Katie Holland is the Rotorua Daily Post deputy editor

Rotorua turns out to X Factor auditions

Singers with dreams of becoming New Zealand's next big music star have flocked to the Rotorua X Factor auditions.

X Factor NZ is the first local version of the global television phenomenon, with TV3 producers currently in the middle of a 27-town audition tour. Yesterday it was Rotorua's turn in the spotlight.

TV3 publicist Rose Swale said more than 160 people auditioned in front of the show's four executive producers at John Paul College, receiving either a "no" or a "maybe". The "maybes" will receive a phone call in the next week or two telling them whether they are through to the next stage - a trip to Auckland in late February to perform in front of a live studio audience and the show's four judges. Daniel Bedingfield and Stan Walker have already been confirmed as judges, with two females to be added.

One of those waiting patiently in line was 17-year-old Nev Rolston.

"This is the dream I've wanted to follow since I was a little kid," he said.

"I want to be a musician and make a difference in my life."

Nev said he had been practising his audition song - Alcoholic by Common Kings - since late last year so he wasn't too nervous heading into the closed set audition room.

"Whatever happens, happens."

Luckily it was good news for Nev - he got one of the prized "maybes".

Phoenix Williams, 17, and mate Bryce Broughton, 14, auditioned as a duo under the name Forever Brothers.

They've been jamming together since last year and had stayed up all Saturday night rehearsing. Unfortunately their rendition of Halo by Beyonce didn't impress the producers.

"The guy didn't seem to like us very much," Bryce said.

"We're a bit bummed but it's all good - we'll try again next year."

Ms Swale said the show had uncovered some "real gems" throughout the country and Rotorua was no exception.

"The producers saw some really strong singers come through [in Rotorua] and we are looking forward to seeing them in Auckland," she said. "We've had a really good crowd and everyone in Rotorua has been super friendly."

Auditions continue today at The Great Lake Centre in Taupo.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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