Premiering Tonight: Simon Cowell Is Back on The X Factor

Some 20 months after announcing he was leaving his post as American Idol judge to bring his U.K. creation, The X Factor, to the United States, Simon Cowell’s big day has arrived. The X Factor premieres tonight on Fox.

For those wondering how Cowell’s new show differs from its array of rivals, here’s a rundown of facts:

  • The competition is open to both solo artists and groups.
  • There is no upper age limit for contestants.
  • Each judge is assigned one of four categories: girls/women between 12 and 30, boys/men between 12 and 30, individuals over 30, or groups; some of which may be formed from rejected soloists after their auditions.
  • Judges act as mentors to their group of contestants, helping to choose their songs, styling and staging, while judging contestants from the other categories.
  • The winner stands to receive a $5 million prize and a recording contract with Epic Records.

Aside from Cowell, The X Factor’s judges include former American Idol star Paula Abdul, record producer Antonio “L.A.” Reid, and Nicole Scherzinger, former lead singer of Pussycat Dolls. The show is hosted by Steve Jones, who emceed numerous programs in the UK, including The Pop Factory Awards and 99 Things To Do Before You Die.

The X Factor premieres tonight at 8 p.m. on Fox.

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