'It's been a dream' - wide-eyed young hopefuls search for fame at auditions
They came, they saw, they conquered - well, not all of them. From teeny boppers to parents, girl groups and boybands - legions of aspiring hopefuls turned out for Dublin's X Factor auditions.
Croke Park played host to auditions for the 13th season of the talent show yesterday for the first time since 2010.
Heavy rainfall in the morning didn't put off the would-be pop stars who were determined to get their shot at fame on the ITV show that has made stars out of Leona Lewis, One Direction (right, in 2010) and Fleur East.
The sun came out for the arrival of judges Louis Walsh, Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne and Nicole Scherzinger.
While most hopefuls had to queue for hours in front of producers before they got their chance to shine, some contestants were luckier than others.
Donegal duo Caitlin McLoughlin and her pal Chloe McCarron admitted they had no plans to try out for the series, but were instead asked to audition by producers.
Performing under the name Velvet Rose, the Innisowen teens have already built a following online for their video mash-up of songs I Took A Pill In Ibiza, I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker With Flowers In My Hair and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.
"They approached us," Caitlin (17) told the Herald. "Our video mash-up went viral."
The girls had little time to prepare for their shot at the big time and were only asked to come to Dublin a week before the auditions.
"This is our first audition. We hadn't much time to prepare," they said.
The show marks a big step-up for the pair who had only performed at smaller gigs before.
"We just gig in local bars and do weddings," they said.
Others came from far and wide to be in with a chance of impressing the judges.
Brazilian Amy Reek (27) has always dreamed of trying out for the show.
"It's been a dream. When I arrived to Ireland, I thought okay, I want to try X Factor," she said.
"I've been watching talent shows since I was a kid but we don't have X Factor in Brazil where I'm from."