photo: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImageFollowing last week's news that "X Factor" contestants Emblem3 have signed to Simon Cowell's Syco Records, today it was announced that Simon's other top four group from Season 2, Fifth Harmony (Ally Brooke, Camila Cabello, Normani Hamilton, Dinah Jane Hansen, and Lauren Jauregui) has also joined the Syco roster, in conjunction with former judge L.A. Reid's Epic Records.
Fifth Harmony's debut album will be executive-produced by Julian Bunetta, who has worked with Jason Derulo, Lupe Fiasco, Flo Rida, Augustana, Jessica Simpson, Natasha Bedingfield, and "X Factor U.K." alums Leona Lewis, Alexandra Burke, JLS, and One Direction. Said Julian in Syco's new press release: "I had the pleasure of working with the girls of Fifth Harmony on 'The X Factor,' and I am very excited to continue to work together on their debut album with Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid. It was remarkable to watch these five young women from across America go from being strangers to becoming a true group of friends who all care for each other and believe in each other. I believe pop music is overdue for a girl group that can represent the young ladies of this new generation. Fifth Harmony is that group."
Other collaborators on the album will include Autumn Rowe (Leona, Alexandra, Cher Lloyd) and Lil' Eddie (Pink, Usher, Jessie J). The album doesn't have an official release date yet, but if Simon and L.A. are smart, it'll coincide with the "X Factor's" Season 3 premiere in September.
"I knew from the girls' first performance at judges' homes in Miami that we'd done the right thing," Simon stated in Syco's somewhat revisionist-historical press release, sorting of glossing over the fact that he ignored the girls for much of Season 2 while hyperfocusing on his golden boys Emblem3. But regardless of when exactly Simon realized that he had a potential superstar act on his hands, he seems to be doing the right thing now, and he seems very enthusiastic about 5H's chances for post-"X Factor" success. "The chemistry between the Fifth Harmony girls both on- and offstage is fantastic," he said today. "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."
Fifth Harmony are now the third act to be signed from "The X Factor" Season 2, following the aforementioned Emblem3 and, of course, winner Tate Stevens. No word yet on whether runner-up Carly Rose Sonenclar, arguably the strongest singer of Season 2, will land her own deal, or if Simon will finally get wise and sign his one remaining group from last season, the totally robbed Lyric 145. Watch this space.