Today marks the start of The You Generation, a talent competition orchestrated by Simon Cowell (of American Idol and X Factor fame) and YouTube. But unlike Cowell's typical productions, which involve TV cameras and flashy theatre stages, this time the search begins and ends on the internet. Starting at 2PM Eastern, you'll be able to upload an audition showcasing your talent for consideration in the contest — and public ridicule from viewers across the globe, of course.

A new opportunity every two weeks

Each entrant will be reviewed by Syco Entertainment (Cowell's joint venture with Sony) and "experts in the relevant field" according to YouTube. Covering 26 countries, The You Generation will span 52 weeks, split up into two-week rounds. Each winner will pocket a cash reward and be grouped with other standouts to vie for a grand prize — neither party has yet revealed exactly what that will be.

More so than other industry executives, Cowell is intimately familiar with YouTube's starmaking power. Before Psy and Carly Rae Jepsen came along, a video snippet of Susan Boyle's performance on Britain's Got Talent propelled the singer to overnight fame. Syco is also largely responsible for the rise of One Direction — the boy band was formed after its members failed to individually qualify for X Factor in 2010. They've since sold over 14 million singles and Sony plans to release a 3D biopic (directed by Morgan Spurlock) this summer. Fittingly, One Direction will be taking part in a webcast kicking off The You Generation at 3PM EST.