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Heinz Winckler gives audition tips to new Idols hopefuls

2014-02-13 10:53
Johannesburg - Idols season 10 is kicking off this weekend (Saturday, 15 February) with auditions at Carnival City on the East Rand.

More than 10 years ago Heinz Winckler was one of the very first hopefuls to audition. He then went on to become our first Idol, he came fourth in World Idol and has had a successful career in showbiz ever since.

He will never forget his first audition. We spoke to him about this life changing day and got some auditioning tips.

heinz winckler
Were you surprised to see the number of people in the queue for the first Idols auditions?
Yes, it was quite overwhelming.
What time did you arrive at the venue?
Around 8am.
What went through your mind when you saw the judges?
It took two days to finally get in front of the main judges. By that time I was quite tired and a bit emotionally drained, but I felt good, confident and excited to be there.
How did you prepare for your audition?
I believe I was preparing for it without even realising it. I was 24 by the time I entered Idols, but I started playing guitar and singing from age 16. At University I was part of a band at church and I was in a duo that did covers and original material all over campus. My song book was quite thick and my experience extensive by the time I entered Idols. It helped a lot when choosing songs each week and that remains the most important aspect of the game.
What did you sing?
At the first audition I sang I'm A Believer.
What were the judges' comments?
Marcus Brewster was very positive, I got a no from Randall, a yes from Penny and Dave Thompson was on the fence for a moment and finally decided to give me a chance.
Any advice for people who want to enter this year?
If you want to win or do well in the show and you are serious about a career in the music business, take the competition seriously. Song choice is of the utmost importance and your ability to sing it well  - acapella – as well. If you plan on using an accompanying instrument, be sure you play it well enough that it does not distract you from a good vocal performance. If you know you're not that good with the instrument, rather leave it. Your voice is more important to the judges. Be well rehearsed. Choose a song you have done a lot. Don't change your song choice shortly before your audition. Sticking to what you know will show them who you are as an artist and show off your vocal capability the most. Avoid vocal "raves" - they don't like that unless it's tasteful and supports the genre you're singing in. Be confident but humble.
What would you sing if you had to enter again?
I believe I had the right song choice for the time I entered and would to it again. If I had to enter this year for the first time, I would probably go with Gone Gone Gone from Phillip Phillips.
To find out more about this year's auditions, go to

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