I WOULDN’T fancy being a judge on the X Factor, especially sitting so close to Simon Cowell.

What if you make an unpopular decision, and the whole nation turns against you?

Someone who knows what it’s like to be a talent show judge is Bournemouth vocal coach, Amelia McCloskey.

She says, “I love Simon Cowell, as he’s always honest and says what we’re all thinking.

“As for Cheryl Cole, she’s lovely and so natural.”

As well as singing and teaching, Amelia has been on the judging panel for local talent competitions South Coast Idol, Talent Call and Open Mic UK. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised that there’s a lot of really good singers in Bournemouth.

“They don’t mind getting involved with song-writing, and the standard is good.

“There’s a real theatre community and the area is a bit like a mini-West End,” says Amelia, 25.

The vocal coach works with her own students to prepare for – and enter – auditions.

“Where talent really stands out, I’ll help with artist development.

“My students Maria and Monica, from Poland, made this year’s X Factor boot camp, and we’re now working on an Abba tribute band.

“The number of people who come to me for lessons after watching the X Factor is incredible.”

Amelia has been teaching in Bournemouth for five years, but also spent time working in a top recording studio in Los Angeles.

It was here that she assisted in studio sessions with Britney Spears, Alicia Keys and Grammy award-winning producers.

“When Britney Spears arrived at the studio, we were told to keep it a secret. But word got out, and there were paparazzi everywhere... and magazine journalists asking us questions.

“Her singing isn’t as bad as you’d think, and she’s very talented!”

Amelia plans to return to America next year to work with record producers on an awards event and is currently in the process of signing contracts for a film soundtrack.

For any aspiring singers, the advice from Bournemouth’s talent judge is, “be creative in your hometown, and you will get to where you’re going.”