The 'X Factor' winners can't catch a break

By Francisco Flores,
None of the winners of the canceled show have hit it big

Friday’s announcement about the cancelation of the US version of The X Factor came as no surprise. After three dismal seasons of airing on Fox, the network along with creator, Simon Cowell, gave the show the axe. The constant change of hosts, judges and airing days made the show confusing to keep up with. No consistency brings bad ratings, even though Khloé Kardashian co-hosting for one season and Britney Spears appearing as a judge were very entertaining to watch. With those three seasons of the show came three winners: Melanie Amaro from season one, Tate Stevens, from season two and Alex and Sierra from season three. Take a look at each of the winners and how their careers have spanned out since winning the show.

Season one of went head to head with the tenth season ofAmerican Idol. The UK born X Factor finally made its US debut in 2011 with Simon Cowell spearheading the show as creator and as a judge. Melanie Amaro, who was mentored by Cowell in the “Girls” category, won the first season. Apart from getting the title of the first X Factor winner, she also got to take home a cool $5 million. She also starred in a Pepsi commercial that aired during the 2012 Superbowl. After winning, she released a cover of Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” as a single. She then followed up with the release of two other singles on iTunes, both of which failed to show off her amazing vocal range. Apart from the songs being less than stellar, they were very poorly produced, leading her career to a screeching halt. She had apparently recorded her debut album with Epic Records, but due to the little buzz her singles brought her, the album named Truly was shelved and she was taken off the site’s roster of artists.

Here is Melanie Amaro’s winning moment on season one of The X Factor:

Tate Stevens took the crown in the following season. After a great season, Stevens won with no surprise. He performed with little criticism every week and got the votes to take the title at the end. He also took home $5 million and appeared in a Pepsi commercial at the 2013 Grammy Awards, like season one winner, Amaro. Also like her, however, he met little success after winning. He did one-up Amaro by actually releasing an album, but sold less than 17,000 copies in its first week – a less than average number for a singing show winner. To make matters worse for Stevens, Fifth Harmony, a girl group assembled by Cowell in the same season, were able to release an EP following their stint on the show. They debuted at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, selling 28,000 copies. Other acts from the show also outsold Stevens’ attempt at a music career. Unfortunately, Stevens was also taken off of his record label’s website. RCA Nashville dropped Stevens and he is now doing local gigs around his hometown, according to Wet Paint.

Here’s Tate performing with Little Big Town on the finale:

The final winning act of The X Factor was a duo, a first for the short-lived singing competition show. Alex and Sierra, part of Simon’s “Groups” category, became a fan favorite right from their audition after their sultry rendition of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” Viewers loved their on-screen chemistry as a real-life couple as well as their softer take on the songs they performed on the show. They lead the competition the entire season, so their win was not really a shock. One thing the group lacked on the show was being spontaneous. Every performance they did, while comforting, was very cookie-cutter-ish for them. There was never any sort of difference between each performance. If they want to be successful when their album is released, they must find a way to surprise listeners or they will become easily bored. They are currently hard at work at writing and recording songs. The grand prize for season three went down to only $1 million, no Pepsi commercial and the lowest viewership of the show’s finale.

Take a look at Alex and Sierra’s audition that earned them a spot on the show:

Image: Fox

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