Belfast Telegraph

Casey Johnson axed from Union J after just 12 months - report

Union J's management are said to be keen for the group to push forward as a trio.

Casey Johnson has reportedly been axed from Union J after just 12 months with the boy band.

The group, who first found fame on The X Factor in 2012, were left floundering when George Shelley quit in March last year (16). They then invited Casey, from former X Factor group Stereo Kicks, to join in May that year, but now Union J have new management, bosses have apparently decided it would be better for JJ Hamblett, Jaymi Hensley and Josh Cuthbert to move forward as a trio.

"Management just didn’t think Casey was right for the band," a source told The Sun newspaper. "They ­realised this over the past few months. It was felt he could never really replace George and the band would be better off as a trio."

In fact, Union J began as a trio called Triple J when they auditioned for The X Factor, but during the process, George, who auditioned as a solo artist, was added to their line-up. He decided to leave the group amid plans to make a name for himself on the small screen, after his success on jungle-based reality show I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! in late 2015.

"He did the jungle, he came off it and his head space was different to ours," Josh previously told The Sun. "Using a sporting analogy, he wanted to turn up to the big matches but not turn up to training."

Jaymi added, "It's heartbreaking. I spoke to him the other day and I said I'm heartbroken over this. He wasn't putting his full effort in. One member is not bigger than the band."

However, a spokesperson for George insisted his former bandmates weren't telling the whole truth, saying, "It was a mutual decision for George to leave Union J so he could focus on his broadcasting and acting career. The fact of the matter is that the other members of Union J are simply jealous he has achieved the start of an exciting new career and they have not."

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