Chasing the ‘X’ factor Byron Bay style

SUPPORT CREW: Louise Wallace (centre), of Byron Bay, auditioned for the X Factor at Byron Bay yesterday, supported by mates Macredie Wilkinson (left), of East Ballina, and Lara King, of Ballina.
SUPPORT CREW: Louise Wallace (centre), of Byron Bay, auditioned for the X Factor at Byron Bay yesterday, supported by mates Macredie Wilkinson (left), of East Ballina, and Lara King, of Ballina. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

LOUISE Wallace and her two friends skipped school yesterday for a chance at the big time as the X Factor TV show auditions rolled into Byron Bay.

The 14-year-old Xavier Catholic College student from Byron Bay had never auditioned for television before and had registered at the insistence of her friends and family.

"She's very talented," friend Macredie Wilkinson said.

"I'm just so proud of her," friend Lara King said.

"If I get through I will be so happy," Louise said.

The Year 9 student was among about 50 hopefuls who turned out to audition for the show yesterday at the Byron Entertainment Centre in Centennial Circuit.

Executive producer Digby Mitchell said auditions held at Coffs Harbour last year had attracted a lot of people from the Northern Rivers, Gold Coast and Brisbane, so this year they decided to bring the event further north.

Talented singers from the Northern Rivers have previously been successful on the show, including Trinity Catholic College student Mitchell Smith, who made it into the top 12 contestants in 2010. While Louise Wallace checked her nerves downstairs yesterday morning, auditions had begun in earnest in a yoga room-turned audition space upstairs with the Northern Star witnessing young singer Chloe Rechichi, 15, belt out her first audition piece, a cover of Ariana Grande's Baby I.

"I love music so much; it's in my soul," the Gold Coast teen told the four judges.

After her audition, Chloe said it was hard to tell if the judges had liked her performance, but mother Melinda was in no doubt.

"She was amazing," she said.

Chloe, Louise and the rest of yesterday's hopefuls now have an agonising wait until May to see if they have made the grade to appear on the show.

Topics:  reality tv, singing, x factor

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