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Cheryl Cole Simon Cowell American Idol

Cowell’s X Factor US offers TV’s largest ever prize

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By The Drum Team, Editorial

February 8, 2011 | 2 min read

Simon Cowell’s American version of The X Factor, which launches on 27 March, will carry the largest prize in TV history with the winner set to receive an unprecedented $5m (£3m) record deal with Sony Music.

Cowell said of the new show: "If you win this competition I'm going to put my money where my mouth is. It’s a $5m recording contract. That means the winner walks away with $5m, guaranteed. Win this competition; it will change your life forever."

The meaning of a "$5m recording contract" is not entirely clear however, with Cowell facing criticism in 2008 following reports that X Factor UK's "£1m recording contract" meant £150,000 in prize money. Cowell said "we make over a million pound commitment to the winner," meaning hundreds of thousands of pounds invested on development and promotion.

It has not yet been revealed who will join Cowell as X Factor US judges, with rumours suggesting Cheryl Cole and Paula Abdul.

Cheryl Cole Simon Cowell American Idol

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