The Cheryl Cole Factor

Posted on June 2, 2011

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STOP EVERYTHING! LITERALLY EVERYTHING! Stop the presses, stop the scheduled programming (I don’t care if it is Holby City). Ignore the fact that the world’s most wanted man has been killed and quietly disposed of, ignore the fact that another mass-murdering war criminal has been arrested after being on the run for over a decade, ignore the fact that the world’s football hierarchy is turning into a dictatorship with more money than some small countries and the fact that one of its professional ball kickers has been thinking with his, presumably, gold plated bell-end and making a farce out of the law and free speech (and not a funny farce, more like something you’d expect to see Steve Martin in, or Eddie Murphy in a fat suit). So yes, stop everything, possibly even stop breathing, because the nation’s favourite tone-deaf singing star has been fired from her role as a judge in a singing competition, and, amazingly, not because she can’t sing.

Yes, national sweetheart and limp, lifeless hair hater, Cheryl ‘The Chinner’ Cole has been dropped from X Factor USA. Honestly, you’d think that Simon Cowell wasn’t a benevolent, twinkly eyed musical star-maker after all. You’d almost think that he’s actually some sort of cynical, dead eyed, money grabbing prick. Oh wait…

The sheer amount of publicity awarded to Cole’s sacking has been frankly ridiculous, especially since she hasn’t even assaulted any ethnic minorities for years (although Nicole Scherzinger should probably watch her back now that she’s taken Cole’s place), but every day, every newspaper and website has ran a different top story detailing just why Ms Cole didn’t fight, fight, fight for her job. Examples range from accent difficulties to diets to being forced to separate from her boyfriend and, most recently, her fashion sense. None of these of course are as ridiculous as the suggestion that Fox’s network executives forced Cowell’s hand, because the idea that anybody in either UK or US television would have balls big enough to tell one of their biggest ratings and revenue winners what to do is simply ludicrous.

Over the years, Cowell’s shows have become increasingly dependent on cleverly orchestrated controversy and the illusion of jeopardy. The X Factor in particularly thrives on a bizarre sort of anti-PR: a ‘no coverage is bad coverage’ manifesto, which sees it filing more column inches each year than Jordan’s left tit simply by putting bad acts through to the final rounds. Sudden line-up changes are also a staple part of the build up to SYCO shows. A few years ago Kelly Brook appeared briefly as a fourth judge on the Britain’s Got Talent panel, a role for which she turned out to be less than suited to, and not just because she only has two discernible talents. Before that Brian Whatshisface took over from Louis Walsh on X Factor, before he himself was replaced by Louis Walsh in some kind of nightmarish ouroboros moment.

If I was being cynical (a personality trait I believe it is important to have in order to keep detached from the X Factor, and therefore to be able to watch it free from any illusions as to its nature, not to mention making yourself impervious to the incessant rhythmic clapping of the audience) I’d have said that Cole was complicit in what looks to be a blatant awareness raising exercise.

As it transpires though, it seems Cole is genuinely upset that she has been used and dumped. Normally Cowell swaps and changes his harem of judges across his programs as a matter of course, afraid as most of them are of falling off the gravy train. If Cole was aware of Simon’s plans beforehand, then she would have surely taken a job on one of his other shows or simply returned to X Factor UK. However Cole has, at the time of writing, flat out refused a return to X Factor UK, instead being replaced by one of N-Dubz.

This rare celeb moral stand seems to show that Cole has at last realised what most of the viewing public is yet to grasp; that Simon Cowell and all of his programs exist to make money, pure and simple, and unless your surname is Cowell and your first name is Simon, you’re either utterly expendable or a slack-jawed moron to be shaken from the ankles until the contents of your pockets fill the SYCO office swimming pool. Hopefully it won’t be long until the public en masse realise this too, and we can all start watching the X Factor as it deserves to be watched; ironically.

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