X Factor bosses impressed by Tauranga talent

By James Fuller

More than 200 Western Bay hopefuls auditioned for their chance to become a singing sensation on the country's first season of the global television talent show, The X Factor.

Merivale resident Jan Baker was one of those who took part in Saturday's auditions at Tauranga's 16th Avenue Theatre.

"I auditioned really well but I didn't get through unfortunately," she said.

"When I was waiting for my audition I heard some really good singers going in and getting turned down.

"I know a good singer when I hear one so I was a little disheartened when I saw that but I still gave it 110 per cent."

Ms Baker sang Katy Perry's Firework followed by Terence Trent-D'Arby's version of the Motown classic Who's Lovin' You.

"They liked my voice and asked me to sing a second song. They were really positive but seemed to be looking for a particular thing, a certain style, sound or image," said the 53-year-old.

"I don't feel they discriminated against me because of my age at all, it wasn't like that. They didn't look up much as I was singing. they were just concentrating really hard. They were obviously listening for something specific."

The Maketu Primary School teacher said she had honed her voice as a church singer and hoped to become a recorded artist.

"I feel satisfied in myself. I gave it my all. What I think I need to do now is to develop myself as an artist, to find my identity, that point of difference which makes me stand out."

Ms Baker said she was working towards an album and was in the process of "lining up song writers" for the project.

Having started in Queenstown on January 5, The X Factor NZ pre-audition tour will travel to 27 locations nationwide before finishing in Kaitaia on Waitangi Day. It is the first stage of The X Factor NZ process.

TV3 publicist Rose Swale applauded those who auditioned in Tauranga.

"It was really a fantastic turn out - and I know the executive producers felt that the calibre of the singers was really strong. They were impressed with what they brought to the table.

"Speaking personally it was also a really fun atmosphere."

Miss Swale said the number of successful Tauranga contestants, who would go forward to the televised audition stage, had not been confirmed. However, there was no geographical bias or predetermined number to move forward from each round, it was based solely on talent.

Mount Maunganui-raised Stan Walker, who won the last season of Australian Idol, will be one of four judge-mentors on the show. Kiwi-born British singer and songwriter Daniel Bedingfield has also been named as a judge.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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