The ink has yet to hit the paper, but like "X Factor" winner Melanie Amaro, finalist Chris Rene will soon sign a recording contract with Epic Records, sources tell the Hollywood Reporter.
The Santa Cruz-based rapper, who was mentored by "X Factor" judge and Epic Records chairman L.A. Reid, made it to third place on the show's inaugural season, although Rene won America's heart early on with his story of drug addiction and recovery along with the self-penned original number "Young Homie," which he sang at his first audition (the Youtube clip has since amassed over 11 million views). According to Reid, Rene is recording a new version of the song which will feature top-notch production.
Fellow "X Factor" contestant Astro and runner-up Josh Krajcik are also expected to land deals at Sony Music. Says an insider: "The star power is there for a number of them -- they're relevant, contemporary recording artists with great chart and radio potential."
Of course, none of the finalists will see the sort of payout awarded to Amaro, who'll pocket $5 million over the next five years. Today's major label contract can advance between $150,000 on the low end and $500,000 on the high end for a new artist on a multi-album deal, but often much of that money is recoupable by the record company after it's paid for the record's production, promotion and a slew of other costs.
Watch Chris Rene's finale performance of "Young Homie" below: