Good news for the world’s six remaining undiscovered singers: Simon Cowell’s new Internet talent search, “The You Generation,” officially begins this afternoon. As the X Factor head honcho’s company, Syco Entertainment, first explained last month, the contest will be conducted via YouTube and welcomes all sorts of “unconventional and original talents” — including photography, cooking, visual art, makeup application, and magic as well as music.
One Direction — a band formed on Cowell’s original, British X Factor — will kick things off with a live stream interview at 3 p.m. ET. After that, fans are welcome to upload their own auditions to TYG’s YouTube page. The competition includes 26 distinct categories. Winners of each individual contest will be announced every two weeks; those victors will go on to compete for a grand prize, to be awarded one year from TYG’s launch.
Cowell himself explains the impetus for his newest venture in the video below, which also introduces the contest’s cheery host, Will Best. (Somewhere, Steve Jones weeps.) “Years ago you’d have these awful showcase. You’d have to trek across London, all the record companies would be there, the acts were normally terrible. The system’s changed now,” Cowell says, speaking from an office apparently outfitted with padded walls. “[YouTube] has literally changed the music business for the good.”