Who Wants to Be a Five Millionaire?
When Simon Cowell launches the US version of The X Factor in autumn this year, he will bring with him the largest guaranteed prize in television history. The winner of the first season will receive an unprecedented $5 million record deal with Sony Music. That sum represents the largest guaranteed prize in television history, so there’s a lot more on the line here than a flimsy deal in the ailing music industry.
The American X Factor will not just benefit from a much larger prize than its main competitor, American Idol, it will have a much larger talent pool. Like its UK counterpart the show is open to vocal groups as well as solo artists, but Cowell also announced new age restrictions. Whereas American Idol is open to singers aged 15 to 28, X Factor contestants need to be just 12 years old, and there is no upper age limit. In other words, the show could produce the next Susan Boyle, or even a slightly older Willow Smith. I’ve never believed there should be a cut-off age for talent, Cowell said.
I believe that America has the best talent in the world. I believe that with all my heart,” Cowell said of The X Factor, which debuts stateside in September 2011. If you win this competition — I’m going to put my money where my mouth is — it’s a $5 million recording contract. That means the winner walks away with $5 million, guaranteed. Win this competition, it will change your life forever.
Start flexing your vocal cords, because The X Factor auditions kick off in New York, Miami, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle in March.