HUNDREDS of hopefuls descended on the Vodacom Amphitheatre at Port Elizabeth’s Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World for a shot at Idols fame.
Some travelled from as far afield as Johannesburg to audition and others missed school.
Then there were those who passed time at the nearby casino or sleeping in their cars until it was time to audition.
By 11am yesterday, 200 people had registered – with only 70 making it to the next round today, Algoa FM spokeswoman Jennilee Peremore said.
The radio station was instrumental in bringing the Idols season 10 auditions to Port Elizabeth.
One of the judges, TwoTone Music director Gareth Williams, said they were looking for someone with a good stage presence and voice.
“Last year we had good strong contestants. We have met a few with potential and it is good that they arrived well prepared. All we will do in the first round is to sift down to 70.
“On tomorrow’s [today’s] audition only three will go through to the next round,” he said.
Gordon Jordaan, 24, travelled from Johannesburg to audition and slept in front of the amphitheatre.
He is among the 70 who advanced to the next stage of auditions. “I just could not miss this opportunity. I have been struggling to get to Idols for the last three years. In Johannesburg there would be thousands of people. That is why I decided to come to PE,” he said.
“I did an Afrikaans song and the judges loved my performance.”
Bethelsdorp student Wade Schoeman, 22, also advanced with his performance of John Legend’s Best You Ever Had.
“I enjoyed the waiting outside period because everyone is so supportive and yes, I am in for the second phase. I hope tomorrow [today] I will be part of the three contestants who are going to Johannesburg,” she said.
Uitenhage high school pupil Savanna Rusteberg, 17, missed school to audition – and her gamble has paid off so far.
“This is an opportunity I could not let slip through my fingers. I want to gain more experience in my music career,” she said.
“One of the judges said I gave her goose bumps when I sang Adele’s song Hiding My Heart Away.”
Not so lucky were Ayanda Mcetywa, 31, of Wells Estate, who performed John Legend’s Refuge and Honey Ntame, 20, who practised Beyonce’s If I Were a Boy all week.
“Listening to others sing has made me doubt my singing abilities. I hope I won’t be an embarrassment in front of the judges,” Ntame said.
The 70 finalists will audition in front of a camera today.
They will be judged by Algoa FM presenter Charlton Tobias, Idols voice coach Malie Kelly, Idols producer Anneke de Ridder and M-Net spokeswoman Lani Lombard. – Yoliswa Sobuwa