‘The X Factor’s’ Melanie Amaro and Chris Rene head to Epic Records

Can the first crop of “X Factor” finalists strike sales gold (or platinum) for Sony Music? The record company certainly hopes so as it moves into final stages of negotiations with at least four of the contestants.

Both winner Melanie Amaro and finalist Chris Rene are in discussions with Sony”s Epic imprint, which is run by “X Factor” judge Antonio “L.A.” Reid, according to The Hollywood Reporter.   However, Hits Daily Double says that Amaro”s deal is already done and that she will start in a Pepsi Super Bowl commercial in February as well.

Additionally, runner-up rocker Josh Krajcik and one-named Astro will also land at Sony, although, as the winner,  Amaro is the only one who”s guaranteed the big $5 million payday.  We find it a little interesting that “X Factor” creator Simon Cowell, who mentored Amaro, isn”t choosing to sign her to his Syco imprint, but he says there”s no mystery: “We all agreed that Epic would be the right fit for Melanie. L.A. made it clear that he wanted the opportunity to work with her and with his track record, you can”t say no to that,”  according to Hits. That may be the nicest thing he”s ever said about Reid.

The big question is can “The X Factor” convert the fan frenzy from the show into music sales? While Sony is certainly doing well,  last year it lost the “American Idol” franchise as that deal moved over from Sony (via Sony”s merger with original “AI” partner RCA) to Universal Music Group starting with the Season 10 cast. (Sony still keeps the artists it signed previously, such as Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood).  Universal’s Interscope imprint has already snapped up Haley Reinhart and Pia Toscano, while winner Scotty McCreery and runner up Lauren Alaina are on country imprint, Mercury Nashville.

The winners of the U.K. edition of “The X Factor,” which Cowell launched in 2004, have all gone on to have No. 1 singles in England. The most successful winner to hit our shores has been Leona Lewis.