Wannabe pop stars bid for ‘X Factor’ success in Cork

They braved the cold and rain in their quest for fame yesterday as The X Factor machine rolled into Cork.

Wannabe pop stars bid for ‘X Factor’ success in Cork

But just a handful of the 60 or so pop star wannabes who auditioned on a closed set in the Half Moon Theatre were chosen to take part in the next round of auditions in Dublin next month, before they get their 15 seconds of fame.

Despite some renewed interest in the hit ITV show since Simon Cowell announced the return of Cheryl Cole as a judge when the 11th series hits our screens later this year, the numbers auditioning in Cork yesterday were significantly down on previous years, when producers had to turn people away. Spirits were high though among those huddled in the queue.

Guitar-playing Liverpudlian Phil Walsh, 30, who lives in Carrigaline, Co Cork, has been an fan of The X Factor for a decade.

“I’ve always watched the show. I’m a big fan of it,” he said.

Acting student Katie O’Brien, 20, from Inchigeela, who auditioned previously for The All Ireland Talent Show but didn’t get through, sang Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’, to show the range of her voice.

“It would be cool if I got through. I’d said I’d go for it,” she said.

Armed with her guitar, Kayleigh O’Brien, 16, from Freemount, admitted she was nervous before her audition despite some stage experience in pantomimes in the Opera House and Everyman Palace as a child.

“It hasn’t hit me yet but I’ll probably be in a heap once I get in,” she said.

Her mother’s friend, Sharon Wade, 37, a daughter of well-known Cork singer, Sonny Wade, said she was looking forward to performing Adele’s ‘Hiding My Heart Away’.

“It’s like the last chance saloon for me,” she joked.

“I’ve been singing all my life. I’ve sung with my dad around town and I’m in a church music group, Swade, so I’m used to performing. But I’m sure there’ll be some nerves when I get inside.”

Fifth-year student Jay Donolo, 18, from Mahon, was hoping to impress producers with his own anti-bullying rap, ‘Left Alone’.

“I won last year’s school talent show and came third in the McCarthy’s Talent Show last year, so I’m hopeful,” he said.

Liam Anderson, 19, travelled from Schull for his audition. Sporting a bright orange puffa jacket and gelled jet-black hair, he certainly looked the part. But only the producers inside could tell if he sounded the part.

They remained tightlipped on who or how many people they put through to the next round. “You’ll have to watch the show,” one insider said.

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