It strikes me that that Simon Cowell, The X Factor UK, and Simon’s production company Syco is in big trouble. The X Factor UK‘s ratings keep plummeting and I am afraid for the show’s future. Tangentially related to that is the fact that past winners Little Mix and Rak-Su are leaving the Syco label. Yikes.
This decision by Little Mix and Rak-Su to leave Syco probably doesn’t have anything to do with The X Factor UK‘s sagging ratings. Rather, it seems that the artists aren’t happy with the control and direction that Syco has over their work. When you win The X Factor UK, part of your prize is that you get signed to Simon’s label. Back in the day this was a guarantee of success. It’s not that Syco doesn’t know what they are doing. But imagine that Simon Cowell manages your career. He and the company he built probably doesn’t take kindly to people disagreeing with them. Little Mix is one of the most successful acts to come out of The X Factor UK, in fact the group was put together on the show. Syco released this terse statement,
“Syco Music will no longer work with Modest Management and therefore any artists signed to that management company. We do, of course, wish all artists affected by this decision every future success. Consequently, LM5, the forthcoming Little Mix album A&R’d [promoted] and released on Syco Music, is to be serviced by RCA at the request of Syco and Simon Cowell.”
While Rak-Su only won the show last year, clearly they felt as well that Syco wasn’t handling their careers properly. That’s the interesting thing about all of these shows. Time after time artists have told us that the record deal you get if you win the show sucks. We’ve heard it literally from contestants on The Voice, The X Factor, AGT, American Idol, and The Four. It’s almost better to not win and get the exposure. That way you won’t be trapped in a crappy record deal. If I were Simon I would start wondering about my future in British media. At least he still has America.