutely fabulous.’
Kathy said she will continue perfecting her vocals behind the bar at the pub – and plans to apply for next year’s show.
She said: ‘I wish I had sung something like Carly Simon’s Nobody Does It Better or something similar.
‘But I am quite proud of myself.
‘I was just glad to be able to sing for my family and friends on a big stage and for The Green Dragon.’
The show is set to be broadcast in the early autumn.