The X Factor is an American music reality competition television series created by Simon Cowell as part of the British The X Factor franchise and produced by SYCOtv in which the judges double as mentors and coaches to the finalists, who are divided into four groups: boys, girls, over-30s and groups.
The series premiered in the USA on Fox on 21 September, 2011.
The X Factor premiered in South Africa on M-Net (simulcast in HD) and Mzansi Magic on Saturday 8 October 2011, at 18h00. It later aired on SABC2 and moved from Mzansi Magic to Vuzu from Season 2. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
Season 3 aired on M-Net from 5 October to 19 December, 2013. New episodes broadcast in a double bill on Saturdays at 17h00 and on Sundays at 15h00, with the live finale airing at 03h00 on 18/19 December, 2013.
The winner of Season 3 was Alex & Sierra (Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton), the first group to win the show. The runners-up were Jeff Gutt and Carlito Olivero.
The award-winning international phenomenon The X Factor is back.
In Season 3 of the hit competition series hosted by Mario Lopez, The X Factor judges will travel the nation searching for talent 12 years old or over – both solo artists and vocal groups – who are willing to brave the panel for a chance to make their dreams of becoming a superstar come true.
Auditions for The X Factor were held this spring in Los Angeles, CA; Charleston, SC; New Orleans, LA; Long Island, NY; and Denver, CO.
Contestants will audition in front of The X Factor judges, including Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, Paulina Rubio, and an audience of thousands.
This will be the ultimate test to prove they have the vocal ability, charisma and stage presence it takes to become a global superstar or breakout music act and win a recording contract with Syco/Sony Music.
Those contestants who survive the first auditions will be divided into four categories: Boys, Girls, Over 25s and Groups. Each category will be mentored by one of the show's judges.
Not only is it a competition between the hopefuls to stake their claim for the coveted win, but it's also a showdown among the judges as to whose acts will dominate the competition and make it to the finals.
The judges may have their say in how the competition progresses, but it will be up to America to decide who ultimately has The X Factor.
The X Factor has discovered winners Tate Stevens and Melanie Amaro and several other breakout stars including Emblem3, Fifth Harmony, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Rachel Crow and Chris Rene, who all have signed to record labels.
Last season, the show featured guest mentors Justin Bieber, Marc Antony, will.i.am and Nick Jonas, and performances by musical superstars One Direction, Taylor Swift, Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars, Leann Rimes, Pitbull and Little Big Town.
The X Factor originated in the U.K. and has discovered global superstars such as One Direction, Leona Lewis, Cher Lloyd and JLS. Artists discovered by The X Factor format have sold more than 100-million records worldwide, including 110 No. 1's, 270 Top 10 records and 500 Top 50 releases. The X Factor (USA) airs in 191 countries, and local versions of The X Factor are commissioned in 41 territories.
The X Factor was created by Syco Television and is produced by Syco Entertainment and FremantleMedia North America. Rob Wade and Nigel Hall are executive producers for Syco Television. Trish Kinane, Richard Holloway and Andrew Llinares serve as executive producers for FremantleMedia North America.
Stage 1: The Auditions
It's tough enough to sing in public, but when you step in front of Simon, Paula, L.A. And Nicole the pressure is through the roof. Now add in a live audience of thousands and you've got an audition for The X Factor.
A hundred thousand will try, few will advance. If a majority of the judges (and the audience) think you might have what it takes, you make it through to the next round.
Stage 2: Bootcamp
If you make it through auditions, it's straight to boot camp; a performance pressure cooker that will put your nerves to the test.
You'll be sorted into categories – guys, girls, older singers or vocal groups – and you'll have to prove yourself by singing, dancing and performing under greater scrutiny than ever before.
Make it through boot camp and you're on your way to the big time.
Stage 3: Judges' Houses
After the boot camp selection, each constant category – guys, girls, older singers or vocal groups – is assigned to a particular judge.
The contestants then travel to their respective judge's house where each judge selects the best acts, with the biggest chance of winning, to take to the live show.
Stage 4: The Live Show
When the show goes live, only the best are left. Drawing from their experience, the judges coach the acts in their individual categories on what to sing, what to wear and how to "own" the stage.
The judges then critique the live acts every week, but ultimately it's the audience who decides who has the "X Factor" and wins the largest prize in TV history: a $5-million recording contract.
Season 1: Melanie Amaro
Season 2: Tate Stevens
Season 3: Alex & Sierra
Note: the first season aired on M-Net (simulcast in HD) and Mzansi Magic, but the show was moved from Mzansi Magic to Vuzu for Season 2.
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 8 Oct 2011 | Finale: 25 Dec 2011 | Sat, 18h00 / Sun, 17h00
Channel: Mzansi Magic | Premiere: 8 Oct 2011 | Finale: 25 Dec 2011 | Sat, 18h00 / Sun, 17h00
Channel: SABC2 | Premiere: 1 Nov 2012 | Finale: 9 Mar 2013 | Thu, 19h30 / Sat, 20h00
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 6 Oct 2012 | Finale: 23 Dec 2012 | Sat, 18h00 / Sun, 17h30
Channel: Vuzu | Premiere: 24 Feb 2013 | Finale: 16 Jun 2013 | Sundays, 20h00 (double bill)
Channel: SABC2 | Premiere: 18 Jan 2014 | Finale: TBA | Sat, 20h00
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 5 Oct 2013 | Finale: 19 Dec 2013 | Sat, 17h00 / Sun, 15h00