They went from underdogs to fierce competitors, and now “X Factor” girl group Fifth Harmony has inked a deal with Epic Records and mentor Simon Cowell’s Syco Music, the labels announced on Thursday.
Composed of Ally Brooke, Camila Cabello, Normani Hamilton, Dinah Jane Hansen and Lauren Jauregui, the teenage quintet entered the competition as solo singers and were placed together by the judges during boot camp.
During the competition the girls struggled to find their footing and were often criticized by the judges, including L.A. Reid (who has since exited the show to focus on his day job as chairman and chief executive of Epic), who said that despite their name there was no harmony within them.
However, under Cowell’s tutelage they began to flourish in the competition and their semifinals performance of Ellie Goulding’s “Anything Could Happen” proved to be a game changer. The group surprisingly edged out fan and judge favorite Emblem3 (who were also part of Cowell’s team) for a spot in the finale.
“I knew from the girls’ first performance at judges’ homes in Miami that we’d done the right thing. The chemistry between the Fifth Harmony girls both on and off stage is fantastic," Cowell said in a statement. "They are really great girls, who have become best friends. They’re great fun to be around and most importantly, they are all incredibly talented.”
They finished third behind teen prodigy Carly Rose Sonenclar and the season's champion, Tate Stevens. Ironically, the last group Cowell mentored, One Direction, placed third on the British version of "The X Factor" in 2010 after being put together on the show by the reality show magnate.
Their signing makes them the second "X Factor" finalist to secure a deal outside of the show's winner. Emblem3, the act the group edged out of the final three, signed with Syco/Columbia, and Stevens will issue his debut through Syco/RCA Records Nashville.
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