Simon Cowell, YouTube Launching 'The You Generation' Talent Contest

Simon Cowell
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"I considered it, but then I thought, 'I don't think the after would be as good as the before.' I'd let her stay for a few hours, but then it would have to be goodnight."

Cowell's bid to tap the power of online videos is an experiment aimed at discovering "unconventional and original talents."

Simon Cowell has taken over television screens and radio airwaves around the world. Now he's taking aim at the Internet.

Cowell's Syco Entertainment empire and YouTube are launching The You Generation, a global online talent contest seeking entries from people with "unconventional and original talents" -- from musicians and photographers to makeup artists, magicians and chefs.

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Syco says the contest, which starts this month and is due to run for a year, will seek auditions in a different category of talent every two weeks. Entrants can upload their pieces on a dedicated YouTube channel, to be viewed by the public and judged by professionals associated with Syco.

There will be prizes -- exactly what they are has yet to be announced -- every fortnight and a grand prize at the end of the year.

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Syco is a joint venture between Sony Music and Cowell, the entertainment mogul who became a household name as an acerbic judge on TV talent shows. Syco's projects include the X Factor and Got Talent TV shows in the U.S. and Britain, and its music acts range from Susan Boyle to One Direction. You Generation will be available in 15 languages and 26 countries around the world.

In separate Cowell news, the entrepreneurial-minded Cowell debuted a new cooking-contest show Wednesday on the U.K.’s ITV called Food Glorious Food, which was met with a lukewarm reception. With a reported viewership of 2.7 million, the program had the least-watched launch for any of Cowell’s shows.

Twitter: @Billboard