Thousands in North Charleston ready to prove they have ‘X Factor’

Landon Devinney,12, of Belmont North Carolina made it through the first round of auditions. (Brenda Rindge/ Buy this photo

Mia Ruiz, 14, of Concord, N.C., thinks she’s got “The X Factor.”

So do Miguel Morales, also 14, of Augusta, Ga., and Chesi Spriggs, 22, of Paintsville, Ky., and Alex Capers, 43, of Charleston.

They were among the throng in line at the North Charleston Coliseum on Tuesday hoping to show their talent to producers of the Fox television show during the first round of auditions. The British version of the show, which was created by Simon Cowell, launched the careers of pop boy band sensation One Direction.

From teenage girls in tutus to middle-age men in tuxedos and everything in between, more than 6,000 popstar wannabes were in line by the time the doors opened just before 9:30 a.m.

Show coordinator Obi I.O. said he was impressed with Charleston as he led the crowd through some pre-audition dances and cheers from atop a ladder.

“This is the most energetic crowd I’ve ever been a part of,” he said.

Contestants started registering to audition on Sunday, said coliseum spokesman Alan Coker.

Once inside, performers waited for the chance to audition for producers in one of 15 curtained booths on the Coliseum floor. Media were not allowed inside.

Executive producer Rob Wade said those who made it through the first round will return today for a second audition.

“Some people may have an amazing voice but may just not have the X Factor, that combination of everything that makes a superstar,” he said. Producers are looking for talent, originality and style, he said.

The next audition will be in Charleston in May, he said. The show’s celebrity judges — still to be named — will attend that audition, he said. Last season’s judges were Cowell, Britney Spears, Demi Lovato and L.A. Reid.

Charleston was the second city to hold auditions for next season. More than 10,000 turned out in Los Angeles on March 6.

Upcoming auditions are in New Orleans on April 14, Long Island on April 25 and Denver on May 14.

Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or

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