X Factor winner Sam Bailey has said she's "pleased" to have been dropped and hopes to go on to crack America on her own.
The 2013 champ released a Number 1 album last year but was dropped by Simon Cowell's Syco record label mid-way through her headline tour earlier this Spring.
Sam insisted at the weekend that she was glad to have been let go, saying that she was never going to be a "superstar" like her Top 40 rivals.
The mum of three told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “If I was still with Syco I guarantee I probably would have done another covers album. They would have kept me down there sitting pretty while they concentrated on all the bigger artists.
“I am very thankful for everything they did. Simon has always been polite and nice to me. I understand he’s a businessman at the end of the day.”
Following the axe, Sam has big plans to continue with her music and hopes to crack America.
Speaking from New York, the former prison officer said: “I have had some meetings with music producers and companies while I’ve been out here. I’d love to crack America, I want people to hear me sing out here.
“I’ve written a couple of songs, one of which I’m hoping will be a single. There’s so much going on for me and different doors are opening."
Sam added: "I’m excited for the future."