Inside an X Factor NZ audition

Last updated 05:00 05/02/2013
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Samantha Priem, left, plans to keep singing even after a failed X Factor audition

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My name is Sam and I'm in a band. I know sounds kinda funny starting this way, like this one time at band camp..., but I went to the central Auckland X Factor auditions on Saturday and thought I would share a bit of my story with you.

I decided only a week ago that I would enter this competition. Why not give it a go right? What do you actually have to lose? It turns out that some people can actually lose a lot.

I had trouble picking my songs but eventually narrowed it down. I chose 'Some Kinda Wonderful' by Joss Stone because I figured most people would pick the likes of Adele 'Rolling in the Deep', 'Titanium' by Sia or 'Valerie' by Amy Winehouse to showcase their vocal range, so I was quite confident that not many people would be signing my song. I told myself that if I didn't get through I would not be one of those people to break down, plead, beg and be generally desperate. I would keep my dignity. I love singing and no matter the outcome I would not be disheartened.

I stood in the line for about seven hours in the scorching heat. I was hungry, dehydrated and sweating like a pig. Step one to losing my dignity. But I stuck it out. Heck I'd already been there for hours what would another four do?

I met some really neat people in the queue including a college student who was really talented with her guitar and I was certain she would get through because she was amazing. We were almost running out of time and the organisers said they were going to have to cut people at some point and they would have to try to get to the other auditions up north. I then became disappointed because we'd been standing there for endless hours just to be told that we had to go home. I was lucky though and I managed to get through to registration, so I was one step closer.

I am not allowed to go in to details about what happened in my audition, but I can say that I did not get through. I now understand the following things about myself and about other people after coming out of this experience:

  • I now understand why some people get so emotional on television. I always smirked at those people and thought what idiots they were but after standing in the hot sun for endless hours just to be told 'no' can be quite emotional. I must admit I was emotional, not because I did not get through, but because the whole experience was exhausting and took a lot of effort.
  • I'm happy that I tried out even if I got a no because it showed me what kind of person I would like to be. I am not willing to share too much of my personal life with the rest of New Zealand. I would not make a very good contestant because of this reason even if I got through. What I realised with these shows is that they can use you up and take so much from you, they air your dirty laundry. Some people are willing to do that but I could not be that person. Once they've used you up and you don't make it through, what is actually left of you after that gruelling experience?
  • I realised that people will do anything and say anything to be famous. If you love singing as I do, then go right ahead, but do it because of that reason alone, not to be famous. I will still continue singing in my band regardless, it hasn't disheartened me in the least. Now I know you might be thinking I probably suck anyway because I didn't  get through but I don't really care because it's still something I love doing, it's food for my soul. Singing is an escape, it makes me feel good, and I enjoy it.

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My friend asked me if I would try again next year and the answer is most definitely not. I've been there, it's not dignifying and I would not try it again. It's just not for me.

I really do wish all those who got through all the best, it takes a lot of balls so good on you. I think the judges are really cool and the mentoring roles they play would be such a neat experience. For those who didn't get through, do not to let it get to you. I met quite a few talented people who did not get through and I hope they are not disheartened by this. I hope they would've learnt as I have from the experience. Learnt what kind of person they would like to be.

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