News Column

6,000 Audition for 'The X Factor' in SC

March 19, 2013

Brenda Rindge

From teenage girls in tutus to middle-aged men in tuxedos and everything in between, popstar wannabes lined up at the North Charleston Coliseum today for their chance at fame.

More than 6,000 people registered to audition for 'The X Factor' by the time the doors opened just before 9:30 a.m.

The crowd, some of whom arrived before 5 a.m., was upbeat, singing and cheering their way through the wait to try out for the Fox Television music competition show. Created by Simon Cowell, the British version launched the careers of pop boy band sensation One Direction.

Show coordinator Obi I.O. said he was impressed with Charleston as he lead the crowd through some pre-audition dances and cheers from atop a ladder.

"This is the most energetic crowd I've been a part of," he said.

Potential candidates started registering to audition on Sunday, said coliseum spokesman Alan Coker.

They were issued wristbands and tickets that would get them into the Coliseum today.

Once in the Coliseum, contestants sat in their assigned seats and auditioned for producers in one of about 15 curtained booths on the Coliseum floor.

Media was not allowed inside.

Executive producer Rob Wade said those who make it through today will be asked back tomorrow.

He said that could be "five or 6,000, depending on how many great singers there are."

He said producers are not only looking for talent, but also for originality and style.

"Some people may have an amazing voice but may just not have the X Factor, that combination of everything that makes a superstar," he said.

Contestants came from across the country to audition, hoping they had that factor.

The majority of candidates, it seemed, were teenage girls accompanied by their mothers, like Briah Pack, 12, of Wilson, N.C., who came down on Sunday to register with her mother Carla.

Briah, who is the minimum age to audition, was on of the first in line to audition when contestants are allowed in the Coliseum at 11 a.m. She planned to sing "If I were a Boy" by Beyonce.

"I've just always wanted to do this," she said.



Source: (c)2013 The Post and Courier (Charleston, S.C.) Distributed by MCT Information Services


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