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Now Simon Cowell wants to find great, um, talents on YouTube

TV talent competitions are suffering from radically reduced ratings. So how can Simon Cowell continue to make money? By partnering with YouTube.

It's like Aladdin's Vamp.
YouGenerationTV/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

How would you feel if Simon Cowell came out of the closet?

Yes, your closet. The one that is full of your truly fashionable black clothes and discarded board games.

That seems to be the remarkably exciting premise of a new venture created by Cowell, together with the nice people at YouTube.

TV talent shows have been struggling of late. Why, last week's "American Idol" managed a series low in the Thursday ratings.

Cowell's own "The X Factor" has largely been disappointing too. Can you tell me who won the last one? Or the first one, even? Or anyone who won "America's Got Talent?"

But the important thing is that Cowell must continue to make money. So this new venture -- snappily called "The You Generation" -- seeks to find the new YouTube star.

Yes, the greatest living singing-in-their-own-bedroom-with-a-hairbrush-for-a-microphone singer. Or the greatest tell-jokes-to-myself-in-the-mirror-and-can't-stop-laughing comedian.

Not merely in America, but in the whole, wide world.

The idea, as Mashable swoons, is that for the next whole year, aspiring performers will be able to upload their performances to the new You Generation channel on YouTube.

Then, Cowell's people -- and perhaps their people, too -- will dutifully observe to see mere slivers of genius emerging from the no-doubt millions of videos that will appear.

Beginning this Wednesday, 26 countries will be participating in this quest to find, well, someone unimaginably fabulous.

Every two weeks, new finalists will emerge. Winners will be announced every second Friday. They will win money. Oddly enough, it hasn't yet been declared how much money they'll win.

These winners will then go on to a Grand Finale, where the prize will be, oh something to be named later.

Please, just look at the promotional video I've embedded, dry your tears, and begin to practice.

This is your one chance to escape the drudgery, your one chance to show the world just who you really are and what you can do.

By this time next year, you could be crooning in Connecticut or telling jokes in Tel Aviv. And that has to be better than what you're doing now.

I would, though, caution you to read the small print of any contract before signing it (and after winning).

It sometimes seems as if the likes of Cowell have rather more bounteous lifestyles than those all too often forgotten and forgettable hopefuls who win his shows.