LOS ANGELES, Calif.–The first auditions for the new Fox singing competition “The X Factor” will be held Sunday at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.

Wristbands required for those seeking to audition will be distributed at the arena from approximately 6 a.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday.

Once auditioners obtain their wristbands, they will be asked to return to the arena by 8 a.m. Sunday. Auditioners will not be allowed to camp out.

Legal photo identification is required. Any auditioner under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. All auditioners must be U.S. citizens or eligible to work in the United States and not have a music recording contract.

Groups and singers as young as 12 years old can audition for the series, which will premiere in the fall. Unlike “American Idol,” “The X Factor” does not have an upper age limit.

“I like the idea that a 12-year-old on this show can compete with an older singer and a singing group,” said Simon Cowell, the former “American Idol” judge who will be a judge and an executive producer on “The X Factor.”

“I’ve never believed there should be a cut-off age for talent.”

“The X Factor” is the first U.S. singing competition series where a contestant will be front of an audience of thousands the first time he or she auditions for the judges, copying a concept Cowell originated for its British version.

“We made a decision a couple of years ago in the U.K. that I couldn’t fit in an audition room with two other people and judge properly,” Cowell told reporters last month on a conference call. “I’ve done it too many years and I wanted to change things up.

“So I made a decision that we would change the audition, not just in front of the judges, but in fact 4,000 or 5,000 people in an arena.

Essentially, it was supposed to be similar to them doing their first concert.

It really helped me to show who could handle the pressure, who was a good performer.”

Additional audition information is available at www.fox.com/theXfactor.

Auditions will also be held in the Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Newark, N.J. and Seattle areas.

The series winner will receive a $5 million record deal–payable over five years–the largest guaranteed prize in television history, from Syco, a join venture between Sony Music and Cowell.

“The X Factor” has annually been the most-watched series in the United Kingdom since it debuted in 2004. It is also the most-watched series in the 15 other nations it airs in.

Its title stems from an expression Cowell, a longtime recording industry executive, has used “about having that special something” to become a star.

To Cowell, there are several differences between “The X Factor” and other singing competition series, including having the judges serve as mentors to the finalists, helping them prepare their performances.

“‘The X Factor’ has a craziness about it,” Cowell said. “There’s an unpredictability about it. It’s very much more competitive because of the fact the judges have to mentor.

“It’s more personal because there’s a point in the show where some of the finalists go to the judges’ home and each judge will then make a selection as to who’s going into the finals.”

By Steven Herbert | City News Service