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Simon Cowell appears in a promotional photo for the FOX series The X Factor. - Provided courtesy of Ian Derry / FOX

Simon Cowell's new talent series, 'The X Factor,' announces audition dates

02/26/2011 by Olivia Allin

Simon Cowell, the music mogul who was an "American Idol" judge for 8-years, says that his new show an American version of "X Factor" will be unlike anything else on American television, reports MTV.

"The show is basically a singing competition with a twist," Cowell says in a promo for the show. "The auditions are open to anyone who can sing. You can be 12, you can be 112. You can be in a group, you can have 100 people in the group. It doesn't matter."

The "X Factor" contestants will be separated into four categories: young guys, young girls, older singers and vocal groups and instead of auditioning in front of the judges, they will have a live audience of 3,000-4,000 people.

"I'm going to come back to America and say, 'I'm serious about this' and 'I'm serious about finding talent,' " Cowell said. "I'm going to guarantee the winner of this competition 5 million cash. It's a $5 million audition, and you're going to get the cash if you win, you just better be good."

Cowell will reportedly be joined at the judge's table by British singer Cheryl Cole and it was rumored earlier in the month that he wants Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger to join them, entertainment outlet Showbizspy.com reported.

"The X Factor" is set to debut in September. The record contract the "X Factor" winner will receive will be given by Syco, a joint venture between Sony Music and Cowell.

Sony Music has produced albums by "American Idol" finalist Adam Lambert, Michael Jackson, Christina Aguilera, Bruce Springsteen, soundtracks for the FOX musical comedy series "Glee," the late Elvis Presley and former "Britain's Got Talent" finalist-turned YouTube sensation-turned contemporary music star Susan Boyle.

Cowell, a 51-year-old British music executive, was known as the acerbic judge on "American Idol," based on the UK series "Pop Idol," from its debut to 2010, when he left to launch "The X Factor." He began serving as a judge on the UK version of "The X Factor" in 2004. One of the show's winners, Leona Lewis, is now an international pop star.

"American Idol" underwent a series shakeup last season amid declining ratings. Aside from Cowell's exit, judges Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi also left the show, newcomers Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler were brought in, Nigel Lythgoe returned as executive producer and the minimum age of eligible contestants was lowered from 16 to 15.

Check out the "X Factor" audition dates below.

March 27 Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena April 7 Miami, FL Bank United Center
April 14 Newark, NJ Prudential Center
April 20 Seattle, WA Key Arena
April 27 Chicago, IL Sears Centre Arena
TBA Dallas, TX TBA

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