How to Audition for the X Factor

The X Factor is an incredibly popular TV show where people go to audition to become a hit singer in today’s charts. They have discovered Leona Lewis, One Direction, Cher Lloyd, Olly Murs, Little Mix, Fifth Harmony, and Rebecca Ferguson. If you want to audition, here is how to get started.

Know the deadlines and regulations.

Know the deadlines and regulations.

For X-factor UK, there are different dates and rules. Make sure you meet all the requirements and complete every step before all deadlines.

You need to be 14 or older. This is regardless of whether you’re in a group or a solo act.

Master a verse of a song.



Master a verse of a song.

Or two songs, just in case the person before you sang the same one. You’ll be singing it acapella (without any instruments or backing track — just you) in front of an X-Factor team member and the crowd around you.

Avoid being clichéd. Only sing Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, or Jennifer Hudson if you’re just as good. Pick a song that you know won’t be the 500th time your judge has heard it that day. If that’s the case, you’ll be compared to everyone else on two different levels.

The judge doesn’t have to know the song. In fact, it may be better if they don’t.

Apply online.

Apply online.

Before the season starts, there is an application form online at the website of your country’s version of the X Factor. This is months and months in advance, so you may need to wait until the next season rolls around.



There are plenty of auditions by “mobile van” each year. In fact, that’s how James Arthur auditioned. Get connected on the website, Facebook, and Twitter for announcements.

Find an open call.

Find an open call.

If you missed the online application, there’s still an open call. Thousands of people do it. If one is in your area, great! Suit up and start practicing.

In the UK, open call auditions were held in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff, and Glasgow. But there were tons of mobile van auditions — just the beginning of the list is Aberdeen, Colchester, the Isle of Wight, and Dublin.

Pick out an outfit.

Pick out an outfit.

On the audition notice received when you fill out your form, it explicitly says to stand out from the crowd. Personalities are so large there really is no limit. Whatever matches your personality, go for it.

This show is all about spectacle. Here’s what the form says: “Dress as the pop star you want to be – we are looking for the next big music sensation so make an impact. We also highly encourage everyone to bring along posters and banners to the open day – the brighter the better!”
Fortunately or unfortunately (no one is quite sure), wearing your wedding dress or a plastic chicken on your head is not unheard of. You may stand out more by not trying too hard, believe it or not.

Stay warmed up.

Stay warmed up.

If the audition is months away, don’t quit. Run through your piece every other day or so until you can do it on one leg with your hands tied behind your back. Stay vocally healthy to boot.

Load up on warm water. Stay away from alcohol (dries out your throat) and definitely don’t smoke. If you’re concerned you’re getting a tickle, go for green tea, pineapple juice, and get on vocal rest. Don’t strain your voice — that’ll just wear it out.

Get there early.

Get there early.

There will literally be thousands of others waiting near you to get their 30 seconds, too. Parking will be limited, so if you can avoid driving, do it. And if you’re a minor, bring a guardian with you.

Get there very, very early. People will be waiting in the wee hours of the morning. You may want to bring some food, drinks (water!), a chair, and something to amuse yourself.

Be patient.

Be patient.

This will most likely take all day. That’s even if you’ve been informed to get there at 8 AM. They are seeing thousands of people and won’t likely get started until everything is settled and everyone is ushered into the arena (or whatever the type of venue). Your audition will likely take place 8 or so hours after you’ve arrived.

Account for the weather. Your hair and makeup may not look as great as you want it to when you’re auditioning at 5 PM and got there at 5 AM. Bring extra makeup and comfortable shoes. You’ll be grateful you did.

Sing your heart out.

Sing your heart out.

Finally, the fun part! When your number is called, a team member (someone you won’t recognize) will approach you and listen to you sing. You’ll be doing this in front of everyone — there is no designated, blocked-off area for singers. Take a deep breath and go big or go home.

The judge will then give you a polite yes or no. They are not allowed to critique you or give you feedback. If you do make it, you’ll be notified of a call back audition at a later date.

Categories:   Arts and Entertainment

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