January 31 2015 Latest news:
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Crowds of would-be popstars are hoping for a chance of stardom as The X Factor auditions come to Norwich today.
The auditions are being held at Epic Studios, in Magdalen Street, where an excited queue of people formed this morning.
Scores of people could be seen warming up their vocal chords, practicing their songs, and hoping to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Leona Lewis, Little Mix and Alexandra Burke.
First in the queue was 20-year-old travel and tourism student Fairouz Ouakine, from Ipswich, who arrived at 7.30am.
“It’s my dream to be a singer. I want to do everything I can to make my dream come true. I’m a little bit nervous, but not too much,” she said, ahead of her audition during which she sung I’d Rather Go Blind by Etta James.
• Forty-eight-year-old Warren Polydorou, from Cromer, used to be one of Sinitta’s backing dancers and singers in the 1980s and said he used to be managed by Simon Cowell under Fanfare Records.
He sang Too Close by Alex Clare at his audition yesterday where he impressed the judge and made it through to the next round in London.
“She made me sing it all the way through. She said she didn’t want to stop me because she was enjoying it too much. I’m really pleased. It’s a chance to see Simon again - I will shock him!” he said.
“It’s coming back to being a singer and a dancer which I love. I have got three albums unreleased and hopefully this will give me the catapult to release them.”
• Thirty-four-year-old teaching assistant Laura Archer, from Dereham, sang the song At Last by Etta James.
She came out of the audition smiling, although she would not confirm whether she made it through to the next round or not.
“It [the audition] was quite surreal. I have always wanted to do something with my voice but it has never been the right time before.”
• Thirty-year-old Charlotte Mills, from Lowestoft, sang Fly Me To The Moon as well as one of her own songs, Me, Myself and I.
“I did not go through but she [the judge] said I had a lovely voice but needed to build on my confidence. She also said she preferred my performance of my original song too.
“I was a little bit gutted to not go through but it’s not the end of the world - you have got to keep pushing and not give up. I’m probably going to concentrate on my own material and learn to play the guitar.”
• Sixteen-year-old Tia Carey-Smith, an Ormiston Victory Academy pupil from Bowthorpe, performed Lay Me Down by Sam Smith.
She said: “It went okay. I did not get through because of lack of eye contact but she [the judge] said if I wanted to go to another open audition I can. It’s good experience to help me learn.”
And it was good news for Fairouz - whose idols are Beyoncé and Whitney Houston - as she impressed in her audition and was invited to the next stage in London on Monday.
Also in the queue was 17-year-old City College Norwich student Olivia Russell, from Thetford, who picked Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers as her audition song.
She said: “I’ve always wanted to audition and I thought this year was the perfect year, and that I’d just give it my best shot and see what happens.”
Shake It Out by Florence and the Machine was the song Ashley-Kate Inns picked to sing.
The 28-year-old call centre worker from Costessey said: “I chose it because I like the message behind it. It’s empowering. “I’ve been singing for 20 years. I sing in various jazz nights in Norwich and I do a lot with Black History Month and have sung at Norwich Pride.
“Being on The X Factor would just be the start of me being who I want to be.”
Kyra Poole, from Blofield Heath, said she was “both excited and nervous” as she waited to perform Listen by Beyoncé at her audition.
“I’ve been singing for years and it’s time to realise my dream, and that’s what this song is all about,” said the 40-year-old Aviva manager.
Linda Thursby, part owner of Epic Studios, said there was a great atmosphere at the city venue during the auditions and it was interesting to see how the show was put together in these early audition stages.
The X Factor mobile auditions last came to Norwich in May 2012 when crowds of people hoping for a shot of superstardom gathered outside the Forum.
This time around, Norwich is one of 34 locations The X Factor team is visiting with its mobile audition van to search for people to appear on the 2014 version of the show.
Those who make it through to the TV show later this year will face a judging panel that includes Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell.
• The X Factor auditions are at Epic Studios,in Magdalen Street, Norwich today from 10am until 4.30pm. Auditions take place until 3pm for people who are not in school education, and until 4.30pm for those who are.
You must be aged 14 or over and auditions are on a first come first served basis and are not guaranteed.