“The X Factor” auditions coming here April 27

The UK hit show, “The X Factor” – still another riff on talented amateur singers seeking fame and fortune – will hold one of its six nationwide auditions in Chicago on April 27 at the Sears Center Arena.  

What makes this show particularly well worth entering is the massive grand prize.  At $5 million, it’s the largest payoff for a winner of a reality TV show.  

The prize money will be paid out at $1 million a year for five years, along with a record deal with Sony Music.

Originated in the UK by executive producer Simon Cowell, “The X Factor” will premiere in September on Fox TV, also home to “American Idol.”  It’s said that the UK show might be postponed until January, 2012 to avoid conflicting with live finals of the U.S. iteration.

Auditions are open to solo singers and vocal groups who are legal U.S. residents and at least 12 years old. Contestants must also be able to legally work in the United States, and cannot have a music recording contract.

Audition rules stipulate that “camping out for days in advance at the location will not be allowed.”  Instead, the show will distribute wristbands at 6 a.m. at the audition venue and those persons will gain entry when the audition doors open at 9 a.m.

Cowell will be one of the four on the judging panel.  Cheryl Cole, a judge on the UK show, might also join the American panel.  

Other judges will be announced later as they come aboard this month or in April as they come aboard.  

The judges will mentor contestants in four categories: young female solo singers, young male solo singers, vocal groups and older solo singers.