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EDITIONS
Friday, 9 August, 2002, 16:13 GMT 17:13 UK
Hopefuls' Popstars dreams dashed
Pop group Hear'Say
Hear'Say were formed by the first series
Hundreds of wannabe pop singers were left disappointed when they were turned away from auditions for the next series of Popstars without even getting to perform for the TV show's judges.

Popstars producers held their first open auditions in London on Friday as part of their search for two bands to be featured on the show and battle it out for the Christmas number one.

Davina McCall
Davina McCall will present the show
But hopefuls had to get past a preliminary panel before being seen by this series' judges - producer Pete Waterman, former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell and Westlife svengali Louis Walsh.

"We just got to sing about 30 seconds," said Catherine Hayes, 20, from Tunbridge Wells, who harangued presenter Davina McCall after being rejected at the first hurdle.

Hayes had been queuing since midnight, and said she had been taking extra dancing lessons since being rejected at trials for the first Popstars series and Pop Idol.

"It might be because of your look but unfortunately it is the business we are in," McCall told Hayes and others who were being sent home.

Popstars: The Rivals - as the second series will be called - is due to hit TV screens in the autumn.

Hundreds of aspiring stars had queued around Wembley Conference Centre on Thursday night to secure a place in the first-come first-served try-out.


There were no Gareth Gates who walked through the door today

Pete Waterman
Auditions were to be by invitation only, with producers making the preliminary selection by asking would-be contestants to send videos of themselves singing and dancing.

But the programme-makers changed their minds after being overwhelmed by the demand.

"It has been very difficult today," Waterman said. "Sometimes at auditions like this you get people who are just having a go.

"There were no Gareth Gates who walked through the door today."

He saw about 20 people who had also auditioned for Pop Idol, he added.

Singer Geri Halliwell
Geri Halliwell is on the panel of judges
One of those to be selected for the next round on Friday was Emma Beard, 18, from Northampton, who sang Whole Again by Atomic Kitten.

"I went in there and thought 'let's just go for it'," she said.

Halliwell asked her if she thought she was strong enough, and she replied: "I am here so I am strong enough and brave enough."

Another successful contestant, Anton Gordon, 19, from Neasden, north-west London, said Halliwell liked his rendition of R Kelly's I Believe I Can I Fly.

This series will produce a girl group and a boy group, rather than one mixed ensemble like Hear'Say.

Cameras

The format of the show will also be different from the first series, which concentrated on singing tests each week.

This time, judges will pick a final shortlist of 10 boys and 10 girls who will live in two Big Brother-style houses under the scrutiny of TV cameras.

Viewers will then be given the opportunity to enter a phone vote to evict one boy and one girl each week.

The winners will be formed into the two groups, with the girls being managed by Walsh and the boys put into the hands of Waterman.

See also:

05 Aug 02 | Entertainment
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07 Feb 02 | Entertainment
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