A woman who recently moved to Moray seized her chance at stardom when auditions for one of the world’s most famous talent shows arrived in the region.
Tamara Mason was among the scores of aspiring applicants who turned out yesterday when X-Factor fever gripped Elgin.
The 23-year-old, from Gloucestershire, moved to Lossiemouth in November to join her childhood sweetheart Callum McAsey – who serves at the town’s RAF base.
And she felt it was written in the stars she should audition for Simon Cowell’s hit show when she realised auditions were taking place on her doorstep.
Miss Mason impressed the talent scouts so much with her song – a haunting acoustic version of Guns N’ Roses classic Sweet Child O’ Mine – that they asked her to perform two others.
She followed it up with a rendition of The Killers’ Mr Brightside and finished her audition by singing Foundations by Kate Nash.
Miss Mason, who works at the Aromantic beauty store in Forres, later confirmed she harboured a desire to sing professionally.
She added: “I started writing music when I was 13, and I’ve been involved in music for almost all of my life.
“I started learning piano and guitar when I was little, but you end up with responsibilities as you grow older, and it has never been anything serious.
“When I saw The X Factor was holding auditions in Elgin, I knew I had to go for it or I would regret it.”
The town’s St Giles Centre was festooned with posters bearing the image of past stars of the show, and crowds gathered around the audition area to listen to the performances.
Television cameras recorded the sessions, and the footage will be viewed by producers as they decide who makes it to the next stage of auditions for the ITV show.
First in line was Forres charity shop volunteer, Mark Finch, who performed Elton John’s Crocodile Rock.
Elgin 16-year-old, Emma Savage, said she battled to overcome nerves while she performed Beyonce’s Halo for the cameras.
And Elgin shopworker, Sarah Backx, declared her ambitions extended no further than meeting Simon Cowell.
The 32-year-old, who sang Adele’s Make You Feel My Love, said the judge was her favourite part of the programme.