Allure of X Factor audition magic seems lost on Capital

Zoee Byrne gets ready for her audition. Picture: Ian Georgeson.
Zoee Byrne gets ready for her audition. Picture: Ian Georgeson.
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STREAMS of wannabe pop stars lining the streets to get the chance to show their singing skills – it can only be X Factor.

But if the Capital auditions were anything to go by, the pull of the TV talent show seems to be waning.

I love singing and if I was successful it would mean the world to me

KERRI MACFARLANE

Tucked on the ground floor of the Waverley Mall, in the former Xile clothing shop, sat a straggle of singing hopefuls awaiting their turn to vie for stardom.

Nothing but an A4 sign taped to the outside wall and a pile of audition forms hinted that they were in the midst of a multi-million-pound, Simon Cowell-backed enterprise.

Cowell and his TV judges were absent, as talent scout Darren Hill kept a close eye on the performers.

“We are in Edinburgh looking for the whole package; 
the complete look, voice – the X-Factor,” he said.

And half-way through the day he revealed they had already seen a “good variety of acts”.

He said: “We have been working our way down from Inverness and have been to open mic nights to soak up as much of the local talent as we can. We have already met some great characters and there has been a really good mix of ages, although not many groups.”

Despite the rather uninspiring surroundings, contestants remained positive ahead of their potentially life-changing moment.

And despite some nerves, Kerri Macfarlane, 31, from Leith was hoping this would be her big break. She said: “I’ve auditioned 16 times for various shows. I love singing and if I was successful it would mean the world to me. It would completely change my life.”

For 16-year-old Alannis Hutchison from Gorebridge, it was also not the first time she had tried for a spot at the top. 
“I have auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent before,” she said. “The producer for this show is the same guy and he got in touch to invite me down. I was much more nervous but think it went OK.”

The Newbattle High pupil has been singing since she was seven and wants to make a career in the music business.

She said: “I wouldn’t see it as a job but as a passion. I know I am young but this is what I want to do. It makes me happy and want to make my family proud of me.”

Adding some international talent to the mix was Australian singer-songwriter Zoee Byrne, 20, who has recently settled in Edinburgh.

She said: “I came over to the UK last year with my family to play music and thought, ‘Why not give the X-Factor a go?’.”

Her dad Mick said he knew she had talent from young age. “She has this incredible voice, and can sing anything. This is not our usual fit but we’re here, so why not?”

fiona.pringle@jpress.co.uk