Locals get vocal for shot at fame

Emma Cooper, 13, of Montrose, auditions for Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor” competition Saturday at Allen Unique Autos, 2285 River Road. A panel of four judges critiqued the performers, and picked Tim Brown, Joe Weaver and Emily Kingston to go to Dallas to audition before the show’s producers on May 26.

Contestants wait to register for “X-Factor” tryouts.

Emma Cooper, center, grins as judge Chris McKinnon, left, compliments her singing following her audition at Allen Unique Autos for the new television talent show “The X Factor” Saturday.

With her curly hair upswept and secured with an artificial flower, Natasha Bishop felt her life could be shaped by this exact moment.

The 22-year-old Grand Junction woman took the stage gingerly Saturday morning but let loose once the microphone was in her hands. She started with a few verses of a song she and her band, New Country, created, “Simple Relations.” At the urging of four local judges, she sang a more sorrowful ditty, “Almost Lover,” by A Fine Frenzy.

“There’s a lot of talent here,” she said after singing and looking around at about 60 other hopeful contestants. “I think every year the caliber goes up. People are coming out of their shells and realize they just have to go for it.”

Three talented singers who auditioned Saturday were chosen for an expense-paid trip to Dallas to audition in front of producers of “X Factor,” a singing-competition television show produced by Simon Cowell.

Saturday’s event took place amid classic and collector cars at Allen Unique Autos, 2285 River Road.

Unlike “American Idol” auditions in Grand Junction last year that drew hundreds of participants, Saturday’s competition attracted a more manageable, yet gifted set, KREX General Manager Randy Stone said.

The event was hosted by KREX, and “X Factor” will be aired by KREX’s affiliate station, Fox.

“It’s to drum up excitement for the show that the winner could come from Grand Junction,” Stone said of Saturday’s event.

The winner of the overall “X Factor” competition is slated to receive a $5 million recording contract, organizers said.

Hyacinth Fogleburg waited a little nervously for her turn.

The 52-year-old Grand Junction woman said she had wanted to audition for “American Idol” last year but was not allowed because of her age. She sang in high school for swing choir and for the singing group Sweet Adelines in Vail.

Over the years, Cupid apparently has followed her singing career. Unwittingly, she twice attracted a mate while singing in public.

“Every time I sing, I get married,” Fogleburg said.


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