After several weeks of deliberation, Victoria Adams, Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm and Michelle Stephenson were among twelve women chosen to a second round of auditions in April; Geri Halliwell also attended the second audition, despite missing the first one due to work. Approximately 400 women attended the audition, during which they were placed in groups of ten and danced a routine to "Stay" by Eternal, followed by solo auditions in which they were asked to perform songs of their own choosing.In July 1996, the group conducted their first interview with Paul Gorman, the contributing editor of music paper Music Week, at Virgin Records' Paris headquarters.His piece recognised that the Spice Girls were about to institute a change in the charts away from Britpop and towards out-and-out pop.That same day, the group tracked down Sheffield-based producer Eliot Kennedy, who had been present at the showcase, and persuaded him to work with them.
They were signed to Virgin Records and released their debut single "Wannabe" in 1996, which hit number one in 37 countries Measures of their success include international record sales, a 2007–2008 reunion tour, unprecedented merchandising, record-breaking achievements, iconic symbolism such as Halliwell's Union Jack dress representing "girl power", and a film, Spice World. During the first two months, they worked on demos at South Hill Park Recording Studios in Bracknell with producer/studio owner Michael Sparkes and songwriter/arranger Tim Hawes.
Due to the large interest in the group, the Herberts quickly set about creating a binding contract for them.
Encouraged by the reaction they had received at the Nomis showcase, all five members delayed signing contracts on the legal advice from, among others, Adams's father.
In October 1994, armed with a catalogue of demos and dance routines, they began touring management agencies.
They persuaded Bob Herbert to set up a showcase performance for the group in front of industry writers, producers and A&R men in December 1994 at the Nomis Studios, where they received an "overwhelmingly positive" reaction.