Little Mix tries to find a new wave of talent

Saturday: Little Mix: The Search; (BBC1, 7pm)
Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jesy Nelson make up Little Mix...and they are now on the search for new bandsJade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jesy Nelson make up Little Mix...and they are now on the search for new bands
Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jesy Nelson make up Little Mix...and they are now on the search for new bands

Back in 2011, Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jesy Nelson all separately auditioned for The X Factor. As solo acts, they didn’t make it past the bootcamp stage, but the judges saw they had potential and put them together to make a girl band, Little Mix.

They became the first group to win the competition – and nine years on, they have sold a staggering 50 million records worldwide. And now, they’re hoping to help a new wave of talent do the same.

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In their new series Little Mix: The Search, they’ll be creating their own bands from auditioning singers. Those who make it into groups will live together and gain access to Little Mix’s inner circle, including vocal coaches, song writers and producers.

Of course, some pop sensations might feel a bit nervous about essentially creating their own competition, but Little Mix are excited to become mentors.

Leigh-Anne says: “The format is completely different to any other talent show. Us girls have been through it, we’ve been in their shoes and auditioned before. We’ve been successful – we’ve lived it. We can help them and guide them, and hopefully they can follow in our footsteps in terms of success.”

The downside to having been through the process themselves though is that they know just how much it means to the contestants – which makes it harder to say no.

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Perrie admits: “I found that really difficult… I rang my mum crying at one point, as I found it so hard saying no to people. I know how hard it hits when it’s something you’re passionate about.”

In fact, she admits there were some auditionees who were able to talk her round. She says: “I went into this saying I just wanted to be true to myself. There were times when people would fight hard for their place and I’d think – go on then! I wish I’d been more stern but it’s hard when you see how much they want it. Certain people won me over, but deep down I knew it wasn’t right.”

However, Little Mix hope that whatever happens, the would-be chart-toppers will see this as huge opportunity. Jade says: “For someone like me from a working-class background, I couldn’t afford to move to London, or pay for studio time. My resources were limited. So doing a show like this gives big opportunities. The Search puts people through their paces, and that experience is priceless even if you don’t win. There’s so much experience to be had.”

The pop stars also think it will be a good experience for the audience, and are excited for the viewers to see the groups. Jade says: “It’s six completely different bands, different genres, and they’ll each bring their own thing, and each be in control of what they want to do.”

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Tonight, the quartet will be auditioning singers for a potential boyband, but what would be their ideal line-up? Well, apparently Perrie’s perfect supergroup would contain Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Mel C, Gary Barlow and Diana Ross…

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