When there's a $5 million record deal up for grabs, what's a little rain, right?
That's no doubt what thousands of folks were thinking on Sunday morning as they braved inclement weather outside the L.A. Sports Arena with hopes of getting a chance to be on The X Factor.
Yep. Auditions for Simon Cowell's upcoming U.S. version of his hit U.K. show kicked off in SoCal this weekend and Rob Wade, an executive producer on the program, was more than happy to point out the differences between The X Factor and a certain other little reality talent competition.
"Firstly, you can be 12 years old, up to any age, so there's no age cap. You can be 60, 70, 80 years old," Wade explained to E! News while comparing the show to American Idol, whose age range is merely 15 to 28. "The other big difference is you can be a soloist, but you can also be a group. You can be a boy band, a girl band, a duo and enter."
What's more, in addition to having four judges as opposed to A.I.'s three, the judges on The X Factor become much more involved with the talent.
"Halfway through the competition, the contestants are split off into categories and they start mentoring those groups," Wade said. "And it always becomes a competition within a competition because the judges are fighting against each other too."
Speaking of the judges, neither Cowell or music producer Antonio "L.A." Reid was on hand at Sunday's auditions, nor were any of the other famous faces whose names have been thrown about as possible contenders to fill the remaining two spots on the panel, including Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and Taylor Momsen, who was busy performing with her band over in Paris.
But whoever eventually ends up sitting at the judges' table next to Cowell and Reid, they'll naturally be looking for that special something.
"It's intangible. It's something you feel in your heart," said Wade. "When you see somebody sing, that's what it is, and you and I would have the same opinion about that. You'll see it on stage and be like, 'Wow, that person's got the X factor.'"
And if you weren't among the estimated 15,000 that made it to the L.A. auditions, but you know you have what it takes, don't fret. There are tryouts coming up in Miami, New Jersey, Seattle, Chicago and Dallas as well.
—Reporting by Marcus Mulick