GLASGOW has one of its own to cheer on in The X Factor this year – and in the eyes of one southsider, she has always had the makings of a star.
Cathcart-born Melanie Masson — a 44-year-old mum who first impressed the judges with her version of Janis Joplin’s Cry Baby — has made it to the live show, mentored by Gary Barlow in the over 28s category.
Melanie — married to Scots actor Forbes Masson— decanted to London in her twenties, but close childhood friend Andy Haldane has been cheering her on from the sidelines since that live audition in Glasgow.
Andy, from Busby, told The Extra: “I’ve known Melanie since we were five, but it was really in secondary school, in music class, that we became friends.
“We ended up starting our own musical projects and for seven years worked with different combinations of people: we planned to conquer the world but didn’t, despite getting close on many occasions to something of a break”.
Melanie then moved south, where she runs an under fives music class — meanwhile Andy stayed in Glasgow and pursued a career in music, running his own studio and shop before returning to producing.
The two have stayed in touch over the years, and in June, Andy received a call from Melanie asking him to come along to her X Factor audition.
He continued: “It was a total honour, because she’s amazing.
“I went along with my wife, two kids and my daughter’s boyfriend, as well as another of Melanie’s kids (daughter Rua, aged four and son Ramsay, two) and another of her friends.
“It was very much a family environment backstage – this huge entourage with little kids – and Melanie spent almost no time worrying about her audition because of it.
“I knew how good she was, but when she started singing I realised she was putting the last 30 years into the performance and I was in tears”.
The southsider and his family also accompanied Melanie to Saturday’s live show, and although he can’t make it down in the coming weeks — due to a house move — he’s hoping that Melanie will go all the way to the final.
Andy commented: “Of all the people I’ve ever worked with, she’s the best and I want to see her do well.
“She’s a songwriter as well as a singer, and that hasn’t been shown yet — but I hope those songs get the opportunity to be heard, because it would be great to demonstrate her full range of talents.
“I don’t think she’ll be going back to anonymity again: she’s knocking it out of the park”.