Britain’s Got Talent auditions came to town - and they didn’t disappoint.
From a beatboxing Elvis to magicians, singers and dancers, the weird and wonderful talents from around Mansfield and Ashfield were sure to make an appearance.
Casting researchers from the ITV talent show went to see students and staff showcase their acts at West Nottinghamshire College.
And almost 40 performers stepped up to the mark at the Derby Road campus in the hope they might get shortlisted for the judges.
Even I considered getting up there and having a boogie - until I realised I was competing against the likes of ‘beatboxer’ Joshua Redding, who was also dressed up as Elvis Presley.
The 17-year-old, from Jacksdale, has been using his voice to sound like a drum machine for the last seven years, and was excited to show his talent to somebody new.
He said: “I feel great that the auditions are here. I’ve done a lot of things like this before but nothing that could have as much impact as this.”
Also in the long queue for auditions was guitarist and singer-songwriter Joe Gallagher, 24, from Mansfield.
He was over the moon that he got to perform his song ‘hope’ to the Britain’s Got Talent Team from his hometown.
Joe said: “It’s brilliant that the auditions came here. There’s a lot of talented people in Mansfield and Ashfield though, so I have certainly got competition.”
Also a singer, Melissa Robson, was determined to get through to the next round, having already entered the competition twice before.
Hoping for a ‘third time lucky’ style audition, the teenager was confident about impressing the team.
But whilst the majority of the auditions tended to be based on some aspect of music - there was one mysterious 18-year-old that seemed to have something else up his sleeve.
James Bee, from Kirkby, said he “couldn’t wait” to show off his magician skills - which he has been building up for the last seven years.
And though he denied he was planning to hypnotise them, he did say he had a new trick practiced especially for the show.
He said: “I’m not telling you what it is. But I’m hoping the researchers will be impressed.”
But all of the auditionees made Steve Gathercole, who runs the media and music department at the college, “unbelievably proud”.
He said: “The students and staff have enormous amounts of talent and this is the perfect opportunity for them to get it out there.”
And the researchers agreed.
Jenny Garton and Stephen Ridgard have been touring smaller parts of the East Midlands over the last few weeks as part of a plan to find people who might not normally be able to get to the bigGER auditions.
Jenny said: “It’s places like this that we usually end up finding all the little gems.
“And so far, we are impressed with everybody here.
“We would love to come back again, so who knows what might happen...”