They all arrived with dreams of pop stardom -most were dashed, but a talented few saw the dream stay alive at the X Factor open auditions hosted in Belfast yesterday.
The ITV talent show juggernaut's mobile tour team rolled into town and attracted a large number of singing hopefuls from across Northern Ireland.
Following a slow start on Tuesday at Victoria Square, hundreds of singers, young and old, turned out yesterday to perform in an effort to secure a 'yes' from the production team and a coveted yellow pass.
There was no star draw however, as celebrity judges Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole – who are making a return this year in a bid to boost flagging viewing figures – were not on the panel.
Rather, it was a closed-doors process, with production staff making the yes or no decisions. Corpus Christi pupil Tiarnan McAlorun (16), from Lagmore in west Belfast, sang Someone Like You by Adele. "They said it was good but a no for today," he explained.
Business student Peter Rainey (20), from west Belfast made the final 50 of last year's show but hasn't immediately made the next round this year. "They said they had my contact details," he said.
Unfortunately, Caoimhe McAleavey (17) from Newry didn't make it either.
"I write my own songs," she said.
"I have always loved music but am performing a lot more now since I got my guitar."
But there was success for schoolgirl Samantha Storey (16) from Belfast, who sang Beyonce's song Broken Hearted Girl.
"I have sung on holiday before but that's about it," she said. "I love Beyonce, Rihanna, and more R&B stuff."
Hairdresser Courtney-Maree McCann (19) from Carrickfergus also made it. She impressed the panel with a blues version of the Undertones hit Teenage Kicks and secured a place at next month's Dublin auditions.
"I can't believe I got through," she said. "I've done some gigs close to where I live.
"I always watch X Factor. Simon Cowell is my favourite judge. I think he is beautiful. I am sorry, but I have such a crush on him. I wouldn't have auditioned if he wasn't back this year."