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EDITIONS
Monday, 5 August, 2002, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
Popstars hopefuls try their luck
Hear'say
Hear'say were the result of the first Popstars contest
Over 400 people have turned up to the auditions for the latest series of Popstars, which are taking place at Wembley Conference Centre in north London.

Thousands turned up at mass auditions for the first series, which created Hear'Say and also spawned Liberty X - but this year a number of the auditions are by invitation only.

The hopefuls were chosen for Monday's audition after sending in video tapes of themselves singing.

However due to popular demand, an open audition will take place at the venue on Friday, and auditions in Manchester and Glasgow will be held later in the month.

Geri Halliwell
Halliwell promises "tact and compassion"
This year's judges are pop producer Pete Waterman, Westlife producer Louis Walsh and former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, who has promised to handle the hopefuls with tact and compassion.

However, one claimed that Halliwell had made a cruel jibe about her weight during her audition.

Carol Lynch, 19, said: "I was all smiles when I walked out but I couldn't believe it. I'm not eating food and throwing it up in a toilet for anyone."

The shop assistant - who is a size 16 - from Basildon, Essex, added: "It doesn't really bother me, I'm not upset. All my friends and family say I've got talent and should just keep going for it."

If Geri fancies the guys, even if they can't sing she wants to put them through

Louis Walsh

Walsh joked that Halliwell's judging criteria had more to do with looks than talent.

"If Geri fancies the guys, even if they can't sing she wants to put them through," he said.

"But she's got great determination and that's what's got her to the top. She's been there and she understands what it's like to go to these auditions."

Waterman said some of today's hopefuls had been "very good, but some were downright awful."

He and Walsh also claimed they would never have picked any of the members of Hear'Say, had they been judges in the first series.

"I think only one out of the five was half decent," Waterman said.

At Monday's auditions, the judges picked just three people to go forward into the second round after the first three hours.

The ITV1 series, hosted by Davina MaCall, is called Popstars: The Rivals and will create not one but two groups - one all-male, the other all-female - who will then compete for the Christmas number one single.
Pete Waterman
Waterman: "Some of the hopefuls were awful"

Ten men and 10 women, shortlisted by the judges, will live in two Big-Brother-style houses under the watchful eye of the TV cameras.

As in the Channel 4 reality show, viewers will then take part in a phone vote to evict one male and one female.

Stardom

The bands will release their singles on the same day and compete for the top of the charts.

Waterman and Walsh will manage them on their route to stardom while Halliwell will have a roving role giving both groups the benefit of her expertise.

Walsh manages Six, the winners of Irish network RTE's version of Popstars.

The show will begin in September on ITV1 and ITV2 and the last programme is scheduled for 16 December, in time for one of the bands to make the Christmas number one.

Both Hear'Say and Liberty X have had chart success and number one singles.

But both have also had their fair share of troubles, with Kym Marsh quitting Hear'Say and Liberty X being forced to change their name after losing a court battle with another group over who owned it.

See also:

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