Cheryl Cole wows us with her X Factor performance of Promise This

As a singer and performer, I’ve often given Cheryl Cole a hard time on this site for being a) not the best live singer ever, and b) seeming less than interesting on stage.

However, I’ve got to say – based on several rewatchings – that Cheryl impressed me when she performed Promise This on last night’s X Factor results show. The singing was fantastic, I love the song (as I’ve already said), and her performance was lively. The dance routine was great – she showed a lot of personality and energy on stage for the first time in ages.

I know that often people criticise Cheryl for being one dimensional and not talented enough to carry off a solo career, but if last night’s performance was anything to go by, Cheryl has turned a corner. That was a performance I’d expect from a big name American star, not a former reality TV show winner and former WAG!

Well done Cheryl!

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  1. Dara Hickey

    She mimed to a pre-recorded live vocal, it was obvious in the mic differences; she sung most of the verses live but there was no way anyone called pull off that choreography and those long notes without quavering a little; the long notes in the chorus were pre-recorded most definitely, as there was no reverberation from her mic.

  2. Gerard McGarry

    Well, we can quibble over whether Cheryl’s performance was mimed or not. I had my suspicions, but the official word from ITV is that she was singing ‘mostly’ live. I think she had a backing track to support her during the more rigorous parts of the routine, but I’m convinced I heard some live vocal.

    Regardless of that, she still impressed me with that performance. And you know that I’ve been heavily critical of her, especially during that first solo album.

  3. magsmagenta

    The thing for me is that even with help from the backing track, and I think Autotune, her voice is still ordinary, I was hearing about long high notes, but they didn’t sound that exceptional to me, at least nothing that I wouldn’t expect from a professional singer, and even the dancing wasn’t that great.

    Why dance anyway if it interferes with the singing performance? It is possible to work choreography to fit in with the singing, they do it in musical theatre all the time.

    I think people nowadays have far too much tolerance for autotune and miming, a lot of it does come from the old days of TOTP where the acts had to mime because the technology wasn’t up to live performances, but nowadays it shouldn’t matter, there should be no excuse for it.

    As people seem to have forgotten what a live vocal actually sounds like, here is Adam Lambert on Australian X-Factor, with the same people and outfits he has on his Glamnation Tour:

    And here on the Glamnation Tour with a dance routine tailored around a live vocal, as opposed to the vocal being secondary to the dance. It just takes a bit of extra thought on the part of the Choreographer who is one of Adams friends from his musical theatre days. He does have a backing track, but you’ll notice he tends to improvise around it as opposed to using it as a prop for poor vocals.

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