With only days until the first official "X Factor" audition kicks off, Simon Cowell recently dished to MTV News about what he's looking for in an "X Factor" contender. And he admits he doesn't mind if contestants are a bit freaky.
"I love unusual people. I always say, you've got to embrace the madness," Cowell laughed. "I like that we're going to be very open-minded. I think we're going to have good enough people on this panel that we're not gonna miss out on anyone who's got potential."
So far, that judging panel includes famed record executive L.A. Reid, with more names to be announced soon. Mariah Carey reportedly passed on a judging opportunity, and Enrique Iglesias has been rumored to be a potential host for the show.
Cowell says that with so much to gain as the winner of "X Factor," it's all about going big or going home.
"Well, you know, there's $5 million at stake on this show, we're guaranteeing a winner a recording contract ... so we're looking for somebody who's not just gonna be an artist who sells records in America," he explained about making sure that special someone has global appeal.
"We want someone who's gonna sell all over the world," he continued. "You look at what's happened over the last couple of years, I think originality is key and you've got to be different to what's out there already ... I would say on this show, we're much more open to people being 'out there' and anything goes, basically."
Audition dates for the show begin on Sunday, March 27, in Los Angeles, and continue on April 7 in Miami, April 14 in Newark, New Jersey, April 20 in Seattle, April 27 in Chicago, and May 26 in Dallas.