Crowds flocks to Portsmouth in bid for stardom at X Factor auditions

BUDDING singers gave their all for a chance to feature in this year's X Factor at the mobile auditions yesterday.

Wednesday, 8th March 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:02 am
Elaine Uzoamaka, 37, from Fratton. Picture: Sarah Standing (170281-3557)

Dozens of wannabe pop stars flocked to Portsmouth’s Cascades Shopping Centre for a chance to feature on one of the country’s biggest talent shows.

People of all ages gave their best impersonations of classic hits from Adele to Hozier in front of a panel of judges in a closed booth before finding out if they were through to the next stage.

One of the many hopefuls was Mollie Jay, 21, from Gosport, a deputy manager at Aldi in Fareham, who was looking to make her dream a reality.

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Tom Austin, 22, from Portsea. Picture: Sarah Standing (170281-3561)

Mollie, who won The News’ Instant Star contest in 2015, said: ‘I’m hoping that X Factor can make my dreams come true.

‘I know it sounds corny but I just want to sing and perform. I’ve previously been through a bit of a hard time where my confidence has been knocked massively but I’ve done lots of performing over the years and now I know that I am ready for this.’

Jay Massiah, 39, from North End, got to the boot camp stage of the competition in 2005 and only decided to enter after spotting the auditions taking place.

He said: ‘I didn’t even know it was happening but I walked past and it’s one of those things where you have just got to go for it.

Clare Oram, 29, from Southsea, after her audition. Picture: Sarah Standing (170281-3581)

‘Back then, I remember the feeling of getting to boot camp and thinking “Oh my god, there’s Simon Cowell”, who was actually really nice and gave me lots of advice. He was a bit of a gentle giant really.’

Richard Stanley, 51, from Outram Road, Southsea, was also taking on the challenge.

He said: ‘I love singing as it makes me really happy and calm. I’ve always wanted to get on to The X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent to see if I’m good enough.

‘It has always been a dream of mine to get good at singing and I like to sing songs on my karaoke machine as they bring me happiness.’

Tom Austin, 22, from Portsea. Picture: Sarah Standing (170281-3561)

Joe Copper, 23, a sales and marketing assistant, from Portsmouth was auditioning in secret.

He said: ‘Everyone’s told me that I should really give it a go, but I’ve always put it off. I’m doing it for my mum as a surprise really and she’s going to come down later. I’m managing with my nerves as it’s about taking the attitude of you’ve got nothing to lose really!’

Clare Oram, 29, from Southsea, after her audition. Picture: Sarah Standing (170281-3581)