Wednesday, 7 September 2011
I’m interested to see how it all pans out for Cher Lloyd. After her first X Factor audition she initially seemed destined to follow in Cheryl’s hallowed footsteps, and ironically I think that in some ways the same fate has ended up befalling them both. Both, through no fault of their own, were catapulted to a height of celebration which their comparatively modest talents were ill-equipped to sustain. Then when they fell short of the expectations heaped upon them (and in Cheryl’s case, what could she have possibly done to become properly deserving of her national adoration, short of harnessing the black arts to resurrect Diana?) they were torn down with equally vehement disdain, as if people were affronted that they had accepted the opportunities presented to them in the first place. Both instances seemed to be less about the girls themselves than the cyclical nature of the showbiz food chain.
Of course, that’s not the whole story, and Cher’s time on the show was punctuated with the type of brattish behaviour that saw her pictured threatening a production member with a spoon (a puzzling choice of weapon, but one which suggests an irrationality which you wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of). I didn’t actually mind scary Cher as a pop persona, and of her X Factor performances, my favourite was the one where she dressed up as the High Priestess of a coven in Croydon and sang Shakespeare’s Sister. There seems a lamentable shortage of present day pop stars who can inspire genuine terror (RIP Mutya), and to me, that was part of Cher’s initial appeal. Unfortunately, her debut single is scary for all the wrong reasons, and is in danger of rendering her a novelty act whose most comparable contemporary is failed pop joke Jentina (also a gypsy, took herself more seriously than anyone else and wasn’t as good at rapping out loud as in her head). The fact that the chorus seems to borrow heavily from Oh My Darling, Clementine doesn’t help, and neither does her lyrical preoccupation with her haterz (if it seems like your public don’t like you, probably best not to use your first release to draw attention to this on as grand a scale as possible).
When Cher played GAY there was a crush to see her, and maybe her cultivated air of defiance towards popular opinion has made her a mini gay icon to a certain type of gay. For me, her bravado reeks of someone who is simultaneously profoundly obnoxious and profoundly vulnerable – pretty much the definition of an average teenager (a typical Cher tweet reads “I come across as a hard faced bitch, but please give me a break”. I can’t work out which half of that sentence is more of a cry for help.) In her defense, is there anyone who wasn’t a bit of a twat when they were seventeen? Whatever happens with her pop career, for me her legacy will always be that - for a while at least - whenever hysterical gays rant about Cher they are forced to specify whether they’re referring to “Lloyd or regular.”