Simon Cowell, the man TV audiences loved to hate on "American Idol," launches his new show, "The X Factor," this fall. Actually, it's not so new - it's wildly successful in countries around the world, but is just now coming to America. Auditions for the U.S. version are Sunday in Los Angeles.
Cowell told Off-Ramp host John Rabe how the new show will be better than the old one.
"The difference," Cowell says, in describing how "The X Factor" will work, "is that you can be 12 years old, you can be 70, or you can be in any type of vocal harmony group. I always like the idea that the final could be a 14-year-old guy versus a 45-year-old woman." That certainly would be a switch from the young-skewing Idol.
And, like Tim Gunn helps along the fashion designers in "Project Runway," each group of contestants will be assigned a judge to mentor them – just as, Cowell says, smart record companies develop stars and don't let them sink or swim on their own.
He's announced record company exec L.A. Reid as one of the judges, but the other two have yet to be named. "The truth is, we can't make our mind up at the moment. I know who I'd want, but the producers have got their own opinion, the network's got their own opinion. But ... I'm sure I'm going to get my own way."
If you want to audition for "The X Factor," here's the info from the publicist:
WHO: Singers and vocal groups 12 years of age or older as of March 1, 2011, who are legal U.S. citizens or eligible to work in the U.S. and do not currently have a music recording contract. Some restrictions apply; please visit www.fox.com/theXfactor for specific information.
WHEN: Sunday, March 27, 2011
WHERE: The L.A. Sports Arena, 3939 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90037
HOW: Wristbands will be distributed from approximately 6:00 AM on Saturday, March 26 until approximately 6:00 AM on Sunday, March 27. Auditioners will not be permitted to camp out. Once auditioners obtain their wristbands, they will be asked to return to the L.A. Sports Arena by 8:00 AM on Sunday, March 27. Please bring legal photo identification. Any auditioner under 18 years old must be accompanied by his/her parent or legal guardian.