HUNDREDS of aspiring pop stars queued for hours before singing their hearts out in a bid to get through the first round of X Factor.
And while hundreds of hearts were broken when producers told them they were not good enough for the ITV talent show, for a handful of others dreams became reality when the first ever X Factor road show visited Lion's Square, Colchester, on Thursday.
The road show hopes to give as many people a chance to audition as possible by breaking away from the big city auditions.
But even for the handful of people who were successful, their audition video will be shown to TV producers who will decide if they get to sing for the celebrity judges at the live auditions.
Kemi Adewusi came from Chelmsford to sing in front of the judges.
The 20-year-old, who loves soul music, said: "It was a last-minute decision to come along today.
"A couple of my friends told me it was happening and I thought I might as well give it a try. I didn't get through but am not that bothered. I am happy to know what X Factor auditions are like.
"I thought I would get through and so did everyone else."
Supported by two friends, Abbey Grimsey, 20, from Halstead also didn't quite make the grade.
A pupil of the Institute of Dance and Music, she said: "I would prefer to be part of a group but auditioned on my own yesterday.
"I'm not too disappointed; I love singing country music and sang, Son of a Preacher Man but not many people were getting through by the time I auditioned.
"I actually auditioned before as part of a group and got through but the girl I was with left me for someone else."
Starting at 9am and stopping any more entries at 3pm, it is estimated that more than 600 people went to the audition in Colchester. The only other audition available in Essex was in Southend last Friday.
Chris Albert, 50, came from Braintree especially for the auditions. "I didn't get through," he said. "But my friend told me that only six people went through in 500 towards the end of the day so I'm not too downhearted.
"I was made redundant from Dansk, in Chelmsford, a few weeks ago and thought I would try this out. I had wanted to play my guitar but was told I wasn't allowed, so sang Don't Stop Believing. I queued at the O2 auditions in April and didn't even get a chance to be seen. I still don't think I really know what the judges are looking for but the experience wouldn't stop me from trying again."
This year's X Factor shows will be aired from August. The live shows will begin in October and will finish just before Christmas.
Irish pop mogul Louis Walsh has already been confirmed as a judge on this year's X Factor.