Five survive as X Factor audition leaves singers in a sweat

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 04/02/2013
xfactor stand
JONATHAN CAMERON
Paul Latap and Johanna Crean head in to front the judges at the New Zealand X-Factor audition in New Plymouth.

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At least five Taranaki singers have been left sweating it out as they wait to see if they have made it into the inaugural X Factor NZ television talent show - and their dream of a career in show business.

The pre-audition series kicked off in Queenstown on January 1 and will finish in Kaitaia on Waitangi Day.

And yesterday was Taranaki's turn to impress the judges with the TV3 Mediaworks talent quest pulling in singing hopefuls from across the country.

The filming of the show is expected to begin before the end of this month, spokeswoman Rose Swale said at the New Plymouth Girls' High venue yesterday afternoon.

The X Factor, the brainchild of music mogul Simon Cowell, was the launch pad for musical careers of One Direction, Leona Lewis and Reece Mastin.

New Plymouth hopeful Karl Raubenheimer told the Taranaki Daily News that he was very nervous and got the thumbs down after his rendition of Sitting on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding.

He regularly played at New Plymouth venues without any problem "but that freaked me out".

His mate, Nikki Wadeson, had better news. By early afternoon she believed she was one of only five who achieved "maybe" status after singing Janis Joplin's Bobby McGee followed by her own rendition of Hit the Road Jack.

Johanna Crean, 24, was still visibly shaking when she came out of the audition room.

"I was so nervous I couldn't sing," she said.

On the opposite end of the scale, Paul Latap, 17, was still buzzing despite being turned down.

"It was good, very good. I've been performing since I was seven."

Ms Swale said there was a long queue early in the day as people - most of them in their teens or early 20s - signed up to perform.

"It's been a really great day. Over 130 people came through. The judges were really pleased with the turnout and the calibre of the talent."

Ms Swale declined to reveal the exact number of "maybes" .

The next stage for those left hanging would be a phone call to say whether they had made it through the cut to achieve "yes" status.

The successful performers will go to Auckland later this month to audition in front of four judges - Brit award winner Daniel Bedingfield and multi-platinum recording artist Stan Walker, Melanie Blatt, of the All Saints, and Kiwi recording artist Ruby Frost.

The television series start date is yet to be decided.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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