Coffs? talented get a chance in Idol lottery
By ANN-MARIE MAY
HE is an expert in propelling ordinary people from obscurity to celebrity and this year Greg Beness is hoping to take a Coffs Coast resident along for the ride.
As executive producer of Australian Idol, Mr Beness has seen his fair share of good and bad singers; but he never tires of the search.
Next week he will embark on the biggest national search ever for the fifth series of the reality show, with auditions being held in Coffs Harbour on March 10.
"I am very exited about coming to Coffs Harbour and who knows, maybe even finding the next Australian Idol," Mr Benes said.
"I would love for this year's winner to come from a regional area, and prove that you don't have to live in a major city to make it in the industry."
Since the announcement of the Coffs Harbour audition local singers from across the region have been warming up their vocal chords, hoping that they have what they judges are looking for.
Which, according to Mr Beness, could be anything.
"Apart from talent, we have no idea what we are looking for," he said.
"My advice is if you are going to audition, stay true to yourself and enjoy the experience. Don't try and pre-empt what the judges are looking for, because until we see it, we just don't know."
He also hopes people don't miss out on the opportunity because they think the show isn't for them.
"It's usually the people sitting at home with their guitar and writing songs that would never think of entering," he said.
"We really want to encourage a broad spectrum of contestants. If you are a singer but don't play an instrument ? it is okay. If you play an instrument but aren't the best singer ? it is okay. It's about finding the right medium."
"Any even if you just want to get your face on televisions, come along."
While the whole Idol team wont be in Coffs Harbour for the auditions, Mr Beness will be joined by one of the judges, which he said would most likely be Mark Holden or Ian 'Dicko' Dickson.
The Coffs Harbour Australian Idol auditions will be held at Opal Cove Resort on March 10 from 10am to 5pm. For further details visit www.australianidol. com.au or phone 1900 926 435.