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Do you have The X Factor?

Simon Cowell seeks the next big star — auditions are Sunday

Posted: March 25, 2011 6:00 a.m.
Updated: March 25, 2011 6:00 a.m.

Auditions for “The X Factor” will be held Sunday in Los Angeles. The show is scheduled to premiere on Fox Television’s fall schedule.

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Do you have what it takes to be a star? Because that's what Simon Cowell is looking for in his new show, "The X Factor" which will debut this fall on Fox Television.

"The premise of the show is to find a star," said Cowell. "We're seeing a new generation of stars at the moment. I hope we find somebody who is current, who is original, maybe somebody who might not normally enter a show like this and I hope we can encourage that kind of person. We don't just want a winner, we want a star."

"The X Factor" is open to solo singers and vocal groups age 12 and up, with auditions starting Sunday at the Los Angeles Sports Arena in downtown Los Angeles. The winner gets a $5 million record contract. The show originated in Britain, where it is a hit and has discovered such top-selling artists as Leona Lewis.

Cowell, for those who might have been living in a cave for the past decade, was a judge on the first season of "American Idol" in 2002. He appeared as a judge on the show until January 2010.

"The X Factor" is Cowell's creation, which replaced "Idol" in the United Kingdom.

Offering a record $5 million cash prize and a recording contract to the winner, "The X Factor" has named Grammy-winning music executive and producer Antonio "L.A." Reid as a judge on the show. Reid is stepping down as chairman of Island Def Jam Music Group.

The additional judges who will sit next to Cowell on "The X Factor" have yet to be named.

After Los Angeles the search for the next global superstar will continue in Miami, Fla., on Thursday, April 7; Newark, N.J., on Thursday, April 14; Seattle, Wash., on Wednesday, April 20; Chicago, Ill.,, on Wednesday, April 27; and Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, May 26.

"I thought long and hard about doing this show," said Cowell. "There's a ton of talent shows happening in America this year, probably too many. It happened in the U.K. (United Kingdom) as well. But only the good ones will survive and I believe the timing is right for this show. I am really confident that people will enjoy it like they have in the U.K."
Cowell said the appeal of "The X Factor" is the diversity of the contestants.

"You can have someone on who is 12 followed by someone who is 78, followed by a group," he said. "There's a lot more variety. When these type of shows are made well they're fascinating TV."

Cowell said the key to a good show is to "surprise people."

Since its debut in 2004, "The X Factor" has remained the U.K.'s #1 program for the last seven years.

In 2009, Cowell was named No. 1 in Hollywood Reporter's Top 50 Most Powerful in Reality TV and Entertainment Weekly's Top Entertainer of the Year.

Interested solo artists and vocal groups should sign up now. To sign up for an audition slot Sunday at the Los Angeles Sports Arena visit www.fox.com/theXfactor or call toll-free (855) 345-5678 for details. Contestants must be at least 12 years old by March 1.

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