Talent audition 'all about passion'

By Kiri Gillespie

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At 52, Jan Baker is chasing her dream of being a recorded artist.

The Merivale School teacher is hoping that dream will transform into reality after taking part in the the X Factor NZ auditions between 10am and 5pm at Tauranga's 16th Ave Theatre tomorrow.

"I'm not trying to be Susan Boyle but I think it's not about age. It's about passion.

"It's about what you are passionate about. What is in your heart. What do you love? That, to me, matters. If you don't follow that, you've got nothing really."

Ms Baker sings in pubs on country music nights or at events and is "starting to get known".

If Ms Baker is successful in the audition she will be asked to perform again as part of the local version of the worldwide television hit, where select singers compete under the guidance of four judges.

Otumoetai schoolgirl Erani Teautaku said she was not nervous leading up to her audition but anticipated she would be on the day. Despite this, the 16-year-old has refrained from practising.

"I'm just going to pick a song on the day," she said. "I auditioned for New Zealand's Got Talent and practised my song for three months prior. When it got to auditioning, I didn't really feel the song any more. So I'm just going to wing it."

Erani is a Rihanna fan and tempted to her latest song Stay.

Mount Maunganui-raised Stan Walker had been working in a Queensland menswear shop and singing in church when he auditioned - and won - the last season of Australian Idol.

He will be one of four judge-mentors on the show.

"I want to encourage anyone who thinks they have what it takes, but is too scared to give it a try, to get up and give it a go.

"Who knows? You may end up the next big recording star - it happened for me."

Kiwi-born British singer and songwriter Daniel Bedingfield has also been named a judge. Two female judges are yet to be announced. X-Factor will travel to 27 locations throughout New Zealand before the show screens on television this year.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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