Cheryl Cole’s X Factor performance was one of the biggest telly talking points over the weekend – even threatening to overshadow the return of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.
But her meticulously planned music comeback went somewhat awry when her raunchy moves and poor vocals were slated by viewers.
Some pointed out that her ‘train wreck’ performance was cynically delivered to boost interest in her new single, Love Made Me Do It, which failed to set the charts alight when it entered at No.19.
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Cheryl’s X Factor performance was full of raunch
But others recalled just last week when Cheryl herself said she’d pack in her music career and focus on motherhood to toddler son Bear if her single failed the reach the heady heights of her earlier hits.
Even Simon Cowell seemed stunned by Cheryl’s overtly sexy performance , which saw her lick her own hand and writhe on the floor surrounded by male backing dancers.
He was spotted turning to Louis Tomlinson and mouthing, "Is she OK?" after Cheryl finished.
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Even Simon seemed taken aback by it
Here, body language expert Judi James points out just how Cheryl was really feeling throughout that jaw-dropping performance…
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Cheryl’s dance moves and vocals stunned the nation
At one point Cheryl started crawling along the floor in bizarre scenes
Sexy suddenly got serious for Cheryl on the X Factor, when the brand of naturally edgy and fun sexual charisma she normally exudes appeared to be swapped for a much more conscious, choreographed and industrial-strength effort at presenting herself as a risqué sexual icon in the style of Madonna or Cher.
It doesn’t matter one jot if she’s now a mum or that she’s over 30. What might matter, though, is if any of those changes and her relationship omnishambles have in any way made her feel pressured into changing her look and putting on an over-congruent display of raunch.
She licked her hand and gyrated with the male dancers
Judi thinks Cheryl’s performance indicated her concerns
A subtler comeback might have suggested higher levels of self-confidence that her time off hadn’t eroded, but Cheryl seemed to be pitching herself into the end of the market normally covered by older artists keen to re-brand by shocking to retain their iconic status, rather than just lying back and relying on her gorgeous looks and performing talent.
You probably don’t need to prove you’ve still got it when – as far as your fans are concerned – you never lost it in the first place.
Cheryl usually mimes her performances – but decided to sing live on The X Factor
(Image: Supplied by WENN)
Or was this sexual look aimed at another audience? With her split from Liam still hurting, it’s possible that this sultry version of Cheryl could also have been quietly aimed at showing her ex exactly what he’s missing.
*The X Factor continues Saturday on ITV
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