I don't give a toss about Gamu-gate; the accusation of racism is completely ridiculous (hello black ex-husband, hello black best friend Will.I.Am) and I feel for anyone that has had to go through the trauma of divorce, particularly a divorce involving both vomit on a hairdresser and the full manpower of the Murdoch newsrooms.
I love the X Factor, I adore Girls Aloud and in 2002, along with millions of other fans, I invested heavily in repeated phone votes to ensure Cheryl Tweedy's final place in the band on the second series of reality TV show Popstars: The Rivals. 'You'd need to be dead if you didn't think she was stunning, my God,' said Pete Waterman immediately after Cheryl's first audition, and of course he was right. The nation quickly fell in mass love with the toothy nineteen-year-old Geordie who spoke from the heart and appeared incapable of hiding her feelings.
Now, however, I am mightily bored of seeing Cheryl Cole's studiously vague face peering out of every available space, her uncontrollable waterworks spouting out all over our screens. She has taken over endless bus stops, billboards and television adverts; I can't even get away from her when I buy eyelashes or decide to fix my hair with some Elnett. Seeing her weekly sob-fests on my beloved X Factor is becoming a major irritant. And, as if this almost Orwellian omnipresence was not bad enough, it transpires that Take That have asked her to support their huge tour next year. Big Brother's got nothing on this chick.
I didn't always feel like this. No, back in 2008 I couldn't get enough of Cheryl and her crying. She memorably wept for (amongst many others) Amy Connolly's dead mum, for Daniel Evans's dead wife and, through the ever-present veil of tears naturally, couldn't even bring herself to judge Nikk Mager who appeared alongside her in PSTR all those years ago. Whilst she'd spent the intervening years becoming a global superstar he had mostly sung to small audiences of pensioners in working men's clubs in Huddersfield. Then, I found the sobbing endearing; now, I find it infuriating.
Last week, she and Danni refused to applaud Jay Kay after he spoke out about their uselessness as musicians. In a charmless rant the Jamiroquai frontman said they were 'f***ing useless' and continued, 'when have you ever done anything? You're useless, the pair of you. I mean you look great and I'd like to f***ing shag you but that's all.' Kay's words prove he is a sexist animal, clearly, but the man does have a point somewhere in there too. We've yet to see Danni perform on that stage of course, but surely Chezza is not so stupid as to realise the fact that she MIMED that risible performance of her latest single on a singing show where she is judging the voices of young hopefuls would act as a red rag to a bull like Kay, not to mention countless others? Was it her idea? I'd like to hope not.
But more annoying than all of this is the sheer boredom I feel whenever I - and this happens way more often than I'd like - catch an inadvertent glimpse of that ubiquitous face. It seems that she is always crying, moaning and whinging whilst saying nothing whatsoever and I'm sick of it. The overexposure is just too much; her every movement too heavily pre-organised; the tear drenched expression too predictible. She's twenty-six years old for God's sake, beautiful and rich with the best job in the world, is it possible she could ever act like it? Cut loose and have some fun that is not stage-managed to the nth degree, maybe? Develop some actual opinions off the cuff?
On Saturday she hypocritically advised Aiden that he should "smile more" if he wanted to get ahead in the competition and win more fans. Whatever Chezza! Pot, kettle? I offer you exhibit A, the Piers Morgan interview, such a disgustingly lachyrmose display in which to give precisely nothing new about herself away that words actually fail.
Last night, of course, she went a step further. She found it so 'difficult' to pick between 'her girls', Katie and Treyc, after the final sing off that she went so far as to completely change the previously understood rules of the competition by point (and here's the operative word) blank refusing to choose. Never mind that she is paid by the shedload to act as a judge on this series and that choosing between the bottom ranking contestants is part of what this job entails, never mind that Dermot pleaded with her to make a decision because 'it's part of the role', never mind all the new streams of hatred that will inevitably flood her way thanks to this latest exhibition of mediocrity, at least she didn't break rank and display an actual emotion - that would have been so 2003 after all.
I'm sure she's still a nice normal girl, somewhere underneath the new red do and quality street-esque sob stained outfits, wouldn't it be better all round if she tried to get back to that? I'd certainly like her a lot more for it.
Sara Lawrence writes book reviews for the Daily Mail, travel features for High Life magazine and has published two novels, High Jinx and Jinxed, about bad girls at boarding school with Faber&Faber.
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