Two of the “X Factor” U.S. groups that made it to the show’s Top 16 of 2012 and that are being mentored by “The X Factor” executive producer Simon Cowell have already to start to cause problems for very different reasons. According to reports on TMZ, the guys in the trio Emblem3 have been acting like the “bad boys” of the show behind the scenes, while five-member girl group Lylas are in a dispute with another girl group with the same name. “The X Factor” Lylas were formed in August 2012, long after the other Lylas had the name, so “The X Factor” Lylas probably have no legal choice but to change their name.
The members of Emblem3 (16-year-old Keaton Stromberg, his 18-year-old brother Wesley Stromberg and 20-year-old Drew Chadwick) almost got kicked out of their hotel because of their loud and wild partying. Here is an excerpt from TMZ’s report: “We’re told the boys threw a massive party in their hotel room this week partying, which included other ‘X’ finalists. According to our sources, it got so loud that hotel guests complained and called security … who then shut down the party, and threatened to kick the boys out. We’re told ‘X’ producers — who are footing the bill for all the contestants — had to swoop in and save the day, by begging the hotel to let them stay. A source close to the show tells us, ‘All the partying Emblem3 is doing is distracting the other contestants and they’ve been warned to behave.'”
On June 17, 2012, when I saw “The X Factor” auditions in Oakland, California (where Emblem3 auditioned), I said in my report that Cowell acted as he wanted to sign the group right there at the auditions. It seemed pretty clear to me then that Cowell was going to sign Emblem3 to his Syco Music label (which he co-owns with Sony Music), regardless of where Emblem3 ultimately places in the competition.
But if Cowell is hoping that Emblem3 is going to be as big as “X Factor” U.K. boy band One Direction (the biggest worldwide act to emerge from “The X Factor”), then he shouldn’t get his hopes up too high. Emblem3 has been arrogantly bad-mouthing other contestants in every episode so far that has featured Emblem3. Although Emblem3 may get a certain number of passionate fans (who will no doubt be mostly female), it’s doubtful that this group will go very far on the charts. And it’s not just because “X Factor” U.S. alumni have been flopping on the charts.
One Direction is a massive success in no small part because the members of the group are very likable. Not once did One Direction ever insult fellow contestants on camera when One Direction was on “The X Factor” U.K. in 2010. And to this day, One Direction still hasn’t publicly insulted anyone from “The X Factor.” The members of One Direction come across as humble and very appreciative of their success.
By contrast, the members of Emblem3 are too cocky and act as if they’ve already “made it” when they haven’t even had a hit yet. Some of the people whom Emblem3 has been insulting on the show could turn out to be bigger stars than Emblem3. Stranger things have happened in life. And if Cowell and company pay attention to viewers’ feedback about Emblem3 on the Internet, then they would know that Emblem3’s arrogance has been turning off a lot of potential fans. People have also been making fun of Emblem3 member Chadwick’s tendency to take his shirt off every time he’s in front of the TV cameras.
So in other words, Cowell better not invest too much money in Emblem3. If they’re this difficult now, imagine what nightmares they’ll be if they ever have a hit.
In 2012, Cowell is mentoring the Groups category, which also includes hip-hop trio Lyric 145 and country-music trio Sister C.
Meanwhile, “The X Factor” Lylas were said to be “shocked” that another group had the same and were dismayed that the other Lylas were not only insulting “The X Factor” Lylas on the Internet but were also accusing the “The X Factor” Lylas of deliberately stealing their name. The members of other Lylas group happen to be four sisters of Grammy-winning pop star Bruno Mars. According to TMZ, “the ‘X Factor’ girls are getting ready to wave the white flag — with one source telling us they’re already brainstorming ideas for a new name.”
(The name Lylas is also spelled LYLAS, which is an acronym for Love You Like a Sister.)
The members of “The X Factor” Lylas are 19-year-old Ally Brooke, 15-year-old Camila Cabello, 16-year-old Normani Hamilton, 15-year-old Dina Jane Hansen and 16-year-old Lauren Jauregui. They all originally auditioned for “The X Factor” as solo singers but were rejected and then put together in a group by Cowell and other “X Factor” decision makers.
This isn’t the first time that an “X Factor”-created group has had a legal dispute over its name. In 2011, “X Factor” U.K. girl group Little Mix was originally called Rythmix until a U.K. music charity named Rythmix threatened to sue unless the group changed its name. Little Mix went on to become the first group to win on “The X Factor” U.K.
In 2012, One Direction (which came in third place on “The X Factor” U.K. in 2010) was sued by an American rock band that was also calling itself One Direction. The “X Factor” One Direction countersued. The case was eventually settled out of court, and the American band changed its name to Uncharted Shores.
The members of Little Mix and One Direction all originally auditioned for “The X Factor” as solo singers and were put together in their respective groups by “The X Factor” after the show rejected them as solo singers. Little Mix and One Direction went on to have No. 1 hits in the U.K. and Ireland, but One Direction’s success has been worldwide, while Little Mix is not very well-known outside of Europe.
Considering the dismal sales of “X Factor” U.S. alumni so far, it remains to be seen if “The X Factor” Lylas group (whose new name is to be announced) will have any hits in the U.S.
In the meantime, “The X Factor” can certainly afford a legal team to find out if names being considered for a group are legally available to use. You’d think this research would be done before the group is introduced to the public under a certain name, but that kind of work obviously isn’t happening behind the scenes. It seems very counter-productive and costly to neglect these name clearances. These “X Factor”-created groups would avoid a lot of hassle, confusion and embarrassment if the names chosen for them are legally cleared in the first place.