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X-tremely awful!

Nobody in ulster audition is good (or bad) enough to make it through to the next stage of talent show

By Emily Moulton

Millions of viewers are expected to tune into ITV tonight to watch the first episode of new series of the X Factor.

A record 150,000 people applied for the fourth series of the hit ITV1 show - including up to 800 wannabees from Northern Ireland.

But the majority of those who turned up to convince TV Rottweiler Simon Cowell and the other judges that they are the next big thing, found their efforts fell on deaf ears.

It is understood that no-one from Northern Ireland has made it through to the first stage.

Despite the lack of local talent on display, it is expected thousands across the province will tune in tonight to relish watching hundreds of popstar wannabees' dreams get crushed.

Among those daring to face the furore of judges Cowell, Sharon Osborne, Louis Walsh and new addition Dannii Minogue are:

Susan Perkins: The 55-year-old from Kent was the first to audition and is convinced she has what it takes.

Before entering the audition room, the cleaner says: "When I walk back through these doors I hope I'm going to be a superstar - I've wanted to be a singer ever since I was a little girl".

But her rendition of the classic song You'll Never Walk Alone sparks uncontrollable giggles from the judges.

Emily Bell-Hodgson: The 70-year-old enters the audition room clad in large black sunglasses and a red scarf, which partially covers her face.

Asked why she is wearing the scarf, she responds: "Because I urgently need dentistry."

Cowell says her performance was like "something out of a horror movie" .

The outraged pensioner insists: "I'm standing here like someone who actually has The X Factor" to which Cowell responds: " Yes, but not on planet earth darling."

The 70-year-old hits back, saying: "Simon you're a warm charismatic handsome person with good dentistry. But that doesn't give you the right to tell me that I am here to get dentistry."

W4: The all-girl group consists of 21-year-olds Rachel Welsh, Linzi Welsh, Krystal English, Enrica Scottish and Leigh Scottish.

They belt out the song Heaven while draped in national flags, leaving Dannii Minogue, Sharon Osbourne and Brian Friedman impressed.

New judge Minogue locks horns with fearsome TV judge Cowell, who is not so fond of the five-piece.

Minogue tells him: " I absolutely disagree with you. The unity and your (W4's) energy is amazing.

"It's like I want to be in your gang. I want to go wherever you go next 'cos you look like you're going to have fun."

Sarah and Sean Smith: The over-enthusiastic siblings call themselves Same Difference, because they "are the same but different".

But Sarah (18) and Sean (21) are cut off seconds into their musical-style version of The Rembrants song I'll Be There For You.

Cowell tells them: "You are possibly two of the most annoying people I have met."

Minogue disagrees, saying: "I don't think these guys can tone it down and I don't think you should.

"You guys do that so well and you're so adorable and loveable and you should keep doing that. But it's not X Factor winner."

Joy Philippou: The 79-year-old auditions in Manchester.

She tells the judges: "I can play three invisible instruments. The violin, the mandolin and the Hawaiian guitar."

Jaws drop as she attempts to mimic the sound of the instruments through her nose.

Cowell may not be impressed, but Walsh describes her as a very "versatile performer" and Osbourne flatters the contestant by saying she is"multi-talented".

Philippou could be the first to make it through to Bootcamp without actually singing a note.

Jules Horsfield: The 32-year-old dinner lady from Merseyside has dreamt of becoming a singer since she was a child.

She says: "It's all I've ever wanted to do, I thought the dream would go away but its still there."

After her rendition of Something To Talk About by Bonnie Raitt, Osbourne exclaims: "I love you, I thought you were fantastic."

Cowell begins: "You walked in like a loser, your body language, your attitude, it was verging on desperation and begging, and you sound like a whipped dog."

But he adds: " There is something incredibly likeable about you."


From Belfast Telegraph