On July 26, 2013, “The X Factor” U.K. released a mash-up music video featuring several “X Factor” U.K. alumni. The video was obviously made to remind people that the show has been responsible for finding several hit-making singers over the years. (“The X Factor” U.K. premiered in 2004.) However, the video clearly snubs some of the show’s winners (namely, Matt Cardle, Leon Jackson and Steve Brookstein), by leaving them out of the video, as if the show wants to forget that these winners existed.
Another thing about the video that is noticeable to people who follow “X Factor” news is that a few of the winners in the video lost their record deals with Sony Music, but of course the video is not going to mention that these alumni’s “X Factor” success couldn’t help them keep a major record deal.
And curiously, Jahmene Douglas (who came in second place on “The X Factor” U.K. in 2012) is not included in the video, even though his first album, “Love Never Fails,” debuted at No. 1 in the U.K.
Cardle (winner in 2010), Jackson (winner in 2007) and Brookstein (winner in 2004) are not in the video. They all had No. 1 songs in the U.K., but they were all dropped by Sony Music after releasing their respective first albums with Sony Music.
Here is a list of who’s in the video (which is a mash-up of “X Factor” alumni music videos) and how their careers have gone since they were on “The X Factor” U.K. (All of these artists are signed to Sony Music, unless otherwise noted.)
James Arthur (winner in 2012) — He had a massive international hit with his first single, a cover version of Shontelle’s “Impossible,” which went to No. 1 or No. 2 in several countries. (The song was not released in the U.S.) The title and release date for Arthur’s first album (on Sony Music’s Syco Music) are to be announced, but the album is being planned for release before the end of 2013.
Misha B (fourth place in 2011) — She has had three Top 40 singles in the U.K. but her first album on Sony Music’s Relentless has not yet been released. The title of the album is to be announced.
Alexandra Burke (winner in 2008) — Burke had huge success in the U.K. and Ireland with her 2009 debut album, “Overcome,” which went double platinum and spawned several Top 10 U.K. singles. But her second album, “Heartbreak on Hold,” bombed when it was released in 2012. In 2013, she parted ways with Sony Music and is now looking for another record deal. Burke’s music has not been released in the U.S.
Joe McElderry (winner in 2009) — McElderry had a No. 1 hit in the U.K. with his first single (2009’s “The Climb”), but he was dropped by Sony Music in 2011 after his first album, 2010’s “Wide Awake,” failed to meet sales expectations. McElderry has since released three albums on Universal Music’s Decca Records. His biggest-selling album is 2011’s “Classic,” a collection of cover songs, which went gold in the U.K.
JLS (second place in 2008) — JLS had several No. 1 hits in the U.K. and Ireland, but the group never became a big success outside of those countries. In April 2013, JLS announced that it was amicable disbanding at the end of the year.
Leona Lewis (winner in 2006) — Lewis had a big international hit with her 2007 debut album, “Spirit” (featuring the smash single “Bleeding Love”), but her subsequent two albums (2009’s “Echo” and 2012’s “Glassheart”) have had sold even less than its predecessor. “Glassheart” was such a sales disappointment that Sony Music hasn’t bothered to release it in the U.S., where Lewis’ “Collide” single bombed when it was released in 2011.
Amelia Lily (third place in 2011) — She has had three Top 40 singles in the U.K., but her first album, “Be a Fighter,” for Sony Music’s Xenomania has been repeatedly postponed and currently does not have a release date.
Little Mix (winner in 2011) — Little Mix has had Top 10 hits in several countries, including the U.K., where the group has had its biggest success and most No. 1 hits. Little Mix’s first album, “DNA,” has been certified platinum in the U.K., gold in Ireland and gold in Australia. But it hasn’t gone gold or platinum in the numerous other countries where the album was released. In other words, the album debuted high on the charts but didn’t have much sales staying power in most of the countries where it was released.
Cher Lloyd (fourth place in 2010) — She has had Top 40 hits in several countries, usually for her first album, “Sticks & Stones,” and the single “Want U Back.” Her biggest success has been in the U.K., but in America she’s still a one-hit wonder.
Olly Murs (second place in 2009) — He has had Top 40 hits in several countries. His biggest success has been in the U.K. and Ireland, where he has had many No. 1 hits.
One Direction (third place in 2010) — One Direction has become the biggest-selling worldwide act from “The X Factor.” The group has had No. 1 hits and sold-out tours in several countries. One Direction’s first two albums are “Up All Night” and “Take Me Home.” The group’s third album (title and release date to be announced) is being planned for release in the last quarter of 2013.
Union J (fourth place in 2012) — Union J’s first single, “Carry You,” was a Top 10 hit in the U.K. when it was released in June 2013. The title and release date for Union J’s first album (on Sony Music’s RCA Records) are to be announced, but the album is being planned for release before the end of 2013.
Shayne Ward (winner in 2005) — He released three albums with Sony Music (2006’s “Shayne Ward,” 2007’s “Breathless” and 2010’s “Obsession”) before he was dumped by Sony after “Obsession” failed to meet sales expectations. “Shayne Ward” and “Breathless” went platinum in the UK. and multiplatinum in Ireland. “Obsession” didn’t even go gold in either country. Ward is currently an unsigned artist.
Aug. 18, 2013 update: Cardle commented to the Mirror about being left out of the video: “I wasn’t miffed at all. I expected to be cut from the mash-up video right from the start. I’m currently finishing my third album in less than three years and I love what I do.”