Students, sales assistants and hairdressers lined-up in a Northampton shopping mall to take part in the first regional auditions for the next series of ITV’s X Factor.
The budding stars waited outside the pop-up studio at the former Little Urchins unit for their turn to sing in front of researchers selecting contestants for the first round of televised auditions.
Gary Robinson, aged 24, and Sabrina Thompson, 23, both from Standens Barn, performed a duet with a guitar after they were reunited years after playing together in their school band.
Just before auditioning with their acoustic version of Blink 182’s All The Small Things, Miss Thompson said: “We write and perform mainly country and indie-based music.
“To get through to the next auditions would mean everything to us. The ultimate dream would be to make it to the charts, writing our music and sharing it with everyone.”
Hairdresser Kerry Ginn, from Weston Favell, said: “I’ve always grown up with music around me and went to study music production in Eastbourne.
The 25-year-old said: “I’m a bit nervous and I haven’t even thought yet about what it would be like to appear in front of the judges.
“My dream performance would be to sing some Paloma Faith in a big festival venue in Brighton.”
Even friendships have been formed in the queue today, between budding singers such as 18-year-old Varo Millar, a beauty therapy student and pizza deliverer from Irchester, and 19-year-old Emily Johnston from Southfields.
Miss Johnston, who last year auditioned for the show in Liverpool, said after her audition: “It went ok. I knew what to expect more or less so I wasn’t as nervous as last time.
“To get through this time would be such a once-in-a-lifetime thing - like any other normal person winning the lottery.”
A little more nervous was 17-year-old Primark employee and sports student, Holly O’Connor, who said: “I don’t know what I would do if I ended up in front of the judged - probably laugh at them.”
The auditions are open today until 5.30pm and people who take part will hear next month whether or not they are through to the next round of auditions, in front of the celebrity judges.