AN 18-year-old Newport undertaker was the first to get through the X factor auditions which came to the city yesterday, ahead of this year’s series.
Wannabe pop stars of all ages turned out to audition before two producers in the Kingsway Centre, Newport on Friday, as part of the hit talent show’s mobile auditions.
Rachael Ryan, 18, from Bettws has auditioned for the show three times before. The teenager is better known for her role as an undertaker in her family’s funeral directors, Michael G Ryan Son & Daughters Ltd, but she said singing has always been part of her life and she hopes one day it can be a career.
“It’s not just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle choice more than anything. No one really knows about the singing because it’s all about the funerals, but I’ve been singing since I was four or five years old,” she said.
Ms Ryan sang Katy Perry’s ‘Unconditionally’ and Emeli Sande’s ‘Read all about it’.
She said: “They said ‘yes’ straight away. They were asking a lot about the funeral stuff. But it’s just the beginning”
The young singer will now be called to audition in Cardiff next week which she will have to get through before further camera tests and a chance of going before Simon Cowell.
The second to get through was Rita Zafiriou, a cleaner at the Royal Gwent Hospital. The 45-year-old from Newport said she had auditioned a few times before.
She said: “It went much better today. I sang ‘Hanky Panky’ and ‘Maria’. I just love singing.”
Streams of X factor hopefuls queued patiently in the Kingsway Centre for their chance at stardom, but for many the dream was over all too quickly.
Claire Tucker, 23, from Cwmbran, was the first in line arriving at 8.30am. She said: “I was preparing for the Cardiff auditions but then the Newport ones came. I did X factor three years ago but I’m feeling confident today. I’m just nervous about the questions they are going to ask.”
Ms Tucker didn’t get through but like others, said she would try again.
Jamee Summers, 19, who was also unsuccessful, said: “I felt it went well. I’m definitely going to try for the Cardiff auditions.”
The nerves got to a lot of people like Malaki Gulwell, 21 from Bettws who sang the wrong lines. But he remained positive and said: “It’s brilliant to see something like this come to Newport.”
One of the oldest singers trying out was 65-year-old David Ablett from Cwmbran, who had never auditioned before. He said: “I saw it in the paper. I do a bit of Karaoke and people said I should give it a go.”