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Why Has ‘X Factor’ Winner Melanie Amaro Been So Quiet?

melanie-amaro
Mike Coppola, Getty Images

Now that the judging panel for the upcoming season of ‘X Factor‘ is set in stone, a whole new crop of hopefuls are surely dreaming of the fame and fortune that comes with the show’s $5 million grand prize.

But what happened to last year’s winner, Melanie Amaro?

The 19-year-old British Virgin Islands native has been relatively quiet since besting the competition on the debut season of ‘X Factor’ late last year, has only appeared in a Super Bowl ad for Pepsi. Her cover of Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect,’ released digitally at about the same time, reached No. 3 in dance and club play but never made the mainstream charts. In addition, there’s been almost no public chatter about an upcoming album.

So what gives?

Sources say Amaro has been ordered to slim her voluptuous frame before anything else happens, with one insider telling the Hollywood Reporter, “[Music executive] L.A. Reid is adamant that Melanie get thinner so he’s hired a trainer for her, has her on a strict diet and checks in personally every day to see how much weight she’s lost … When she comes back, it will be a whole new Melanie Amaro.”

A representative for Epic, Melanie’s record label, denies the claim, but a tweet from the singer last month may tell the story:

As for her record debut, she told Billboard.com she’s already laid down several songs but isn’t under any pressure to finish the record. Epic says the album is due out sometime this year but that an exact release date has yet to be determined.

‘X Factor’ creator Simon Cowell said during the show’s first season that the winner’s album may not be released until the next season is underway, but as he well knows from his years on ‘American Idol,‘ the public’s attention span is short.

With so many singing competitions on the air at any given time, waiting too long to capitalize on someone’s 15 minutes of fame could mean the death of a career before it even begins.

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