X Factor NZ auditions hit the road again

KIM KNIGHT
Last updated 10:20 24/08/2014
jackie
COME AGAIN: Singing show The X-Factor, won last year by Greymouth's Jackie Thomas, is looking new talent.

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Greymouth might have produced the country's first home-grown X Factor winner - but the West Coast hasn't made the cut for this year's pre-audition tour.

The X Factor NZ hits the road in October and November, travelling to 13 locations searching for talent to take part in the second season of the TV3 show. Host Dominic Bowden's return has been confirmed, and producers have announced that, for the first time, bands will be able to audition.

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But for West Coasters looking for a repeat of last year's win by a local (Greymouth's Jackie Thomas took the competition from Whenua Patawai), the closest they'll get to the pre-audition action is Christchurch or Nelson.

John McDonald, co-executive producer said, "we believe the keen ones will come to us. We've tried to plan the pre-audition tour such that everyone that wants to audition won't need to travel more than 2-3 hours to our locations."

McDonald said the decision to allow bands to enter was exciting for a country that was "littered with great bands that play week in and week out on the pub circuit, school halls and small gigs. We think they've got as much right as anyone else to be discovered and end up with a record deal".

The second season won't screen until next year. No dates have been released, but host Dominic Bowden says production will be better geared around university and high school breaks.

"You can potentially finish your exams and have an incredible life-changing experience over the summer."

He says he can't wait to get started. "Since the first one finished, I've been like 'ok, when are we going again?' I'm a live television junkie, both as a viewer and as someone who's up the front."

The presenter, who has based in the United States working as an entertainment reporter, says the X Factor NZ is a great platform for local performers.

"Living in America, I felt like the greatest asset was that I was a Kiwi and I believe the same can be true for our musicians. You don't have to look far, whether it's Kimbra or Lorde or the Naked and Famous. I'm constantly asked what's in the water in New Zealand, because there are so many great singers, so many great performers coming from down under.

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No judges for the second season have been announced. Last year, contestants faced Melanie Blatt, Ruby Frost, Stan Walker and Daniel Bedingfield. Bowden's on-screen relationship with Bedingfield was tense. Is there anyone he wouldn't want to see back?

"Maybe I won't say who it is, but I'm pretty sure you wouldn't have to out too much thought into it. If you think about my job, and think about that person - you want someone who actually doesn't try and make it too hard for you. But in saying that, I like a challenge. How's that for diplomatic?"

This year's auditions are open to singers, groups or bands, aged 14 years or older on October 11. Potential contestants need to download an application form from www.tv3.co.nz/TheXFactorNZ and bring it one of the following pre-audition locations:

Saturday October 11 - AUT City Campus, Auckland 10am - 5pm

Sunday October 12 - AUT City Campus, Auckland, 10am - 5pm

Tuesday October 14 - Performing Arts Centre Trust, Queenstown, 3pm - 8pm

Wednesday October 15 - Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, 3pm - 8pm

Thursday October 16 - New Zealand Institute of Sport, Christchurch, 3pm - 8pm

Friday October 17 - New Zealand Institute of Sport, Christchurch, 3pm - 8pm

Sunday October 19 - Nelson College, Nelson, 10am - 5pm

Tuesday October 21 - Westpac Stadium, Wellington, 3pm - 8pm

Wednesday October 22 - Westpac Stadium, Wellington, 3pm - 8pm

Friday October 24 - The Regent on Broadway, Palmerston North, 3pm - 8pm

Sunday October 26 - Napier Boys High School, Napier, 10am - 5pm

Monday October 27 - Rotorua Arts Village, Rotorua, 10am - 5pm

Tuesday October 28 - Club Mount, Mount Maunganui, 3pm - 8pm

Wednesday October 29 - Wintec Bill Gallagher Building, Hamilton, 3pm - 8pm

Thursday October 30 - Whangarei Athletics Club, Whangarei, 3pm - 8pm

Saturday November 1 - Alfriston College, Manurewa, Auckland, 10am - 5pm

Sunday November 2 - Alfriston College, Manurewa, Auckland, 10am - 5pm

- Stuff

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