BOURNEMOUTH proved it had the X Factor when the talent show’s auditions came to Dorset today.

Hundreds queued up outside the Obscura Cafe in the Square to have their chance at singing on the show – and the Echo’s Hayley Jones-Dowling was among those given a pass to the next stage.

The 31-year-old media sales consultant impressed with her renditions of Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing, Pie Jesu and Amy Winehouse’s Valerie. She will now travel to the Emirates Stadium on April 14.

She said: “It’s honestly the most nerve-wracking thing in the world. I had to wait for three hours and no one was getting through. I was really relieved when they said they were putting me through. I’ve done this before so I’m not getting my hopes up but it would be really nice to get in front of the judges this time.”

Also accepted onto the next stage of auditions was 30-year-old John Smith. John, who has reached the Bootcamp stage of the programme before, said: “I’m really excited about that. They asked me to perform two songs, so I did A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke and Treasure by Bruno Mars.”

He added: “I just wanted to put Bournemouth on the map for everyone so I’m really happy.”

Si Genaro, who has also auditioned for The Voice, didn’t make it through to the next round of auditions.

“I’ll definitely keep trying,” he said. “I can still go to the auditions in London, and I might go to Birmingham as well as I have a friend there who will be giving it a go.”

He said producers at the Bournemouth auditions had told him to try Britain’s Got Talent.

“I’ve missed the auditions for the next series, but I’ll definitely go along for the one after that,” he said.

Melissa Barton, 21, who is from Bransgore, said she was feeling “absolutely fine” ahead of her audition.

“It’s going to go one way or the other,” she said. “I don’t want to be all stressed out – I’m just going to see how it all goes.”

But Sarah Gates, who travelled from Winchester to take part, said she was feeling a bit nervous as she is battling a chest infection.

She said: “I’ve been singing since I was tiny. I got picked on by the teacher at primary school because she said I have perfect pitch, and was always making me sing. Unfortunately, I’m not feeling well at all today, which is a shame.”

The X Factor, now in its 11th series, aims to find the newest singing sensation from across the UK.