As the final four X Factor competitors head to the semifinals, it's likely all will be signed to major record-label deals.
Among the most likely of pop stars is Huntington Beach, Calif.-based trio Emblem3, who, while expressing their dissatisfaction with recent performances, are hoping to unveil a more original sound post-competition. And though mentor Simon Cowell has urged them to stick with the mainstream for their performances on the Fox show (the anti-boy band has so often been compared to X Factor U.K. alum One Direction), it appears he still believes in their ska punk-like roots.
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Asked whether he'd sign Emblem3 to his label -- even if they don't win -- Cowell told reporters, "I think there's a pretty good chance. I'm not going to let anyone else get them."
Adding, "There'll be some pretty big announcements at the end of the show."
Cowell kept mum on whether he had similar plans for his other remaining group, Fifth Harmony, but assured reporters that he would continue to "back both of them," rather than put all his eggs in Emblem3's basket.
When THR spoke to Wesley Stromberg, Keaton Stromberg and Drew Chadwick after Thursday's taping, the boys were elated to hear what Cowell had said.
"That makes me feel very good," said Wesley, the birthday boy with stars in his eyes. "He's probably got his poker face on. He just wants us to focus on what's going on, so he's probably not telling us that on purpose, but this is awesome. That's super cool. We're probably gonna do better now actually, that's motivation."
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So has the band thought about what their debut release will sound like?
"We want it to be like the last Sublime album that was ever released," said Drew. "The one with Bradley [Norwell]," clarified Wesley.
Added Keaton, "We want it to be as real as possible."
Asked about their game plan for next week, the boys joked that they would "sing songs" and do some "interpretive dance."
We're not sure Cowell will sign off on that, but we are sure that whatever they do next week will be entertaining. What do you think of Emblem3's future in the biz? Tell us in the comments below.