The West

Hundreds bid for chance at stardom
Kellie Golby supports Julz Evans as Julz goes for the audition in front of X Factor producers and judges. Picture: Simon Santi/The West Australian

The ink may have only just dried on 2012 X Factor winner Samantha Jade's recording contract but the search for Australia's next superstar has already kicked off with 800 hopefuls auditioning in Perth at the weekend for the fifth season of the hit Channel 7 singing contest.

Solo artists aged 14 and over and groups of two or more descended on the Parmelia Hilton in the hope of following in the footsteps of Perth-raised Jade who took out the title in November.

Morley singer and guitarist Julz Evans, 21 was among the contenders and said she chose to audition because "it's a slightly different show and I am different".

Accompanied by housemate Kellie Golby for support, Evans performed Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap and Hometown Glory by Adele for producers.

Evans, who describes her sound as "acoustic folk, like Missy Higgins but different" is classically trained in piano and self-taught in guitar and has been performing at pubs and live venues around Perth for the past few years.

Evans said she was looking for an opportunity to launch her career and had never auditioned for a talent show.

"I'm sick of being a poor local musician never getting anywhere and I always get told to audition," she said.

The X Factor auditions were spread over two days after last year's Perth auditions struggled to cope with more than 500 applicants.

On Saturday, Rockingham-raised musician Matt Gresham returned for a second shot at stardom after he was eliminated during the home visits last season.

The audition tour travels to Kalgoorlie tomorrow and all successful applicants will go on to the second round of auditions in front of the judges and a live studio audience.

Jade, 25, became the first woman to win the Australian series, winning a recording contract with Sony Music Australia. Her winner's single What You've Done to Me debuted at number one on the ARIA Singles Chart.

Season three second runner up, Perth's Johnny Ruffo has also found fame through The X Factor - going on to win Dancing With the Stars last year.

The West Australian

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