Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The X Factor comes to Miami

Get in your cars, boys and girls, and hightail it to Miami, FL for tomorrow’s registration of The X Factor, Simon Cowell’s singing performing talent competition which will debut in the USA this Fall on FOX television. The grand prize awarded to the winner(s) is a $5 million recording contract.

I, for one, am guardedly enthusiastic about the show’s debut. Cowell’s first US project, American Idol, which aired in 2002, has lost it’s luster over the years due to multiple changes in the show’s format (most for the worst, in my opinion), so seeing another Cowell project in its original form, before network executives get their grubby little greedy hands on it, should be a refreshing treat. The show has been a hit in the UK for seven years since 2004 under the names, "The Xtra Factor" and "The X Factor." (Just to be fun and truly original for America, I would love it if it were renamed simply "X-factor.")

The X Factor format will be a bit like Star Search or America’s Got Talent, except that only singing is judged. Both individuals and a capella or vocal groups may enter. Participants are encouraged to pull out all the stops on glitz and glamour, wearing their most sparkly and outrageously original stage costumes, and dancing like there’s no tomorrow, if that’s your thang. You may also dress down – think Susan Bowle, who managed to start her international singing career on Britain’s Got Talent, another of Cowell’s brainchild competition talent shows.

Cowell gives a few words of advice on The X Factor home page, most notably what not to sing: Jason Miraz’s I’m Yours, Lionel Richie’s Hello, Fly Me to the Moon, Mac the Knife, and Unchained Melody. Whatever you do decide to sing, avoid mimicking – be original.

Contestants must be at least 12 years of age and born no later than March 1, 1999. Unlike American Idol, there is no age limit. Even 92-year olds are welcome.


On Wednesday, April 6, individuals interested in competing are invited to register to compete at the Bank United Center on 1245 Dauer Dr., in Coral Gables, Florida.

No time is given to appear on April 6, although a strict “no camping” rule will be in place. You are encouraged to either take the Metrorail public transportation to the venue, or park in the Village of Merrick Park or Shops of Sunset Place and ride the free shuttle to the competition. Shuttles begin operating at 6 AM.

Please bring two forms of legal ID, one with a photo: a birth certificate and driver’s license or school ID, for instance, to show proof of identity and birthday. If you would like family members and friends to accompany you to try out, they too must register on April 6 in order to receive a wristband.

The auditions themselves will be held on April 7 beginning at 8 AM.

Please look over the following online pages for more information:

Not one to reinvent the wheel, I recognize a quality article when I read one. Here’s Bill Keveney’s preview which was published on March 24, 2011 online at USA Today News: click here for article. It’s a well written account and will catch you off guard about half way through with a few fun quotes from Cowell which Keveney was able to capture for his article:
“If you're not in a band, put a band together.”
“It’s warts and all. Never censor it.”


Have no desire to compete, but still want to be a part of the show? Apply for free tickets to appear in the audience. The Miami dates will be on June 14th and 15th at the convention center.