X Factor 2012 auditions: We go backstage with the wannabes!

The X Factor 2012 judges

Waaaay back in May we popped down to the O2 Arena for the X Factor 2012 auditions, and it was quite an experience!

We mingled with both the fanatical crowd, who had been queuing up for hours in the heat to see the show live, and the contestants nervously pacing around backstage.

It was our third year backstage at The X Factor and it's definitely different this time.

Not only was there much speculation over who will be on the panel on the day, with no new fourth judge confirmed at the time of the try outs, but the acts themselves were seemingly a different bread.

This year has seen the doors flung open to just about everyone over the age 16, and it seems many musicians are making the most of it.

A lot of those trying out this year were having a go for the first time, with many song writers in the backstage 'pen' that was containing the budding performers.

Even from behind the scenes we could all hear what was happening on stage in front of the judges and the crowd's huge reactions, prompting a lot of nerves from those about to face the music.

One 20-year-old hopeful told us: "I've got my song prepared but I know [the judges] can change it. I've put every thing into it I can this year."

And despite not even having faced the panel yet, he was already getting attention from girls.

He revealed: "Girls are already asking for pictures with me. If people like me it's good, if anyone likes me... if it's girls then it's great!"

It was finally revealed that Rita Ora would be that day's guest judge, but it seemed that there was only one member of the panel people were looking to impress.

"Gary Barlow, I've got a lot of respect for him," said the auditionee.

On stage and the contestants poured out in front of the judges one after another, and this year it seemed most were actually trying.

For the first time, producers are encouraging performances of original material, and instruments are also allowed to be played at the audition stage. Fortunately for viewers, these aren't the Mr Zip inspired original songs you may see on Britain's Got Talent, but rather tracks that could easily top the charts.

There's also a much bigger age range in those singing for the panel this year, with oldest contestant 77, but it's caused problems for the judges.

Gary explained: “This year the level of talent has been amazing. In particular, there was an overwhelming amount of amazing singers in the ‘Overs’ category, so we have raised the age limit of that category to spread the talent around and to increase the competition in the boys and girls categories.”

But for those hoping to see nothing but great singers, The X Factor isn't set to change too dramatically just yet.

Some of the more novelty acts appearing on stage included one man and his song about fish, while another performed a track about a girl he "met last night". Suddenly Mr Zip seemed like a modern day Shakespeare.

But then that's the fun of The X Factor, and perhaps why it'll no doubt be watched by millions once again come Saturday night.

We'll certainly be tuned in...

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