X Factor Same Difference says Woolworths collapse played part in band’s failure

Same Difference claims that the collapse of Woolworths played a part in the failure of the X Factor group.

Singing siblings Sarah and Sean Smith thrilled and baffled the judges in equal measure with their energetic rendition of I’ll Be There For You during the audition. The judges took a chance on the brother and sister duo – and they finally sailed through to the final in 2007.

Same Difference ultimately finished in third place behind Rhydian Roberts and show winner Leon Jackson. However, the band’s rise to fame almost didn’t happen as they first auditioned separately before a producer suggested they sing together – as Online Mirror Reports.

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They were signed to Simon Cowell’s music label Syco after the show and released their debut album named Pop in 2008. However, they were dropped by the label due to disappointing sales.

Sean admitted that he wished the band had had a longer opportunity to grow their fan base. He added: “There were pop bands like The Saturdays back then where we sold out in a week when they had been going for six weeks. They got second contracts and were constantly pushed in the media.

“It feels like we never got the chance. Either we were going to be as huge as Leona Lewis was the year before and be multi-platinum all over the world, or it just wasn’t going to happen.”

The album was released against the backdrop of the 2008 recession and Sean said the album’s failure was partly due to the collapse of Woolworths, which had bought the majority of the band’s shares.

He said: “It didn’t help that there was a huge recession back then in 2008. It was easier to cut the fat off the pounds. That’s life, you take the ups and downs the lows. We then had to wait to get out of Woolworths stock. That certainly had an effect.

“I remember thinking ‘and then if they want to get it, they can get it’. But the type of market we were in was kids going to Woolworths with their parents, struggling to get the CD. It was a blow for us at the time.”

“It certainly had a huge impact on our future careers and that was a real shame.” They create a song and dance school for young fans, the Same Difference Pop Academy, then release the second album “The Rest is History” with an independent label.

However, they broke the news that they were splitting to devastated fans in December 2014, with Sean telling us they wanted to get ‘nostalgic’ rather than ‘castigate a dead horse’. Revealing why they broke up, Sean says, “Obviously I always wanted to go solo from the start, because I auditioned alone.

“It just got to the point where brother and sister had worked together for so long, we used to kill each other when we were kids, and then worked constantly every day and on tour. It just got a little too much. We knew Same Difference was losing its lifespan a bit at that time.Sometimes it’s better to leave things in the past.

Sarah fulfilled her dream of starting a family, having two children with her husband, and opened her own dance school in their hometown of Portsmouth. Sean said they still have a close relationship.

He added: “Right away Sarah got into buying a church and did it all with her dance school. It really put her and her husband on a new path and now they are absolutely thriving. It was definitely the right thing for her.

“We have huge respect for each other now. Sometimes we pulled in different directions and as a family it’s hard to do that. The kids are absolutely amazing. Being an uncle is amazing. J can already hear the boys singing and it’s like a new generation of the family is coming.”

Sean has embarked on a solo career and said he appreciates finally being able to explore his sexuality. He said: “The whole time I was in Same Difference I was seen as the brother of the duo. I was a bit asexual in the way people knew me. I was able to come out and say that’s it. is who I am and sing about relationships, love and sex.”

The singer released his first solo single ‘Turn Me On’ in September 2016 and his first solo album ‘Solo’ in July 2020. His second album ‘Swing For The 90’s’ was released in April last year and the new single Sean’s ‘In Love With The Night’ was released earlier this month and shot to the top of the dance chart.

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