The four-person judging panel for “The X Factor” U.S. is expected be finalized by the time the show’s first auditions in front of the judges begin in Los Angeles on May 8, 2011. The thousands of people who will be watching those auditions in arena-sized venues will get free admission, but there is a strict dress code and other rules for audience members.
Contestants chosen from the first round of “X Factor” U.S. auditions (at open calls and recording-booths at shopping malls) are seen by the show’s producers, not the judges. The contestants chosen from the first round will go on to the second round. As previously reported, the second round of auditions are pre-taped for television, and they take place in front of the judges in arena-seized venues in the same cities where the open-call auditions were held.
“The X Factor” executive producer Simon Cowell, former Island Def Jam Music Group chairman Antonio “L.A.” Reid, and singer Cheryl Cole are the three judges officially announced so far. Paula Abdul is widely expected to the fourth judge on the panel.
As previously reported, the auditions for 2011 begin May 8 in Los Angeles and end June 29 in Seattle. Free tickets to the judge auditions can be obtained through the On Camera Audiences website. The shows are filling up quickly, and admission cannot be guaranteed without a ticket. There will be two sessions per audition day, and each session is expected to be four to five hours long. People can pick and choose which session they want to attend, based on ticket availability.
There are several rules and restrictions for audience members who will watch the auditions in front of the judges. People must be at least 16 years old. No cameras, cell phones, pagers, recording devices/equipment, backpacks or large bags are allowed. (Small purses are allowed.)
In addition, there is a dress code. The admission ticket says:
Hip, upscale attire is mandatory. Colorful spring colors are requested. Absolutely no apparel with logos of any kind on the front or back are allowed in the studio audience. Absolutely no T-shirts, sweatshirts, white tops, shorts or flip flops! We’d prefer that you don’t wear jeans. Please dress hip and upscale as if going to a nice club or restaurant. You will be on camera so it is very important that you dress nicely. When you look great, the show looks great. If you do not dress according to dress code, you will not be admitted.
Contestants chosen from these auditions will then go on to the next round of being chosen as semi-finalists. The judges choose the finalists, the finalists perform live on TV, and the public votes for the winner from the group of finalists.
“The X Factor” U.S. (which premieres on Fox in September 2011 at a date to be announced) is a contest for unsigned solo singers and unsigned vocal groups. Contestants must be at least 12 years old, legal U.S. residents and legally able to work in the United States. The show has a grand prize of $5 million and a record deal with Sony Music.