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Thousands fill Croker for shot at X-Factor fame

THOUSANDS of X Factor hopefuls descended on Croke Park for the Dublin auditions today.

Some talented and not-so-talented youngsters began queueing up late last night for a chance to make it through to the finals.

But the hopefuls won't be under pressure from three of the ITV show's tough judges at today's auditions -- as Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, and Danni Minnogue won't be turning up.

Instead, a panel of producers will be vetting the crowds of hopefuls -- and fourth judge Louis Walsh will be dropping by.

Louis, whose act Jedward -- twin brothers Edward and John Grimes -- took the talent show by storm in the last series, said: "There won't be any judges but I'll be there in the morning. The kids with the talent will be going through. You can be sure of that."

Louis said he hopes some rock bands will apply this year.

"Why not a band in the X Factor live finals? There is so much talent out there in Ireland. This could be someone's big chance."

Meanwhile, Louis (57) will be starring in his own reality show this autumn as he lifts the lid on the cut-throat music business. He has joined forces with Westlife crooner Kian Egan for a two-part ITV2 programme, which airs in October and follows the pair's attempts to launch their new girlband, which has now been named Wonderland.

Called The Management, the programme will reveal all about their hunt to find the ideal all-female act, which began in Ireland nearly two years ago and resulted in Kian's wife Jodi Albert fronting the band.

A source close to Louis explained: "He's over the moon with the new TV deal as he reckons this will really launch the girls both here and in the UK. They got off to a great start last week and he wants to keep the ball rolling."

After months of speculation, the band's name was finally revealed as they performed as support act to Westlife on their Where We Are UK tour. The girls took to the stage for the first time in Nottingham last Thursday and will continue touring with Westlife for their shot at fame.