X Factor Announces $5 Million Grand Prize

On the heels of the debut of X Factor‘s first official promo during last night’s Super Bowl, Fox has announced additional details about the upcoming U.S. version of Simon Cowell’s reality phenom — including a ginormous grand prize.

According to Fox, the show’s winner will walk off with a $5 million record deal — allegedly the largest guaranteed prize in television history — in a joint venture between Sony Music and Cowell.

Fox also confirmed that auditions will begin on March 27 at the L.A. Sports Arena. Tryouts will also be held in Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New York/New Jersey and Seattle. Singers and vocal groups age 12 and over are eligible to participate; there is no upper age limit. X Factor is slated to debut in September.

“I like the idea that a 12-year-old on this show can compete with an older singer and a singing group,” said Cowell in a statement. “I’ve never believed there should be a cut-off age for talent, and we are going to put our money where our mouths are with the $5 million recording contract. I’m doing this show in America because I genuinely believe we can find a superstar.”

There’s still no word on who will join Cowell on the judging panel. Hit the comments with your nominations. And if you missed the X Factor promo last night, you’re in luck: It’s embedded below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. JSmith says:

    what I want to know is if Cheryl Cole is going to join Simon Cowell on the judging panel.

  2. Bryson says:



    P.S. Im an american and i will only watch if she’s on the panel!

    • Clarissa says:

      American here too hoping for Cheryl Cole. (= People are worried about her accent, but I think the rest of America will find it kind of cute.

  3. Clarissa says:

    Ahh, I was hoping the big announcement would be the judges.

    Hoping Cheryl Cole joins him. Cheryl annoys me at times, but I have always loved her interactions with Simon. Only downside is that in the last season of xfactor, Simon seemed to agree with Cheryl on EVERYTHING even when she was wrong. His overprotectiveness (or whatever you want to call it) is cute though.

  4. Patty says:

    Who the heck is Cheryl Cole? I have never even heard of the woman before and she is not even know in America so why should I want her on X Factor. Give me judges I know and care about.

    • Sarah says:

      google is your friend, no need to be so ignorant.

      • Patty says:

        I am not ignorant so you don’t need to be insulting. I did Google her and I still have no idea of who she is as I have never heard of Girls Aloud or their music. Neither she nor Girls Aloud are known or popular in the US so why should Americans even care about her. There are plenty of other American performers who would kill to be a judge on this show.
        And for the person who said we didn’t know who Simon was when Idol first aired. Idol was the first show of its kind and the network wasn’t even sure it was going to be a success. The judges didn’t need to be known. Now shows like Idol are a dime a dozen so who you pick as a judge is important. You need to know who the judges are so you will want to watch the show.

        • HMC says:

          Patty, Your comments are not really well thought out and Sarah wasn’t being insulting. Someone new would be good, going with a judge America knows would be Idol Encore, Cheryl Cole has good chemistry with Simon and yes Idol shows are a dime a dozen, but everyone either loves or loves to hate Simon Cole, so people will tune in…

    • Lewis says:

      Because she’s Gods gift to TV, so amazingly talented and successful and such a nice lady.

      Or at least that’s what FOX will tell you.

      • Kate says:

        Shes really not, but as a Brit who is fed up of Cheryl Cole stories over every magazine every week it might be good for us to ship her off to another country, I just wish It was some small island in the middle of nowhere! But for all you Americans the band was formed in a reality show and she only got in to the boot camp based on her looks, then they have had a lot of success in England, then her husband cheated on her and suddenly she was someone everyone wanted to be!

    • xav says:

      Simon Cowell wasn’t a huge name in America before American Idol either.

  5. Sara says:

    for those wondering, Cheryl Cole is an evil racist who hates black people. She subscribes to KKK Weekly and is actively trying to hunt down Amogbokpa. please keep her away.

  6. Rock Golf says:

    Well the video is proof that Simon Cowell is not what he’s cracked up to be.

  7. Lewis says:

    I’m from the UK and I hope Cole joins the panel.
    Although only if that gets her off our TV screens!
    She’s horrendous, unopinionated, not as talented as everyone makes out, and her crocodile tears and fakeness grind on me worse than bring thrown from a moving car and my body being cut to shreds by the road.

    Looking forward to your X Factor ! Don’t be fooled by the probably “stage tricks” that will be used during it though… Aka lip syncing etc.
    Oh, and remember, in Cowell’s eyes, all publicity is good publicity, he will make sure the season is controversial!

    Also, finally, don’t ever believe anything Cowell says when he says “I genuinely believe that…”, all he cares about with his own show is who he is signing, and he will make sure who he wants to win will win, or at least get to the final so he can sign them up anyway. But at the end of the day, America decides!

    • Kate says:

      Agree with everything here! As a fellow Brit, GET HER OFF OUR SCREENS! I want Nicole Sherzinger permanently, actually she would be good on the American X Factor!

  8. David says:

    For those who don’t know, Cheryl Cole is the UK’s “it” girl. She was a member of a popular UK girlgroup andnow she’s releasing mediocre solo music. She beat up an attendant in a club toilet 9 years ago and she was considered a racist thug until her husband cheated on her then the entire nation fell in love with her.

    • Lewis says:

      Yep, That sums her up pretty well.

