Camila Cabello & Fifth Harmony Parallel Zayn Malik & One Direction? Simon Cowell’s Hope

Has Simon Cowell’s Midas touch become tarnished, with the future of both bands that he put together unknown? As the news broke that Fifth Harmony now has four members as a result of the abrupt departure of Camila Cabello, some are comparing the situation with Cowell’s girl band to what happened when his boy band One Direction was shocked by the exit of Zayn Malik.

Fifth Harmony announced the news in a message to their fans, reported the Los Angeles Times.

“We have been informed via her representatives that Camila has decided to leave Fifth Harmony. We wish her well.”

The remaining singers signed the note. Camila’s departure occurred in the wake of Fifth Harmony’s performance at a Jingle Ball radio show in Miami. The day on which her exit was revealed “marked the conclusion of Cabello’s contractual obligations to the group,” according to a source cited by the Los Angeles Times, which pointed out that the singers have been seeking to defy the odds.

“The pop girl group…has had major odds to defy since its inception in 2012.”

The girl brand was put together by Simon Cowell on the United States edition of The X Factor. The members had initially tried their talent as individual contestants before Cowell stepped in to orchestrate the singers as a group effort. And it’s déjà vu all over again, because Simon crafted One Direction in the same manner on Britain’s version of The X Factor in 2010.

Simon Cowell put together individual "X Factor" contestants to create Fifth Harmony.
Simon Cowell put together individual "X Factor" contestants to create Fifth Harmony. [Image by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]

E News also compared the situation with the girl band to Zayn Malik and One Direction, pursenoting that Cabello’s decision to exit Fifth Harmony resembles Zayn, who “also started out as part of a five-person group but, before long, no longer had it in him to deal with that particular dynamic.”

Malik will mark a special anniversary in a few months: It will be two years since his own exit from One Direction. Fans initially were not sure whether Zayn had made the decision to leave One Direction to pursue a solo career or due to personal issues, but Malik didn’t keep them in suspense long before indicating his determination to carve out his own path. His success was clear when he earned his first American Music Award on his own.

While Camila has indicated she’s also prepared to go solo, even prior to the announcement there were indications that she was paralleling Zayn’s path with One Direction, noted E News.

“So many things about the lead-up to her departure, as well as the reaction to the news, reminds us of Zayn circa 2015.”

Just like Malik, the media outlet pointed out that Cabello “didn’t seem to be enjoying herself that much anymore.” And the parallels don’t stop there.

Simon Cowell made music history when he brought together Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Zane Malik and Niall Horan to form One Direction.
Simon Cowell made music history when he brought together Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Zane Malik and Niall Horan to form One Direction. [Image by Ian Gavan/Getty Images]

Both Cabello and Zayn have shared their struggles with anxiety. Prior to quitting One Direction, Malik listed stress as the reason for leaving the band’s On the World Again World Tour early (even as a solo artist, he cancelled a few performances due to anxiety).

“I have been working over the last three months to overcome my extreme anxiety around major live solo performances,” Zayn confessed.

Camila shared a similar confession about anxiety.

“I’ll start with the low because that led to the high,” said the songstress.

“I was having terrible anxiety, nonstop.”

Like Cabello, Zayn’s departure also was sudden. Although at first it was thought that Malik would return to croon with Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Liam Payne in South Africa, Zayn sung his final note with One Direction on March 18, 2015, in Hong Kong. Malik then announced his One Direction exit on March 25.

And just as with Simon Cowell’s girl band group now, speculation swirled after Zayn’s exit about whether One Direction would come together again. They subsequently took a hiatus.

“So, while the Fifth Harmony news is still fresh, people have to be wondering whether this is the group’s Zayn Malik moment (aka the beginning of the end),” pointed out E News.

Given that Simon Cowell put together both Fifth Harmony, what has he had to say about its future? In September, rumors swirled that Fifth Harmony members were not getting along, and Simon issued a hope for their future, reported Digital Spy.

At the time, there was “talk of Camila Cabello falling out with the rest of the group,” noted the media outlet, which revealed Cowell’s comments about the girl band.

“Same with any group. You know, we have conversations about what they want to do,” said Simon. “We’ve got to listen to them. It’ll be fine.”

But after that positive statement came the hint.

“I hope,” added Cowell.

[Featured Image by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]