Experience Of The X-Factor Audition Process. How Does X Factor Really Work?
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Is The X Factor really a Sham?
I always loved watching The X factor, some of the contestants had amazing voices and some you would definitely need earplugs for lol.
But regardless of that, I always saw it as a way for people to fulfil their dreams, and i thought it was great that Simon Cowell had set up the show. We all know Simon can be very harsh at times with his opinion on performances, but mostly he was fair.
That is why when my friend begged me to come and audition with her last year, I thought Why not it will be a experience for me if nothing else.
We went online and applied for the show selecting London as our venue of choice, in April 2009 a letter dropped through the door, it was from the X Factor inviting me to audition at the O2 Arena on the 5th May.
It said i needed to bring the letter and my passport along to the audition, and be there for 7am. I rang my friend and she too had received a letter.
As we both live nearly three hours away from London, we had to book train tickets, and considering we had to be at the 02 arena for 7am we needed to get the earliest train possible which cost us 72 pound each grrr.
I went shopping and spent more money having my hair done and buying my outfit etc, and annoying my neighbours by singing ballads constantly in the process lol.
The 5th May arrived sooner than I was ready for, I got up at half two in the morning and began getting myself ready, which felt strange in itself the fact i was getting all dressed up at 2.30am.
We caught the train and ran around the station like idiots when we arrived, as we had no idea what train we were supposed to get on next. Anyway after finally being pointed in the right direction we got our train, and arrived at O2 Arena to see thousands of hopefuls already queuing.
Some had even been there from the previous night, we waited for hours (in heels i might add) and then it started to rain, so all you could see was a sea of umbrella tops. After hours of waiting Dermott O'Leary came out to greet us all.
We had to do lots of tv filming from the crowd, throwing our hands in the air and shouting "London's Got the X Factor" then doing many different dances while club music boomed out from the surrounding speakers.
We were given instructions on what to do for each song, jumping waving our hands, clapping, moving from side to side, in fact by the time we were done we felt exhausted and with all the screaming we had to do my voice wasn't doing all that great either.
The doors were finally opened, and after another long hour of waiting, we finally got in to the arena. Once inside we were given a card for our seats and a X Factor sticker to put on. We were told that we was not allowed to smoke anywhere in the arena, and if we went out for a cigarette then we would not be allowed back in.
So there was a lot of nervous people very annoyed by that. We sat for another two hours in the arena waiting for all the contestants to be seated, then Dermott appeared and the TV filming started once again.
we had to sing, scream, dance and pass a flag around the room. After another hour and a half of that, the booths were finally opened for the auditions to begin. Having never been to the auditions before I was expecting to be singing in front of the judges like you see on the TV, so you can imagine my surprise when i found out that it is actually just the production team you see on the first audition.
Most of them knew nothing about singing! It was another three hours before me and my friend got to audition and in that time, we saw people who were amazing singers leave in tears as they got a No, but strangely enough we also saw a lot of really bad singers in tacky costumes get a Yes.
Hmmm! could it be because the bad auditions make good TV? I went in for my audition very nervous but managed to stay calm long enough to tell him a bit about myself and sing my song, He said I had a beautiful voice and handed me over a Gold ticket. Whoop i was really excited, I was going to sing for the real judges right.......Wrong!
Me and my friend who also got through, was then directed in to another room where we Queued with all the other gold ticket holders for another two hours. When we finally got to the front of said Queue, we handed over our gold tickets and passports in exchange for a letter inviting us back for a second audition at a second venue in London.
The letter stated that we had to wear the same clothes because of the TV filming. We left the O2 arena at just gone 9pm.
The following week and with more money spent on train fare, we arrived for our second audition. The waiting around wasn't as bad as last time, because it was only the people who had got through the last audition that arrived.
While we were waiting we stared to talk to other auditionees, some had lovely voices, and some including a bad Elvis impersonator did not. We watched some of the people we had heard singing brilliantly walking out with a No, and just like before a lot of the bad ones got a Yes.
When it came to my audition i walked in along with about 8 other people and we all had to stand in a line in front of some judges (not the real judges I might add). They asked my name and then I sang, one judge looked me up and down and said "No your not what were looking for" and then pointed to the door (i was dismissed).
And so that was that, all that time and money wasted, and all that excitement for nothing. I didn't even get to see the real judges lol. While we were there we were told that if you got through that round, you had to wait for a call back, if you didn't get a call then you hadn't been selected to sing for the REAL judges.
I think what I found most upsetting about the whole experience, was when i watched last years X Factor, and saw all the bad acts singing for the real judges. Simon kept complaining about them, and I just kept thinking how can you complain when you know your production team put them through on purpose?
I went back this year but didn't audition, I went to support my friend and her sister who both have lovely voices. They both got a No, the same as all the people that went in the same booth as them. A lot of people were saying they had yes and no booths to get the numbers down, as not one yes had come out of their booth, yet the booth next to them were all yes whether they were good or bad.
My friends sister turned to a woman on the production team who was stood outside their booth, and said "Don't you think its funny how everyone that goes in there gets a No" and the woman just went red and turned her head away. Maybe it really was just a way to get their numbers down, who knows.
I do think X Factor is good for the people that get through, and of course it does changes lives, but i think the audition process is a sham and that people should be aware from the start, that they will not be singing for the judges as shown on TV. They should also be aware that there are three stages before you even make it that far.
The X Factor Audition Dates 2011
The audition application deadline has passed, but you can still audition at nationwide open days. Just make sure you turn up at 9am at the following times and venues:
- March 6th/7th: London, O2
- March 9th: Glasgow SECC
- March 12th: Liverpool Echo
- March 20th: Birmingham NEC
- March 26th: Manchester Old Trafford Stadium
- April 9th: Cardiff City Stadium
Remember to take identification in case you get through to the next round, and an umbrella in case it rains, you will be stood in that queue for hours so i would suggest you take some drinks and snacks too.
And for the ladies I would suggest taking some flat shoes for queuing (ballet pumps or sandals that fit easily into your bag), because hours spent queuing in heels is not nice. I would also suggest taking wipes, make-up and a hairbrush so you can freshen up after coming out of the wind and rain. If you have still decided to audition...........I wish you the best of luck!! :)
"If you've got it, you've got it, it doesn't matter how old you are"— Simon Cowell
The X Factor Audition Dates 2012
3rd March 2012 At Liverpool Echo Arena (Open Day)
4th March At Liverpool Echo Arena (Call Backs)
10th March 2012 At Newcastle Metro Arena (Open Day)
17th March 2012 At Old Trafford (Open Day)
18th March 2012 At Old Trafford (Call Backs)
26th March 2012 At Cardiff City Stadium (Open Day)
27th March 2012 At Cardiff City Stadium (Call Backs)
31st March 2012 At Glasgow SECC (Open Day)
1st April At Glasgow SECC (Call Backs)
7th April 2012 At O2 Arena (Open Day)
11th, 12th, 13th April 2012 At London Emirates (Call Backs)
Please Note You Must Be 16 Years Or Over To Audition.
Have you auditioned for the X Factor before?See results without voting
X Factor Audition 5/5/09 (@artytoit)
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