Friday 21 July 2017

WATCH: High hopes and higher notes at X Factor auditions

Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Wannabe pop stars and fame hungry exhibitionists flocked to Croke Park yesterday to see if they had the elusive 'X Factor'.

Producers of the popular ITV entertainment show are currently scouring the country to find "world class stars" who can emulate the success of Rylan Clark, Chico or Mary Byrne.

Aspiring singers set off at the break of dawn to sing their hearts out in front of a select X Factor panel.

Nursery school nurse, Laura Johnston, had driven down from Holywood in County Down.

Annie Finnegan, Co Louth, Niamh O’Shea, Co Clare who got through to the next round
Annie Finnegan, Co Louth, Niamh O’Shea, Co Clare who got through to the next round

"We left at 6am this morning and I was so nervous going in," she told the Irish Independent.

Johnston performed a rendition of jazz standard 'My Funny Valentine' and got the nod from the producers.

Niamh O'Shea, Clonlaragh, Co.Clare and Owen Alfred, Limerick who auditioned for X Factor at Croke Park
Niamh O'Shea, Clonlaragh, Co.Clare and Owen Alfred, Limerick who auditioned for X Factor at Croke Park

"I was thinking of signing up and told my son Ben. He said; 'Mum, remember YOLO'. And now I'm one step closer to meeting the judges."

Successful contestants will audition for music mogul Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini at a later date.

But that didn't stop some from fantasising about their ideal mentor.

"I'd love to get Cheryl but it's still early days," school girl, Sarah Malloy, (16) said.

The Clondalkin native waited for several hours to stand on the laminated 'X' and belt out Sinatra's Summer Wind.

"It's a real bonding experience being in there," she said. "You go through such highs and lows."

And there were plenty of lows; hundreds of unsuccessful singers slipped out of Croker with downbeat expressions and tear stained cheeks - their dreams of hanging out with Simon Cowell lying in tatters.

The auditions continue today with the Mobile Audition Van traveling around the country.

Irish Independent

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