Sonya Bateson

Sonya is the education reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times.

X-Factor NZ hopefuls prepare to face judges


The nerves are starting to kick in for two Tauranga singers auditioning for talent show X Factor NZ this week.

Auditions in front of the four X Factor NZ judges Melanie Blatt of the All Saints, Kiwi singer-songwriter Ruby Frost, singer Daniel Bedingfield and Mount Maunganui-raised Stan Walker, winner of Australian Idol 2009, will be held this week.

A number of Tauranga and Western Bay people will be making their way to Auckland this week for the second round of auditions, the first in front of judges and a live audience.

Hannah Fryett, 27, said she was nervous about being judged, especially as she would be singing a song she wrote herself.

"It's almost an unnatural environment, being judged straight away. I'm a professional performer but usually the audience wants to have a good time and wants you to be good. The judges will be looking to nitpick but in the end it will help me work on my confidence."

Ms Fryett has experience performing at events such as weddings and Christmas functions, but said she was nervous about the auditions.

"I'm not sure how big the crowd is and I don't want to know. We're allowed to take six support people, so I'm taking my kids, husband, mum and sister. It will be good to have people around that I'm comfortable with."

She described her voice as mellow.

"If there are a whole lot like me, then it will be harder to get through, but if they've all got strong voices and belt out songs, I might have a chance by being different. It will come down to what else is out there and what the judges want."

Josh Pow, 19, will be travelling to Auckland to audition on Friday. He said he would be singing Ain't No Sunshine by Bill Withers, a tried and tested favourite.

"It's quite a slow song but I can show my voice with it. I've been playing guitar since I was 5 and I've been doing music pretty much my whole life, it's my job. I'm full-time doing gigs and I've been busking for four years around Tauranga. I play guitar and sing, I'm kind of like Mumford and Sons."

Among his support crew would be his girlfriend, sister and mother.

"I'm not nervous at the moment but I reckon on the day I'll be pretty nervous. I've never performed in front of people judging me before but, if they like it, they like it."

A professional performer since he was 14, , he said the crowds would not bother him.

He was enlisting support from his friends via Facebook.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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