X Factor judge Louis Walsh said it is “about time” the show had a winner from Scotland as auditions kicked off in Edinburgh.
But fans were left disheartened when Simon Cowell sneaked into the city auditions through the back door, while Louis Walsh, Nicole Scherzinger and Alesha Dixon all made a dazzling entrance at the Assembly Rooms on George Street.
Crowds gathered in a bid to catch a glimpse of their favourite judge yesterday afternoon, while dozens waited patiently inside for their once in a lifetime opportunity to audition for the show.
Harry Davidson, 16, from Durham, was among those auditioning.
He said: “I feel really nervous but nerves are always a good thing - you need to be nervous.
“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for quite some time now but because of my age I couldn’t enter.”
He added: “I’m not sure who my favourite judge is, I’ll wait till I meet them and then I’ll decide.”
As Dermot O’Leary mingled with the crowds outside, signed autographs and attempted to play the bagpipes, Walsh said it is “about time” there was a Scottish winner.
He was optimistic the judges might find “a new Bay City Rollers”.
He said: “It’s always good in Edinburgh, we always get good people here - and the sun is shining.
“My favourite thing about the city is you get real people, it’s good fun.
“We always get great people here that’s why we always come back.”
Nicole Michaelson, 16, travelled to Edinburgh from Denmark with her mum to be in with a chance of seeing Cowell.
She said: “I’m so excited to see Simon - I am his biggest fan.
“The X-Factor is my favourite show, it’s a dream to be here to watch the judges go in for the auditions.”
It is understood the judges were auditioning dozens of hopefuls yesterday afternoon as Edinburgh is the only Scottish stop on this year’s show.
Dixon was standing in for Sharon Osbourne who was unable to make the trip.
O’Leary, the host of this year’s show, described Edinburgh as a “beautiful city” and said he’d enjoyed filming at different locations including Calton Hill and the Nelson Monument.
Speaking of playing the bagpipes alongside Edinburgh based Roddy the Piper, he said: “They are so hard, luckily I’ve got Roddy who’s actually playing the bagpipes.
“He kind of gave me a 30-second lesson.”
The X Factor is expected to return to ITV at the end of August.