15 Dec 18
The Scottish Sun
AT the height of her fame Cheryl was the most popular woman in the UK and having her star on a show meant it would be an instant hit.
Which is no doubt why the Love Made Me Do It singer, 35, was drafted in by Simon Cowell to star on new BBC show, The Greatest Dancer alongside Strictly Come Dancing star Oti Mabuse and Alesha Dixon.
Cheryl’s music career has struggled in recent months
Yet before the show has even started, news comes that she’s being sidelined in favour of Strictly dancer Oti, 28.
And this is just the latest blow for Cheryl who, since her musical comeback at the start of last month, has seen her new single tank in the charts, lost her lucrative L’Oreal contract worth millions and puzzled fans by her bizarre hand-licking performance on The X Factor.
With The X Factor ratings dwindling in recent years, Simon Cowell has spoken about “making sure the audience don’t get bored” with any venture.
One insider says: “It’s his first big show with the BBC and he has gone back to what he knows and what he thought would guarantee the numbers – Cheryl”.
Cheryl (far left) is set to star alongside Strictly’s Oti Mabuse (right) and Alesha Dixon (left)
At her peak, Cheryl was the first British female to have five solo number one hits in the UK, and gained a record-breaking 20 consecutive top ten singles as part of Girls Aloud.
But in recent months, her popularity seems to have waned so TV bosses, and no doubt Simon Cowell, will be increasingly anxious that the ‘Cheryl effect’ is very much over.
As she tries to win the nation’s hearts, could the role of Dance Captain be her biggest performance yet?
The days of the ‘sexy singer’ are over
For some, Cheryl’s pulling power just isn’t there any more.
“She’s tried to cram so much into her life and career since the heady days of Girls Aloud in 2002,” says publicity specialist Claire Shiels.
Cheryl was once TV’s national sweetheart, and was a guaranteed ratings winner
“As a solo performer, guest judge, beauty spokesperson and with her own line of merchandise, she’s grabbed as many opportunities as possible to extend her career.
“But her popularity has inevitably been usurped by the likes of Little Mix and Dua Lipa who are almost a decade younger.
“Cheryl needs to recognise that the days of her as a sexy singer are over.”
Oti Mabuse is set to play a bigger role on The Greatest Dancer
“She no longer has the pulling power to attract younger audiences, so should instead look to retain her original fans, many of whom will also now be parents like her.
“Her career should mirror the likes of Holly Willoughby who progressed from being a children’s TV presenter to engaging a new legion of older fans as co-host of This Morning.”
Baffling hand-licking performance
When Cheryl performed in the X Factor final in 2009 it was watched by a then-record of 15million, only to be beaten the following year when she was still on the panel, with 19.4 million.
However, fast forward nearly a decade, and Cheryl’s lure is less impressive, with fans baffled by her comeback single performance – with her bizarre performance raising questions about her suitability to judge The Greatest Dancer.
Cheryl raised eyebrows with her hand-licking performance
At the height of her fame, Cheryl commanded millions of viewers as an X Factor judge
The singer unleashed some unusual moves, including licking her hand and and rubbing her bottom, before collapsing into a heap on the floor. A concerned Simon Cowell asked if she was OK.
This will no doubt be concerning bosses on The Greatest Dancer, as one insider says: “It’s not great to have a woman who can’t dance, front a dancing show.
“They were really taken aback by the public and media reaction and started to wonder whether they had made a massive mistake.”
However a Greatest Dancer source hit back at the criticism and said the “popular” star will be a success on the show.
They said: “Cheryl is a huge star and is fantastic on The Greatest Dancer, with her support for the contestants and her advice and critiques of performances. She is tremendously popular across the country and that is really highlighted in the new show.
“In The Greatest Dancer auditions, it is very clear that both contestants and members of the public are bowled over when they meet Cheryl. And Cheryl herself shows her own frailties by, at one point, crying because one performance really hits her emotionally. She still really chimes with people.”
[bc_video video_id=”5968702203001″ account_id=”5067014667001″ player_id=”default” embed=”in-page” padding_top=”56%” autoplay=”” min_width=”0px” max_width=”640px” width=”100%” height=”100%” caption=”Cheryl performs her new single ‘Love Made Me Do It’ on The X Factor”]
Eggs in one basket
Speaking about the promotional campaign to boost fellow dance captain Oti, an insider explained: “All the publicity and focus of the show has been on [Cheryl] but now her big musical comeback has proved to be a flop, everyone’s worried they’ve put all their eggs in the wrong basket.”
Trying to mitigate against any damage, “producers have decided they now want to quietly push Oti more into the spotlight.”
‘I’m such a sucker’
As the singer came back from her year-long hiatus following the birth of son Bear, Cheryl said: “If it goes in at 80, it’s time for me to move on with my life.
While it didn’t land quite that low in the charts, it peaked at number 19 before slipping down to 77.
The star – who has recently split from a series of advisers and top management company Modest, record label Polydor and PR professionals – poked fun at her poor taste in men, with the lyrics: “Oh my god, I’m such a sucker, I fall in love with every f*****.”
Cheryls latest single peaked at 19
Dropped by hair brand in favour of “classier” celebs
In another blow for the glossy-haired star, Cheryl’s L’Oreal contract, thought to be worth £4 million, was axed in August, after nine years working with the hair brand.
The news came as Karen Flavard-Jones took over as boss, who is said to prefer “classier celebrities” like Holly Willoughby.
A beauty industry source revealed: “After Karen was hired the writing was on the wall for Cheryl.”
Cheryl’s appearance caused fans to comment recently
Cheryl has lost her £4million hair contract
They added: “It’s a hammer blow for Cheryl at this stage of her career.
“L’Oréal has been her most regular income.
“It also saw her rub shoulders with other L’Oréal stars in places like Cannes, including Julianne Moore, Helen Mirren, Eva Longoria, Jane Fonda, Jennifer Lopez and Penelope Cruz.”
To make matters worse, the star recently teamed up with hair extension brand Easilocks – favoured by the reality TV stars such as Megan McKenna and Charlotte Crosby – to launch her own range.
A source said: “This deal took everyone in the industry by surprise. You just don’t expect to see Cheryl doing a range like this alongside Towie stars, it doesn’t seem to fit her branding at all. And it seems to put L’Oreal in a difficult position if it wants to use her in another advertising campaign. Surely she can’t really endorse both?”
Cheryl has lost her multi-million pound hair contract
Cheryl recently caused a stir with her appearance and ‘changing face’.
‘It wasn’t my fault’
While promoting her recent single, Cheryl has also been plugging £44.99 hoodies featuring the lyrics to the single.
However, embarrassingly, one of the products features a grammatical error.
The line which should read “Love made me do it (it wasn’t my fault)” said instead “it was’nt my fault”.
Despite the negative press, Cheryl will hope to bounce back, and use her TV comeback to regain her status as the UK’s sweetheart.
The merchandise featured a typo
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Claire Shiels says : “Hopefully, The Greatest Dancer will all provide opportunities for her to develop a new, maturer image.”
Talent guru Jonathan Shalit OBE, adds: “Her new show will be the opportunity to pull things back following the recent negative press. This isn’t the end for Cheryl – come January when The Greatest Dancer begins audiences will be blown away by her and Cheryl will be having the last laugh.”
A Syco spokesperson added: “Cheryl has had a long mutually fruitful relationship with Syco and we are all incredibly excited that she has agreed to continue that in a new vein with the arrival of The Greatest Dancer in January.”