700 Irish girls audition for new Louis Walsh girl band
Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Harcourt Street? That was the question on the lips of 700 young girls who trooped around Dublin yesterday searching for the Pod, Louis Walsh and the chance of a place in Ireland's newest five-piece girl band.
Some of the hopefuls, who were as young as 15, looked like they should be on the couch watching Big Bird and the rest of the Sesame Street crew.
But, undeterred, they queued up -- some of them from 6.30am until doors opened at midday -- for a chance to strut their stuff in front of Walsh, Westlife's Kian Egan and A&R woman Sheila Burgess.
Lisa McNally, her sister Emma -- both from Meath -- and their pal Chrissy, from Kildare, (who insisted that, like Cher, she didn't need a second name) were asking for directions, until they stumbled upon the line of glammed-up girls snaking around the Pod complex.
"I'm just here for a laugh," insisted Chrissy.
"The other two are good singers, so I'd say they'll have a good chance."
Sandra Hyland (17), from Tallaght, said that singing with her dad, Myles, in his band, the Mile High Club, would give her enough confidence to earn a callback.
"Of course I'll get through," she said. "I'm used to singing in pubs around Dublin with my dad and his blues band."
As they approached the entrance, the aspirant members of "the next Girls Aloud" were duly given Olympic-style competitor numbers to stick on their jumpers.
"We're looking for talent," said Louis Walsh.
"Undiscovered talent, young with a good attitude and who will look good. We don't want good -- we want great."
"Vocals are going to have to stand out a lot," said Kian Egan, whose girlfriend, Jodi Albert, is vying for a position in the new band.
Walsh, though, was quick to quash rumours of favouritism and said that everyone would have to audition.
The judges will be back tomorrow for more auditions.
"If the standard tomorrow is as good as it has been today, we are going to have our work cut out for us," said Kian.
Inside, the girls were lined up stageside and given just a few seconds to impress, by singing acapella.
"Hi, my name is Rosanna Egan and I'm going to sing. . . ," said the first girl up -- until she was cut off by a click of the fingers from PR woman Joanne Byrne.
"Just give your name and get straight into the song," she said sharply. "And don't ask if you're called back if you haven't been told."
But Rosanna from Clare, who was first in the queue, needn't have worried. Her version of 'Umbrella', by Rihanna, earned her a callback.
Not so fortunate was Anna from Wicklow: "It's very intimidating,'' she said. ''It's not like going into a room on your own.''