Noooo, I wasn't a contestant!
This week I had the pleasure of attending the X Factor auditions, which were held Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at the Teatro dal Verme in the centre of Milan. Some might know that I'm a fan of Mika, who is the new judge on the panel this year. For all three days (yup, three whole days) I went along with a group of friends who had come from all over Italy to witness judge Mika in action, girls who also did a great job of organising the tickets for the auditions.
In true Italian style the auditions were very long, and always started late. After five hours in a hot and stuffy theatre (Air con? Where??) on Monday and Tuesday, filming ended around 1am and 12.15am respectively. There was also an afternoon session on Tuesday, which started two hours late. That gap was filled up by a warm-up man who I very quickly lost patience with on Monday for the party games more suited to a six-year-old's birthday party. Call it cultural differences...
Italians have a passion for music which is on a whole other level to us Brits. I've seen it during concerts, on social media, and I saw it this week at the auditions. I think it might be down to how Italians are more open with their feelings and are much more willing to show emotion. There's a passion for it here that I just never saw at home. It's hard to describe, you have to see it for yourself.
I don't want to spoil too much from the auditions, but for those who will be watching X Factor when it starts on tv in the Autumn look out for Elisabetta, a young mother of five; Diletta from Prato singing Mina's Brava, and girl group Dynamo. There were some fantastic singers, and obviously some who weren't so great!
Being a fan of Mika who had also learned Italian I was extremely curious to see how he would get on with the language. He'd been studying Italian intensively for a couple of months but he was at roughly the same level I was around half way through my Erasmus year, which was my second year of university. His mistakes generated more than a few laughs from both the other judges and audience, but he got on very well. It's tiring when you're at that level, constantly having to translate everything in your head first before speaking; and I knew exactly what it was like.
So in Autumn if you happen to see a ghostly white bespectacled blonde girl sat behind the judges in the audience during the auditions on tv, that'll be me!