An Easier £1.2 Million May Have Never Been Made

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized

                I love/hate readi

ng “Platell’s People,” a weekly Saturday Daily Mail column/bitchfest by the right-wing, unfunny, and sometimes totally rude Amanda Platell. Most of it is unfounded cheap shots at whomever she’s chosen to dislike. But in yesterday’s column, she actually said something I agreed with regarding Cheryl Cole’s firing from USA’s version of “The X Factor” only three weeks after being officially hired. Platell alleged that this all seemed like a big publicity ploy, that perhaps she hadn’t really been hired in the first place.

                    What does make sense is there was no way America was going to accept someone they’ve never heard of, someone who is herself a manufactured pop star, making a decision as to whom, among the mass of wanna-be’s, is the potential Next Big Thing. The amount of media pumping by Simon Cowell probably was more of a turn-off than anything else. The Americans don’t like being told “You’re going to love this” so blatantly. Selling a UK talent to the US is a tough call, let alone someone whose main talent isn’t being showcased. Piers Morgan somehow made it there as a professional judge, but a lot of that success was initially taking the ball from Cowell as the “New Brit To Hate.” That wasn’t going to happen with Cole because she is still primarily a singer, not a judge, and she’s not annoying enough to push that Hate Factor.

                     Greater talents than Cole have bombed in America for any number of reasons. Ant & Dec failed as game show hosts for essentially the same reason Cole did, i.e. those Geordie accents are a bitch to navigate. Anne Robinson’s US run of “The Weakest Link” was dead after only a year, as the public tired quickly of the elder, red-headed, rude, and pompous Robinson’s act. Cat Deeley, on the other hand, is pretty, blond, young, and upbeat, plus she possesses a proper London accent, and she’s succeeded there.  

                 Robbie Williams spent millions to hype himself there, but the US doesn’t like someone coming over there and saying “I’m big in England, therefore…” It inspires the reaction of “Well, fuck off back to England then.” Williams even went so far as to ask a US audience to request his music on the radio even if they don’t like it! Critics were actually rather kind to him, considering that his ex-boy band status wasn’t exactly a plus. Take That weren’t much bigger, only having one top 40 single, one more than Robbie achieved despite years of touring there, and living in Los Angeles for five years. Obviously, Take That’s resurgence, and its reuniting with Robbie, have not caused the slightest blip of interest across the pond. 

                          It’s a given that it’s easier for American artists to break in UK than vice versa. Perhaps this is because of already having faced stiffer competition, and the big fish in small pond syndrome. Some even come here first (Jimi Hendrix, Chrissie Hynde) before going global, some make it here and don’t even bother with their homeland (Ruby Wax). Cheryl Cole has in some respects, made it in the US, though maybe not in the way she expected. Her clown-suit wardrobe and big hair were an unintentional source of amusement, but that wasn’t necessarily her fault. She was on a highly-anticipated TV show for all of three weeks, and though she won’t reap the rewards that Cowell and Paula Abdul are going to receive, at least few will notice her disaster. Cole looked scared trying to be a diva against Ms. Abdul. Paula has been doing that for nearly as long as Cheryl’s been alive! And wasn’t even as good a singer!                                                                          

                       Shed no tears over Cheryl Cole, she’ll be fine, unless she does something incredibly stupid, like maybe getting back together with her ex-husband. She could still wind up returning to UK’s “X Factor,” especially since so many sources have denied this as a possibility. Usually that type of publicity is set up as a diversion. She could even do a major concession and agree to a Girls Aloud reunion, especially since the Nadine Coyle solo album has hundreds of thousands of copies gathering dust somewhere, and the rest of the girls haven’t done any better. It would involve Cheryl apologizing on the scale of Robbie Williams to Gary Barlow, but it’s not impossible. She may even have another chance to make it in the US, perhaps as a pop star, though that’s a bit of a long shot. None of her music is that interesting, at least not to me.                                        

   Ultimately, she got £1.2 million for three weeks of work. Would any of us refuse to take the level of humiliation she claimed to have endured for THAT kind of payday? 


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