Five aspiring solo singers audition for a singing competition, and after failing to progress individually, they come back as a group. After enduring weeks of intense competition, mentoring by Simon Cowell and amassing a huge fanbase, they make it to the finals, ultimately leaving the competition in third place. If this sounds like the beginning of world domination by a boy band named One Direction on the U.K. version of "X Factor," that's because it is.
It is also exactly how another group, Fifth Harmony, got their start on "X Factor" in the United States. From the very beginning, the comparisons were obvious. After last season's abysmal group appearances on the show, Simon Cowell was tasked with mentoring the groups for the next go-round. Little did we, and even Simon for that matter, realize just how far Fifth Harmony would ultimately succeed in the competition — just like their male U.K. counterparts.
"We're so grateful to be here. We were a newly formed group on the show. For us to have made it to the top three, it's such a blessing. We're in good spirits," group member Ally Brooke told MTV News backstage immediately following their elimination on the second season finale of "X Factor." "We didn't even expect to make it to the finals. The fact that we're here is such a blessing and we're so happy," Camila Cabello added.
After wowing judges and fans with their pop take on Ellie Goulding's "Anything Can Happen," as well as their soulful cover of the Beatles classic "Let It Be," it seems the future just became a little brighter for the fivesome.
When we spoke to Simon Cowell backstage, he hinted as much. "That's a strong possibility," said Cowell when asked if there was a chance that the girls would get signed to his label, Syco.
Since then, word has leaked that Fifth Harmony, along with runner-up Carly Rose Sonenclar and fellow group competitors Emblem3, would all ink music deals with Sony.
And while signing a record deal is a huge sign of faith for the girls, it is far from a sure sign of success. (Just look at last year's winners, Melanie Amaro, along with every other contestant, failing to catch on with the public.)
With this season's declining ratings, the departure of judge L.A. Reid and the possible firing of Britney Spears, it seems that the third season of "X Factor" will look very different, to say the least.
Perhaps with that in mind, Simon Cowell has publicly said that it's the legacy of music talent left behind that is the true measure of success — look no further than One Direction, arguably the most successful loser from any talent show across the pond or otherwise.
But will 5H, just like 1D, succeed? The last time an all-female group topped the Billboard albums charts was with Danity Kane in 2008, another female group formed on a reality TV show.
Since then, there has been dearth of female pop groups on the market, a vacuum that Simon Cowell, snarky TV judge by day and ruthless music executive and mogul by night, would be more than happy to exploit, something he did extraordinarily well in the boy-band market with One Direction.
It remains to be seen if the girls will be able to follow in the footsteps of their fellow group brethren, but as the girls were quick to point out throughout the course of their competition, anything can happen.