      • Aaron says:

        David got it all wrong, for starters, she’s still a member of a very popular UK girl group who is on a hiatus at the moment. Her music is not mediocre, her first solo album is certified triple platinum, her two solo albums entered the chart at number one in their first week of release. Whereas it’s true that she had a fight with a toilet attendant when she was just 19 years old, she was never accused of being a racist, the victim admitted that she had lied. She married an English footballer who cheated on her with several woman twice, they divorced last year. She got ill with malaria during the summer and nearly died. The British are sickly obsessed with her.

        • Lewis says:

          The music is mediocre – Her albums only sold so well due to her getting an immense amount of exposure from The X Factor. Both albums released while the X Factor season was in full swing for maximum effect.

          You’re right about everything else though to be fair.

        • Brian says:

          This is the more accurate portrayal of Cheryl Cole. Her girl group is the most successful in UK history, with 20 top 10 singles, beating the Spice Girls. Her albums have sold incredibly well and 4 of her singles are top 5 hits (2 hit number 1). If you look at the facts, Cheryl is successful beautiful and talented. For a while the UK loved her, but lately the British press have decided to tear her down, which is sad considering this is the year she had to divorce her husband and contracted malaria, almost dying. If Cheryl comes to the US she will be incredibly successful because she is a star. For all the huffing and puffing the British do about her, she’s a central focus of the media over there and people can’t get enough of her.

          • Aaron says:

            thank you, Brian. Very accurate indeed

          • Kate says:

            SPICE GIRLS ARE?WERE SOOOOOOO MUCH BETTER! And not everyone in the UK loved her, the reason she is central focus is becasue our country seems to idolise untalented fools! Look at all our press the people who lead it is Cheryl Cole, Jordan (a page 3 model), Kerry Katona (a woman with way too many issues), Any Big Brother/X Factor contestant, and then any cheating sports star and their money whore wives.

        • Prima says:

          Aaron, you have got it wrong. She was convicted of beating up the toilet attendant on a night out; and 19 is not too young to know you don’t go beating up on people whatever their colour. She was accused of being racist and their was a civil case brought against on said charge. She got Malaria because she was too stupid to take her malaria medicines which your travel clinic recommend everyone travelling to certain parts of Africa take. She is a talentless member of a mediocre girls group. She is pretty and that’s about her only qualification for being on the show. She has no opinions and is definitely not suitable to be on the XFActor USA show. I hope Nicole SherZ from the Pussy Cat dolls gets the gig – check out her time on UK Xfactor and compare the two in the same role. If Simon wants a pretty girl on his arm there are so many of them to choose from in LA.

          • Aaron says:

            Prima, I didn’t say she wasn’t convicted of beating up a toilet attendant, I said that she was cleared of a racially aggravated assault in reference to being considered a racist which she isn’t, she was convicted of assault. As for malaria, how do you know she didn’t take the tablets, she said she did, the year before, she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for Comic Relief and the money was used “to provide the people of Tanzania with mosquito nets, which could help prevent the spread of malaria”, she knew the risks of travelling to Tanzania without taking the tablets. If she were so talentless she wouldn’t be where she is today, she worked hard to get where she is. When she joined the UK X Factor, the audience increased in four millions, Nicole Scherzinger is a pretty girl but she lacks charisma, I can’t compare Nicole and Cheryl because they’re too different.

          • Brian says:

            Prima, I dontk onw how you can continue to call Cheryl a racist when her exhusband (and apparently someone she hasnt gotten over) is black. Lets not pretend she’s some villain, the woman who accused her later admitted to police she was lying.

  9. xav says:

    now they need to get Cheryl Cole. I love the patter between her and Simon. And her facial expressions MAKE the show – The X Factor’s equivalent of drunk/stoned Paula.

  10. John Berggren says:

    Paula ought to be free by the fall…

  11. Mel says:

    Please not Cheryl Cole!!!

    Female judges should be Mariah Carey, Nicole Scherzinger, Kelly Rowland or Michelle Williams.

  12. Vetle says:

    oh no… 12 year olds??? .-.

  13. linds says:

    Am I the only one not as excited about this as before I saw how much fun American Idol is this year? That said, I’ll no doubt watch… but I’m a bit over the “I don’t mean to be rude…” era. X Factor in the UK doesn’t seem to be quite as snarky, and I like the mentoring idea. We’ll see, yes?

    • ErixN says:

      I was excited more last year. I am not even sure I am going to watch anymore. I think Simon ruined it by being so out of it during his last season of Idol.

  14. Michelle barrett says:

    Cheryl cole is a lady a genuine normal girl that did well in her life and america would be lucky to have her. I had the pleasure of meeting her in 2008 and she was a lovely person. Only thing is I’d be sad to lose her off the Uk x factor!

    • vergesama says:

      I’m sure both she and Simon would do both versions at the same time, kind of like what judges Len and Bruno did during “Dancing With the Stars” and “Strictly Come Dancing”.

  15. alaina says:

    how do you know that she will be successful here in the US? I just watched her music videos on YT for the 1st time, and she’s not that good. I doubt her music will take off in the US, it’s mediocre at best. Add the fact that no one has heard of her here.

  16. racist aloud says:

    Cheryl tweed is a nasty racist