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Ginormous prize for 'X Factor' winner

by jmaloni
Mon, Feb 7th 2011 09:30 am

'The X Factor' announces $5 million Sony Music/Syco record deal for winner 

Sign up now for audition information at www.fox.com/theXfactor 

Simon Cowell, Sony Music, FremantleMedia North America and Fox announced today that the highly anticipated singing competition series "The X Factor" will award the show's winner with a record-breaking $5 million record deal - the largest guaranteed prize in television history - with Syco, a joint venture between Sony Music and Cowell.

"The X Factor" is looking for talent young and old alike - with no upper age limit - to audition for a shot at becoming the next global music sensation. Auditions for the inaugural season of "The X Factor" begin on Sunday, March 27, in Los Angeles at the L.A. Sports Arena. Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New York/New Jersey and Seattle will also host auditions. Specific dates and venues to be announced.

"I like the idea that a 12-year-old on this show can compete with an older singer and a singing group," said Cowell. "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."

"I have always been proud of the achievements of 'The X Factor' worldwide, and am looking forward to its American launch," said Sir Howard Stringer, chairman, CEO and president of Sony Corporation. "I have no doubt 'The X Factor' will find winners worthy of international acclaim and career longevity, and believe with Sony's worldwide effort the winners' potential can be unlimited."

" 'The X Factor' has become a worldwide phenomenon and is unlike anything we've seen in America," said Mike Darnell, president of Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. "The British version is wildly entertaining, but also has a penchant for stirring up controversy. You never know what Simon has up his sleeve, and since he will be working both behind and in front of the camera, the country should brace itself to expect the unexpected."

"Since its U.K. debut in 2004, 'The X Factor' has proven itself a global success story in numerous territories worldwide," said executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of FremantleMedia North America. "Now, as we bring this widely popular format to U.S. audiences, I look forward to building a new franchise for a new decade with the return of the inimitable Simon Cowell."

"The X Factor" judges will travel the nation searching for undiscovered talent 12 years old or over - both solo artists and vocal groups - who are willing to brave the panel for a chance to make their dreams come true. In a departure from other singing competition series, the first time a contestant auditions for the judges, he/she will do so in front of an audience of thousands - raising the stakes and increasing the pressure to impress not only the judges, but also a potential legion of fans. This will be the ultimate test to prove they have the vocal ability, charisma and stage presence that it takes to become a global superstar and win a $5 million recording contract with Syco/Sony Music.

In the coming weeks, "The X Factor" host and judges panel will be unveiled and announcements will be made about audition opportunities that will give everyone 12 or over in America - no matter where they live - the chance to show that they've got it. There also will be reveals of unprecedented initiatives that will make "The X Factor" unlike anything else on television.

Solo singers and vocal groups who believe they have what it takes to compete on "The X Factor" should sign up now for audition information at www.fox.com/theXfactor. Additional details, including eligibility requirements, are also available on the site. Hopefuls should check back regularly for updated information and complete audition rules and registration forms.

As previously announced, Pepsi will serve as an official sponsor of "The X Factor." The comprehensive sponsorship includes an extensive, multi-platform off-air marketing partnership; weekly in-show integrations and placements; and an immersive content experience online.

"The X Factor" is produced by Syco Television and FremantleMedia North America. Cowell, Rob Wade and Siobhan Greene are executive producers for Syco Television. Frot-Coutaz, Richard Holloway and Andrew Llinares serve as executive producers for FremantleMedia North America.

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