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'The X Factor' 101


X Factor Logo

What is 'The X Factor'?:

The X Factor is the U.S. version of a reality show and singing competition that has been the top British series for nearly a decade. One of the aspects that sets The X Factor apart from other reality singing competitions (like American Idol) is that the singers must audition in front of both the judges and a live audience of thousands.

How Does 'The X Factor' Work?:

  1. The Audition: A hundred thousand singers audition for the judges and a theater audience, who both vote on which performers to accept.

  2. Bootcamp: At Bootcamp, singers are sorted into four groups and must sing, dance and perform to move on.

  3. Judges' Houses: Each group is assigned to a judge. The contestants move in with their judge, living in the judge's house where the judge will choose their favorite singers.

  4. Live Show: Judges will coach their singers on song choice, outfits and stage presence. The judges panel will critique the live performances but viewers choose the X-Factor winner by voting for their favorite singers.

In Season Three the format changed and now has four stages to the competition:

  • Stage 1: Producers' audition (these auditions decide who will sing in front of the judges)
  • Stage 2: Judges' auditions
  • Stage 3: Four-chair challenge
  • Stage 4: Live Shows (finals)

What Does the Winner of 'The X Factor' Win?:

The singers on The X Factor compete for the chance to win a recording contract. Reportedly the largest prize in TV history, the recording contract with Syco/Sony Music is worth five million dollars

Who Are 'The X Factor' Judges?:

The judges on The X Factor are former American Idol judge Simon Cowell, Kelly Rowland (who rose to fame as a member of Destiny's Child), Paulina Rubio and former Disney star Demi Lovato.

Former X Factor judges include: Paula Abdul, Antonio "L.A, Britney Spears and Nicole Scherzinger.

Who Hosts 'The X Factor'?:

Model turned TV host Steve Jones was the host of The X Factor in Season One. Who will replace him? We'll find out in September.

Who Produces 'The X Factor'?:

The X Factor is produced by Syco Television and FremantleMedia North America. Executive producers include Simon Cowell, Rob Wade, Siobhan Greene, Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Richard Holloway and Andrew Llinares.

When Does 'The X Factor' Air?:

The X Factor first appeared on September 21, 2011 and airs on Fox, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8/7PM Central.

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