Win “American Idol” or “America’s Got Talent” and you win a top prize with a stated value of $1 million (a record deal or an annuity). “The X Factor” premiering this Fall on Fox has upped the ante to a $5 million record deal, which is being called “the largest guaranteed prize in television history.”
The prize value was announced Monday (2/7) by Simon Cowell, Sony Music, FremantleMedia North America and Fox. The record deal will be, of course, with Syco, a joint venture between Sony Music and Cowell.
Auditions for X Factor begin Sunday, March 27th in Los Angeles at the LA Sports Arena. The show says it is looking for “talent young and old alike – with no upper age limit.” The minimum age is 12, with both solo performers and vocal groups invited to compete. Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New York/New Jersey and Seattle will also host auditions, with 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. 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,” said Cowell. He created the successful UK version of the show and is now bringing it to the US after seeing his contract to the end last year on American Idol.
The X Factor is produced by Syco Television and FremantleMedia North America. Simon Cowell, Rob Wade and Siobhan Greene are executive producers for Syco Television. Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Richard Holloway and Andrew Llinares serve as executive producers for FremantleMedia North America.
RBR-TVBR observation: Simon Cowell can no doubt afford to have his record label, Syco, offer a $5 million guarantee. Look how much he’s already made from Susan Boyle and Jackie Evancho, with both likely to produce numerous additional albums for him.