Students audition for ‘X-Factor’

Christine Burroni

Two Quinnipiac students didn’t quite have “The X-Factor” when they auditioned for FOX’s newest singing competition, but they still had an adventure they will never forget.

Waiting alongside thousands of other hopefuls, senior Stephanie Malone and junior Carly Kaplan auditioned for their chance to sing in front of the creator of the program and former “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell and Antonio “L.A.” Reid, the chairman of Island Def Jam Music Group.

Malone and Kaplan traveled to the New Jersey Prudential Center on April 13 to audition. They completed the first part of the process, which involved waiting for hours before returning the next day to actually audition. Malone said they didn’t go to bed until noon.

They waited five hours each day, which meant spending time in the rain.

“We met some pretty cool people while waiting in line and they all had different stories and reasons why they came to wait in the lines,” Kaplan said.

Stephanie Malone, left, and Carly Kaplan, right, auditioned for 'X-Factor' on April 13. (Photo by Matt Eisenberg)

Neither Malone nor Kaplan knew each other prior to auditioning, and only met a few weeks prior. The two planned to audition with a mutual friend, who didn’t end up going with them.

“Me and Carly were like, ‘Well, we don’t really know each other, but let’s just go anyway,’” Malone said.

Originally a British TV show, “The X-Factor” hits the United States this fall. The televised talent competition pits singers against one another.

“It’s a singing competition, but you can be from age 12 to whatever, there’s no age cap. You can also be in a singing group,” Malone said.

Kaplan said she wanted an adventure, and this was a good opportunity for both of them.

“It was something that I had wanted to do for a long time, but I never brought myself to audition for something that huge,” Kaplan said.

The two hopefuls waited their turn and auditioned in separate rooms at the same time.

Before the audition, Malone and Kaplan practiced their songs in the music room in Quinnipiac’s Tator Hall. Their practices consisted mostly of song selection and listening to each other in preparation for the big day.

Malone sang Bonnie Raitt’s “Something to Talk About.” Afterward, she was asked to sing another song and chose Linkin Park’s “Waiting for the End.”

“I could tell that it was not enough to put me through, so [the preliminary judge], said ‘Not this time, sorry,’” Malone said.



Kaplan’s experience differed slightly.

“Maybe a foot away from the judge I sang a verse and a chorus of ‘She Will Be Loved’ by Maroon 5,” Kaplan said. But the judge who screened her simply responded, “next time.”

Malone didn’t consider herself a good singer until two years ago.

“I like to sing in my room with my door shut with my guitar,” she said. “I’ve done plays and choir in high school, but I was never the lead in the school play or anything.”

On the other hand, Kaplan has been singing since she could speak and thought she’d give “The X-Factor” a chance. Kaplan is also co-chair of Quinnipiac’s recently formed glee club, the QU Legends.

Regardless, Malone and Kaplan only have positive things to say about their experience.

“I had a great time and I was definitely proud of myself for taking that step and putting myself out there,” Kaplan said.

Malone plans on auditioning for “American Idol” this summer. She hopes her time spent auditioning for “The X-Factor” prepared her well.

“I knew I wasn’t going to make it through, it was just more for the experience, for the fun of it,” Malone said.