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X Factor flop: Only handful of hopefuls at Romford auditions

PUBLISHED: 12:29 28 March 2013 | UPDATED: 12:32 28 March 2013

Billie-Jean was hoping to make friends at the auditions. Picture: Sandra Rowse

Billie-Jean was hoping to make friends at the auditions. Picture: Sandra Rowse

Archant

Think X Factor auditions and you imagine hundreds of screaming hopefuls and their relatives queuing for hours for a shot at stardom.

X factor in Romford. Picture: Sandra RowseX factor in Romford. Picture: Sandra Rowse

But it was only the sound of silence in Romford yesterday when just a handful of auditionees turned up for the mobile judges who had quietly rolled into town.

Crowd control barriers suggested producers were expecting a large turn-out at the event in the Liberty Shopping Centre.

Instead the Recorder counted just nine hopefuls in the two hours it was there.

Fluorescent-jacketed ushers greeted the few visitors who did pluck up the courage to audition and an X-marked van stood out in an otherwise empty car park.

X factor in Romford. Picture: Sandra Rowse X factor in Romford. Picture: Sandra Rowse

“People must have thought it was a joke,” said Billie-Jean Temple, 44, from Chigwell, Essex. “I think it’s a shame and quite disappointing that not many people turned up. I was auditioning in the hope of meeting new people!”

Three X Factor vans have been making their way from Scotland through England this week in the hope of finding talented singers for the next show.

The mobile auditions were first brought in during last year’s series and its winner James Arthur tried out when it visited his hometown of Middlesbrough.

“I only found out about the audition the day before,” said Drew James, aged 27 from Romford, who got through to the next round after singing “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye. “I wouldn’t have auditioned at all if the mobile van hadn’t been in Romford.

Drew got through to the next round of auditions. Picture: Sandra RowseDrew got through to the next round of auditions. Picture: Sandra Rowse

“I was shocked, really shocked by the lack of people. because thousands of people turned up at the O2 when I auditioned there three years ago.”

A spokesman for X Factor would not say how many people turned up on Wednesday but confirmed there had been more success at auditions elsewhere, including a 500-strong turn-out at Hull on the same day.


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