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Gary Barlow: Scousers and Mancs are tops

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    Posted: 16 Aug 2011 at 11:06

Gary Barlow: Scousers and Mancs are tops


Published: Today

X FACTOR judge Gary Barlow reckons a Scouser will win this year's series after he was blown away by the Liverpool auditions.

It is the first time the X Factor has ever held auditions on Merseyside - and Gary is convinced that's why the standard was so high.

The Take That star, 40, said: "Liverpool and Manchester have been the stand-out cities for me.

"I think the fact that the show has never done auditions in

Liverpool before has really brought out the best talent.

"Overall, I'd say there have been about ten acts which have really stood out for me."

Gary shrugged off criticism of the new judges, saying that he, Louis Walsh, Tulisa Contostavlos and Kelly Rowland are the most relevant panel that the show has ever had.

Gary, right, said: "Louis has already proved himself as the longest-standing judge so I'm aware that all eyes will be on the new judges to see what we will bring to the table.

"I just want to be here to help people and I want them to be able to look up to me and be able to say to me, 'Tell me, do I do this or this?'.

"I suppose in terms of who they could have picked to be the new judges alongside Louis, there's no one more valid than me, Kelly and Tulisa - because we're out there doing it right now.

"We're selling tickets, we're selling records. We're out there doing what these guys want to be doing."

The dad of three admits that the auditions remind him of his early days with Take That back in the 90s.

He said: "The very young auditionees definitely take me back to when I started out in the music industry. They bound on to the stage, so full of energy, and it really reminds me of my teenage years. They come on and they are so excited.

"It's great when you get good ones because you know you could help them on to the next stage of their career. It's a good feeling."

Asked what quality he's looking for, he said that being a good vocalist is by far the most important thing.

He explained: "They have to have a really good voice - because without that it's very hard to think where they would go.

"They need to have the passion, the personality, the stage presence - I'm looking for the overall package. But, basically, if someone came on stage and just had an amazing voice and they just keep their eyes shut, then that would be enough for me.

"I think that over the next few months we could train the rest into them."

And Gary already knows which category he'd like to work with - he's desperate to mentor the boys.

He said: "I think there are lots and lots of strong contenders in the boys' category."

The Sun
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