Who has the X Factor in Palmy?
A long line of nervous, excited aspiring singers signalled the arrival of The X Factor NZ pre-auditions to Palmerston North today.
Auditions for the TV3 series were held at Awapuni Racecourse’s function centre with several hundred people turning out for their turn to impress.
Some chatted with friends or parents while they waited while others got in some last-minute warm-ups.
Sitting on the steps that lead up to the Silks Lounge Lawrence Finau, 17, of Levin was strumming away on his guitar.
He had arrived at 8.30am and was still at least 100 people back in the queue for the auditions that started at 10am.
‘‘I’m just a little bit nervous,’’ he said.
Ash Silk of Palmerston North spied Lawrence from the queue and wandered over.
‘‘Bro you tap out a beat on your guitar and I’ll beat-box,’’ he said.
The two strike up an impromptu performance before Ash, also 17, starts giving the Manawatu Standard his credentials.
‘‘The fastest I’ve ever rapped is 50 syllables a second,’’ he said. ‘‘I’ve been rapping for 14 years ever since I was 4.’’
Ash said he was encouraged to audition by his brother. He has prepared four of his own songs to perform at the audition.
He was not anxious, he said, but ‘‘pumped’’.
Today’s pre-auditions were held in front of the show’s executive producers, from there a pool of talent will be selected to audition for the show’s judges in front of a live audience in Auckland next month.
The X Factor New Zealand is a local version of the international TV franchise created by Simon Cowell - infamous for his blunt comments while judging.
The show originated in Britain in 2004 and spinoff versions have been made in the United States, France and Australia, among other countries.
Similar to the Idol franchise, public auditions are held and finalists selected. X Factor judges mentor the contestants.
The X Factor New Zealand will have a judging panel of four, including New Zealand-born pop star Daniel Bedingfield and Stan Walker, who won Australian Idol in 2009.
Two female judges, one an international performer and the other a local, are yet to be announced.
The former host of New Zealand Idol, Dominic Bowden, is set to host The X Factor.
The pre-auditions were being held in 27 locations around the country wrapping up in Kaitaia on Waitangi Day.
Tomorrow’s auditions were being held at the Masterton Town Hall.