How Not to Audition for the X Factor.

Way back in 1983, I fancied myself as a bit of a performer. I was in Primary School and we all wanted to be like Cyndi Lauper. I had a posse of wannabes and we used to spend far too much time reading Smash Hits, singing into our tape recorders and hitting record.

We also ran the School Talent Quest, where we performed a variety of tributes such as Olivia Newton-John “You have to believe We are Magic.”and Katrina and the Waves “Walking on Sunshine“. And because more often than not, we were the only ones entered, we were victorious! Except one year when a Year One kid did the most brilliant impersonation of Frank Spencer and swept the pool. And he did deserve it that year.

As we grew up, my desire to marry and do a duet with Nik Kershaw faded. But my friend Penny’s desire to own a Grammy continued to grow.

Our twenties were spent hitting up the karaoke circuit. I always started the evenings out saying “No, I am not going to sing tonight” then 5 wines later you could not drag me off the stage. I actually came 3rd Runner Up at the Kirribilli Hotel’s annual Sing Off, being defeated by the Divine Ms M. We still do not like to talk about the fight that happened in the toilets prior to our performance. I sang Carpenters On Top Of the World and she did Blame it on the Boogie. We were both very drunk and off key but she had back up dancers and I think that gave her the edge.

But back to Penny. We spent a year pulling beers in the UK and singing Karaoke to a packed out pub in North London. Drunk poms really liked her singing! It inflated her already large drunkish ego. She specialised in Power Ballads, particularly eighties power ballads. She would sometimes have to cross her legs when she hit those high notes. At the punters would go crazy. They would come up to her afterwards and mob her. She owned the Public Bar.

So when it was time to come home to Sydney, the reality television phenomenon was reaching fever pitch and Penny still believed she had to give it one last shot. So I give you her top ten tips to adhere to when auditioning for the X Factor.

1. DO NOT consume your weight in chardonnay, two packs of fags and tandoori chicken skewers the night before the audition and expect to sound like a choirboy (the virgin 11 year old male church kind, not the kind that live off their eighties success with live shows at the Blacktown Workers Club).

2. DO have more than three hours sleep

3. DO re-consider decking yourself out in all white – white g-string, white see through Lady Diana flowing skirt and white halter neck top with fake tan stains on the edge.

4. DO NOT shart – see Tip 3.

5. DO NOT wear a sparkly pink shawl wrapped around your waist…anywhere, anytime…ever.

6. DO NOT burp up chicken tandoori when a ‘producer’ who was born in the nineties asks what song you are going to sing.

7. DO NOT sing Abba’s ‘The Winner Takes it All’ to said ‘producer’ who gives you a blank stare when complete

8. DO NOT be surprised when you get asked to leave after the 15 year old producer takes offence to your insinuation that perhaps the REAL judges (ie the FAMOUS ones) would know who ABBA was.

9. DO bestow sexual favours on your partner for the next week for staying up with you the night before, driving with you to the audition, sitting in an auditorium full of Glee wannabes and Young Talent Time wash-ups with no kebab shop in sight.

10. Stop in at a Habib Brothers on the way home for a chili and garlic kebab and a Coke Zero and a promise to your partner to bestow further sexual favours on him if he never speaks of this day again.