On June 8th, 2011 myself and two close friends obtained tickets to the taped auditions for Simon Cowell’s X-Factor show. We attended the first day of New Jersey auditions which were held at the Prudential Center in Edison, NJ. We arrived around 4:30pm only to wait in line until about 6pm when they slowly started to let people in. we were in section 2 and were allowed to sit wherever we wanted in that section. So we sat towards the middle but directly centered to where the four judges were sitting.
The host of the show was Steve Jones, who’s also the host of the X-Factor’s European counterpart. Then they judges were announced as they walked to their stations. We knew Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul were two of the judges as there was so much media hype how could you not know about their re-pairing. The other judges turned out to be LA Reed, a music producer, and Nicole Scherzinger, former lead singer of the pop group the Pussycat Dolls.
This taping featured the first 20 people who somehow made it past the initial auditions to the next round. I say ‘somehow’ as some of them were so horrible they must’ve paid someone to let them slip into this round. But these ‘horrible’ singers that really think they can sing are what helps fuel the ratings at the shows beginning and we were highly entertained. An interesting contest was a group of fifteen years old consisting of two girls and one boy. Burning their initial audition at a previous show, all four judges told one of the girls, Katie, that either she goes solo or they add more people to her group since their sound wasn’t the greatest as a trio. Later, during the taping I attended, Katie returned w/ her two friends plus three more boys who happened to be cheering them on during their first audition.
They were stopped by Simon within 30 seconds of their performance and he told them that as a group, they were horrible and that Katie needed to go solo as her voice was truly amazing. Simon went as far as to offer her an on the spot solo audition as Katie definitely had an amazing voice. We, the audience, cheered her on and even some of her group members prompted her to sing solo but her nerves gave way and she didn’t know how to respond. Sadly, she missed her chance but Simon invited her back again so long as she comes back as a solo act. To you, Katie, I give this advice: If Simon Cowell, on e of the world’s meanest and world renown music producers offers you not one but FOUR chances to join his show, solo act or not, you DO NOT turn this opportunity down!
Some other notables were a 48 years old Latina mom from Brooklyn who always thought her “bigger frame” was what kept her from her dreams. Simon said” image is nothing if you don’t have the talent to back it up and you definitely have it!” She advanced along with these two 12 years’ old girls who were both solo acts with amazing Christina Aguilera like voices. They were humbled by the praise they received from the judges. Out of 20 auditions which lasted about four and a half hours, only about seven made it on to the next round. These seven are all one step closer to showing the world they truly have the ‘X-Factor’.