For its first season without Simon Cowell, American Idol lowered its minimum age of eligibility from 16 to 15. But Simon Cowell will not be outdone by Idol: His forthcoming singing-competition show X-Factor will permit everyone 12 and over to participate. Hear that, Idol? Cowell will find the next Bieber before you! Nahnahnananah! Also, the winner of X-Factor will receive a $5 million recording contract — that doesn't mean the winner will actually receive $5 million, just a contract the record company says is "worth" $5 million, so it sounds more impressive than it actually is. Still, there are indubitably some nuts parents out there keen to procure that money for their kid, and Simon Cowell is now going to meet every one of them. Brave man.
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