Taio Cruz has argued that television talent shows such as The X Factor have helped to make record companies lazy.

The Come On Girl star is currently working with former winners Leona Lewis and Shayne Ward but admits the programme helps performers who might be overlooked reach the big time.

The 24-year-old's album Departure was labelled "one of the best albums of the year" by Simon Cowell and so impressed with Cruz's work was The X Factor judge that he's signed him up to work with Leona and Shayne.

"I work with Leona in about a week or two but I've started with Shayne already - we've done four songs together and his stuff's sounding really awesome," he told inthenews.co.uk.

"It's just a cooler sound for him, in the way that Justin Timberlake broke out of that typical pop and moved it forward to a cooler element.

"With Leona the plan is to do really big songs but with cool production."

When asked his opinion on the value of television talent shows, Cruz admitted that performers such as Leona and Shayne might not have broken through without them.

"Record companies are lazy!" he joked. "They don't look for artists in that way anymore or develop acts, now they're just so used to having a band that already has a following and just taking that on.

"That's really what those TV shows provide, they provide a fanbase of however many millions of people who've been watching it on TV."

He added: "The record companies Take That performer then get artists like myself to write tunes for them.

"I also say that an artist isn't just a performer - the performer is like the gallery and the artist is whoever created the music."

Taio Cruz's new single She's Like A Star is released on August 11th.

31/07/2008 00:02:01