By LIZ THOMAS
The next Bieber? Simon Cowell apparently thinks that Ronan Parke will be Britain's version of Justin Bieber
He narrowly lost out on the Britain’s Got Talent crown following claims online that the competition had been fixed in his favour.
But despite coming second to surprise winner Jai McDowall, it looks like Ronan Parke will be first to the coveted prize of a record deal.
Sources at Sony Music said they are still keen to offer the 12-year-old a recording contract estimated to be worth between £1million and £1.5million in the hope that he will become the ‘British Justin Bieber’.
Recording contract? Sony Music is said to be preparing a contract for the 12-year-old
Big fan: Cowell has always been a big supporter of Ronan, despite the fix allegations making their friendship tense
By contrast, McDowall has admitted that Simon Cowell has yet to speak to him about signing to his Syco label.
The 24-year-old Scot said: ‘I am just going to focus on the tour and the Royal Variety Show. Anything else I guess would be a bonus.’
The care worker, who won the £100,000 top prize, said he ‘dreamed of landing an album deal’.
It would be a surprise if Cowell handed him one – as when he auditioned for The X Factor last year he failed to get past the ‘boot camp’ stage.
An average of 12.3million viewers tuned in on Saturday night – peaking at 14.1million – to see McDowall beat bookmakers’ favourite Parke.
The singer was bullish about suggestions he was only victorious because of a backlash against Cowell over the online allegations.
Emotional: Ronan with his mother last night after coming second in the talent show competition
He said: ‘I think I just upped my game and had a better performance on the night. Some people are going to like Ronan better and some people are going to like what I do better.’
He added that Parke was a ‘great guy’ who was unfazed by the online claims, and the pair had struck up an unlikely friendship.
Close call: The difference between Jai, 24, and Ronan has been revealed to be only 2.5 per cent
Winner: Jai McDowall, standing with Ant and Dec, won last night's talent show and £100,000
Watch vdo clips below:
Jai McDowall, winner of Britain's Got Talent 2011 performs
[TV] Britain's Got Talent 2011 - Ronan Parke: Finals