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“The X Factor” vs. “American Idol” vs. “America’s Got Talent”: what’s the difference?

By Kim Palacios

hollywoodnews.com: If you think Simon Cowell’s new singing competition, “The X Factor” sounds similar to “America’s Got Talent” and “American Idol”, you’re not alone. The highly publicized new show sometimes seems indistinguishable from Cowell’s earlier mega-hits. But “The X Factor” has a few twists not previously seen in the former two shows. Here is what they are:

Different Age Limits: While “American Idol” hopefuls must be between the ages of 15 and 30, and “America’s Got Talent” had both toddler and senior contestants, “The X Factor” range is slightly different—contestants must be at least 12 years old.

Singers Only: Like “American Idol”, “The X Factor” is a singing competition, whereas “America’s Got Talent” allowed acts of any kind.

Four Distinct Categories of Competition: Unlike the other two, “The X Factor” is looking for four specific categories of singer: young guys, young girls, older singers, and group acts.

Auditions in Front of a Crowd: Unlike most talent competition shows, “The X Factor” will require performers to audition in front of a full crowd of 3,000 to 4,000 people. In addition to seeking raw talent, judges will be assessing the performer’s ability to perform in front of thousands and to captivate the live crowd.

A $5 Million Purse: “America’s Got Talent” promised a year-long Las Vegas Show. “American Idol” a recording contract. In the case of “The X Factor”, the grand prize is a record deal with Sony. Adding to the cachet of the prize is the whopping $5 million contract value, higher than any value named for the other two shows.

Auditions for “The X Factor” are already underway, with the following remaining dates on the books:
Chicago, IL Wednesday, April 27 Sears Centre Arena
Dallas, TX Thursday, May 26 The Dallas Convention Center

Rumored judges are Cheryl Cole, Nicole Scherzinger, and Antonio Reid (Simon Cowell is confirmed as a judge). The show is set to premiere in September.

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About Kim Palacios

Kim Palacios is a San Francisco Bay Area transplant whose epicurean tendencies are matched only by her wanderlust. While not covering food, wine, and luxury travel for her column on Examiner.com, she guest writes for Travel Writers Exchange and a number of other varied-topic blogs. She is quadrilingual and holds an M.B.A. in Finance (neither of which she uses much these days). While not mourning the death of free markets and grumbling about the tax treatment of Californians, she enjoys film, and all things Twilight.

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  • April 24, 2011 | Permalink |

    it would be great to have Cheryl Cole as judge on U.S.X Factor. Cheryl is complete charming but she’s also completely gorgeous, love Chery songs Fight For This Love and Promise this.

  • April 25, 2011 | Permalink |

    There is no difference between these shows! American Idol is old and America’s got talent and The X Factor is owned by Simon. All that he cares about is MONEY

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