CITIZEN reporter Hayley Mortimer has always harboured an ambition to be a singer.
Last week she finally took the plunge and auditioned for the X Factor in Birmingham singing a track by the band Disclosure.
Here Hayley lets us into the world of the X Factor auditions:
I AM officially an X Factor reject and I couldn’t be happier about it.
For the past six years I have entered the X Factor and for one reason or another I have decided not to go along to my audition.
Singing has been a huge part of my life since I was child and I have performed in local theatre productions, at open mic nights and at private gigs.
But I decided to give up on my dream of being a professional singer and pursue a career in journalism when I was 18-years-old.
Since then there has always been a niggle in the back of my mind - should I give my last resort avenue into the industry a go?
So I duly arrived at Birmingham City Football Club on Wednesday at 9.30am and stood among hundreds of other nervous hopefuls in the cold for two hours for my X Factor audition - the steward said people had camped out overnight for a spot at the front.
After reaching the front of the line I was led into the stadium only to join another queue for a further four hours.
The stands were buzzing with thousands of wannabes humming their first lines repeatedly under their breath, strumming guitars and reapplying their make-up.
Throughout the day strangers would spontaneously break out into group renditions of popular songs, trying desperately to harmonise with each other and out-do each other.
There were teenagers with far too much confidence and mothers who had auditioned every year for the past 10 years but my favourite act was Jedward superfan Rosie who is sure to reach the televised stage of the competition.
She had made her own dress dedicated to the Irish brothers which included the words ‘Future Mrs Jedward’ and even had Jedward’s faces tattooed on her arm.
At last my line was shepherded indoors and after a further hour of waiting I was led to my fate.
There was no sign of Simon Cowell and the other judges – instead a room full of booths with a producer sat inside.
I wondered what the hell I was doing there and after three words I knew I was out.
I had started singing too low which meant there was no power behind the notes. It was the wrong song choice and quite frankly I sounded rubbish.
‘Thanks’ he said ‘but I’m afraid it’s going to be a no today. Sorry sweetheart.’
My family and friends commiserated with me but I told them that it didn’t matter and I wasn’t expecting to get through anyway.
And I meant it. It really doesn’t matter but I am pleased I went.
It made me realise that I don’t want to win the X Factor anywhere near as much as the rest of the hopefuls at the audition – I wasn’t crying with nerves or telling others in the queue that music was my life.
Finally I can stop thinking ‘what if?’
I entered the competition to prove to myself that I had made the right career choice. And I won.