One by one, they stood in front of the judges and prepared to perform. If they were feeling nervous, they did their best to hide it. This was their moment and they were determined to do their very best to impress.
Once again our Instant Star auditions demonstrated what a lot of talent there is out there. Singers, dancers and musicians, aged from just nine to 33, had been working hard at perfecting their routines and took their opportunity to show what they could do.
As always, those deciding the winner had a tough task. But in the end the judges were unanimous in choosing singer Jennifer-Parker Lummis (you can read all about her on page three today) to be our Instant Star for 2012 and have her own slot in a special Song and Dance 2012 variety show that will launch the autumn season at the Kings Theatre in Southsea on September 2.
The others can all be very proud of themselves too, for they showed ability and guts and reminded us of the variety of performers in the Portsmouth area.
Of course, not all will make it. That usually takes a combination of talent, hard work – and some good fortune. But they do all have a dream and we commend them for their enthusiasm and willingness to work at their chosen field in the hope of one day seeing their name in lights.
This country has a great tradition of entertainment, going back to the end-of-the-pier shows. Today TV talent shows such as The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent attract huge ratings as viewers hear the back story of contestants and get taken on an emotional journey with them.
For some acts, it can mean going from anonymity to stardom in double-quick time. Just look at what happened to Susan Boyle and how plucking up the courage to audition changed her life.
But for others, an audition can be a reality check that maybe performing is not for them.
In our Instant Star auditions there is no criticism of anybody, though. Because we think they all deserve enormous credit and we hope they will use the experience to make themselves even better performers.