Some people are naturally talented and brilliant. They make it or they don’t – it all depends on Lady Luck and what they are willing to do, or not, to get there.
But others, with barely anything to demarcate them from the rest, seem to rise to the top pretty much effortlessly.
Which brings me neatly to Cheryl Cole and her confirmed return to the X Factor.
The prime time ITV show has seen a big dip in the ratings. The public seems to have wised up to the big-production, heavily edited and totally inauthentic “singing” contest that this program has become.
The X Factor finale in 2010 had more than 17 million viewers yet that figure dropped to 7.5 million by the time Sam Bailey was crowned the winner last year.
Simon Cowell is not one to take this laying down. This is a man who is as notorious for his constant quest for success as he is for his man boobs, weird body shape and dubious fashion choices.
Simon should have called me and I would have told him that the way to make X Factor successful again is easy: bring it back to basics, stop manipulating the audience and thinking that the viewers have the brain and attention span of a 5-year-old.
The manipulation on the program is so obvious that you can almost see the strings being pulled behind the scenes. It’s frankly insulting and I do believe that it is the reason the show has gone down in the ratings.
In any case, alas, Simon didn’t call me. No, what he did instead was trying his hardest to secure Cheryl Cole back as a judge on the panel.
I can only imagine that convincing Cheryl to “go back” must have taken a hell of a lot of grovelling, flattery on a scale not seen since Putin turned fifty – and, this is the big one, an outrageous amount of money.
But Cheryl, who had previously declared that she would NEVER go back, finally agreed to it.
It can’t have been an easy decision for her. The stakes were high. The Geordie girl has somehow managed to carve herself a reputation as a strong and feisty girl, despite the Ashley Cole debacle, and that’s a feat in itself.
Would a strong and feisty girl agree to enter into business again with a man who promised her “America” and then dropped her pretty much straight away when things went wrong?
Because that’s the crucial thing here: the USA X Factor disaster left Cheryl Cole humiliated on a massive scale – and the obvious culprit for that was Simon. Simon who convinced Cheryl that she could “make it” in the US, Simon who convinced her that the UK wasn’t enough for her anymore and that she could have, deserved even, so much more.
Except she couldn’t and didn’t. Nobody cared about Cheryl in the US and why should they? Yes, she is pretty, but the US is awash with pretty girls. Did she have a scintillating personality? A brilliant mind? Anything at all to offer?
Er….of course not, this is Cheryl we’re talking about.
So America didn’t take to her and to be honest, she wasn’t even given a chance at all, what with the being sacked pretty much straight away – not that it would have made any difference.
So Cheryl came back and licked her wounds. Being in hiding for a while gave her time to reflect and I like to think that she realised that she had been greedy – that the fact that she had been so lucky to have got to where she was with little or no talent was enough, and that she shouldn’t have wanted more.
Still, whatever lessons Cheryl learnt, or didn’t, she has now decided to revisit the past and come back to the UK X Factor.
After what happened. After what was said.
There are those that will say that she did learn her lesson and that she now knows her place and realises that this is the most she can aspire to – and is choosing to make the best of it. It’s fair enough I suppose but I can’t help but feel that this shows an absolute lack of integrity, pride and dignity that is quite sickening.
One of my friends, whom I was discussing this with yesterday, told me that: “you can’t expect integrity from a talentless girl who has few career choices right now.”
I guess he’s right. Cheryl’s albums have hardly set the world of music alight and having a platform like the X Factor is sure to massively boost any future “musical” efforts. The same goes for the advertising contracts. I’m not even going to talk about the shoe designing that was totally panned. Oops, I just did. In any case, whatever Cheryl decides to do next, the X Factor platform is going to be, quite literally, worth its weight in gold.
Will her return as a judge help the flagging program? It’s bound to see a surge in the ratings at first but I doubt she’s enough to bring it back to its former glory.
As for integrity, it has little or no place in the music world anyway.
Good luck to Cheryl. I’m sure the viewers are looking forward to her fashion choices (all picked by stylists), the pretty made-up face, the extensions-heavy carefully coifed hair and the generally mundane, sometimes “feisty” comments. Plus the obligatory tears as our Cheryl “has a big heart”.
Integrity? Talent? Pride? Dignity? Who cares.