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Meet the Irish teen who Simon Cowell believes will be new Niall Horan

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This is the Irish teen who has been tipped to become the new Niall Horan – after being picked to join the ‘new One Direction’.

Meath singer Chris Leonard has been picked by Simon Cowell – along with seven other solo artists – and put into a new boyband in this years X Factor.

The 18-year-old was formally a member of Dublin boyband 5th Base, also known as Level 5, and made it to X Factor’s boot camp last year before they were kicked out.

Launch party of ISPCC Charity Christmas single 'Merry Christmas Everyone' by new pop band LEVEL 5

Next Big thing: Chris with his old band Level 5 | VIPIRELAND.COM

But after his hopes were dashed he returned this year as a solo artist.

He impressed the judges so much they decided to put him into what could be Simon Cowell’s new big boyband.

Gleeful Simon hailed the band last week in Wembley Arena and said they were “one of the best bands they’ve ever had on the show.”

Insiders revealed that he has already told people they are the new One Direction he has been searching for.

THE X FACTOR: Simon Cowell. CR: Ian Derry / FOX

Believer: Simon thinks Chris could be huge

Now Chris and his seven bandmates will be whisked to Bermuda next week to join Louis Walsh in the judges homes stage of the competition.

Last week, Goss.ie revealed that Tulisa will be making her big comeback by joining the Mayo man as his aid.

An other big Irish hope is 22-year-old Savannah, who has made it through to boot camp.

But Goss.ie revealed how Irish X Factor hopeful Orla Keogh was cruelly dropped from the show after being told she’d made it through to judges houses.