The X Factor Breakdown

Courtesy: FOX/Nino Munoz

The X Factor, hosted by Steve Jones, will premiere on FOX on Wednesday, Sept. 21 and Thursday, Sept. 22 with the live auditions that took place in front of audiences across the country. The cities include Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, Seattle and the virtual auditions from YouTube. And the talent included anyone undiscovered 12 years old or over – both solo artists and vocal groups – who will compete for the largest prize in television history: a $5 million recording contract with Syco/Sony Music.

Then those who make the cut, travel to Los Angeles for “Boot Camp” beginning Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. and continuing Thursday, Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. During this phase of the competition, the contestants will face the panel of judges — Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, L.A. Reid and Nicole Scherzinger — and a live audience as they are rated on their singing, dancing and overall performance styles.

Those who make it through “Boot Camp” will earn a place in one of four The X Factor categories: young guys, young girls, older singers and groups. After the categories of semifinalists are set, The X Factor producers surprise the judges with the category they will mentor.

Then, the remaining contestants from each category will visit the judges’ homes for their chance to make it to the live shows on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. and on a special Tuesday airing Oct. 18 at 8 p.m.

During a special extended Tuesday airing on Oct. 25 at 8 p.m., ET live/PT tape-delayed, the judges will reveal who has earned one of the coveted spots among the season’s finalists. It will then be up to America, as well as the judges, to decide who moves forward in the competition starting with the first performance show featuring the finalists from each category on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 8 p.m., ET live/PT tape-delayed.

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