X Factor UK Winner Ben Haenow Dropped By Simon Cowell Label
Bad news for fans of The X Factor 2014 winner Ben Haenow: the singer has been dropped by Simon Cowell and Syco.
A mere three months after releasing his latest single, “Slamming Doors”, Ben has been released from his contract. His single failed to chart despite a high-profile performance on The X Factor UK this past season, making the decision clear for Simon, unfortunately. What makes this awkward is that Simon mentored Ben to the win on the 2014 season of The X Factor UK, yet he’s put all his backing in Ben’s fellow Over 25s teammate, and first runner-up on the 2014 season, Fleur East. As a result, Fleur has been doing a far better job on the charts (although you could make the argument that Fleur would have always outsold Ben. With songs like “Sax” out there, it’s hard not to wanna get aboard the Fleur East bandwagon). Still, Ben nabbed the coveted Christmas No. 1 the year he won the show, which is something not even the most recent X Factor winner can say.
Sadly, Ben’s firing is now the quickest an X Factor winner has ever been dropped by the label, and although Simon reportedly “made the decision with a heavy heart,” it apparently all came down to numbers.
“He was a big supporter of Ben but it’s simply down to business — Fleur East, who came second, has done much better,” a source told The Sun. “And at the end of the day our winners, especially the blokes, never have the same success as the likes of One Direction and Olly Murs.”
I’m not entirely sure how this happened. Ben seemed like he was on the fast-track to superstardom, particularly after releasing the awesome “Second Hand Heart” duet with Kelly Clarkson. He really had all the qualities necessary to be a major star, from the looks to the voice to the stage presence. Part of me wonders if he wouldn’t have been better served fronting a band rather than being a solo artist straight out the gate. Perhaps he can relaunch his career by getting some talented musicians behind him, because I still see loads of untapped potential in the guy. Rock should be his wheelhouse, rather than pop or soul or whatever secondhand OneRepublic routine they had him doing. I’m still rooting for Ben to succeed.
Naturally, Ben released a statement confirming he’d been dropped, but it’s possibly the most optimistic, upbeat firing confirmation we’ve ever read here:
Working with The X Factor and Syco has been the most amazing time of my life and has given me the best possible platform for me and the start of my career. However, after discussions both myself and Syco felt it was the right time to move on. I am really very excited about this next chapter, I’m already writing and in talks about the next album and loads of other stuff on the go. I cant wait to share it with you.
With all that having been said, this now has me worried for Louisa Johnson, who apparently had the worst-selling winner’s single of any X Factor champion in history. Hopefully, she finds her feet again by the time her debut album is released, because a cover of a Bob Dylan song didn’t really fit her style anyway. Either way, we wish the best to Louisa, and we wish the best to Ben, no matter what path their respective futures in the music industry happen to take.
But what do you think of Ben Haenow getting dropped by Syco? Good call or a premature decision? Sound off in the comments!
And for more on The X Factor and Syco Music, find out which finalist from this past season just got signed to the label!