'X Factor' Auditions Kick Off March 1

Season 2 hopefuls can submit clips online or attend open call try-outs, which will hit five U.S. cities including Austin and San Francisco.

Auditions for season 2 of The X Factor will kick off on March 1. That's when hopefuls ages 12 and over can submit clips via www.TheXFactorUSA.com (a one-minute introduction followed by a two-minute a capella performance) or at one of seven MyStudio HD recording setups at select U.S. malls. All information can be found on the official X Factor USA website

Open call auditions will also be held in five cities, starting with Kansas City, MO on March 14, then Austin, TX, Greensboro, NC and San Francisco, where auditioners will file into the legendary Cow Palace on April 20. An additional city is still to be announced. 

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In an eligibility change, artists with pre-existing management contracts can now audition. Says head judge and creator Simon Cowell in a statement: "We’ve torn up the rulebook again. Even if you have management you can still enter, and we are making it easier by extending the online auditions and taking the MyStudio booths to even more cities. You can enter as many times as you want and come to any of the cities, too. We’re here to discover stars from all music styles including groups. I really believe a group can win this show!”

Although two new judges and a host have yet to be revealed, Epic Records chairman L.A. Reid will return to the panel as judge and mentor. "I can’t wait to see what amazing talent we might find," he says. "I urge people to go out and audition, this is the real deal.” 

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