I've always attested how legendary an X Factor contestant is if I can still remember that first time I saw their audition. This applies to Leona Lewis, JLS, Olly Murs, Alexandra Burke and more recently added in that list, the most recent graduate from last year's series, Cher Lloyd. Though she had a couple of down weeks during the live shows, I generally thought she was consistent, very entertaining to watch (especially on her performances of Shakespeare's Sister 'Stay' and Jay-Z's 'Empire State Of Mind') and also refreshing as a performer. And I certainly couldn't understand all the red top press fuelled hatred and venom that was being driven towards her whilst contestants so blandly offensive like Matt Cardle (NOTE: a scruffy hat does not credibility make) were allowed to continue on in the contest week after week.
And yet, throughout all the rather OTT public hate campaigns, social network bullying and tabloid bitchiness, she has to her credit remained a tough cookie, something that is nowhere more apparent than on her debut single release 'Swagger Jagger'. Penned by rising singer/songwriter Autumn Rowe (who was behind 'Happiness' for Alexis Jordan), the track is, lyrically anyway, a defiant, witty kiss off to her nay-sayers, but if the song has a major falling point it's probably the style of music Cher's trying out. Rather like Billie Piper's 'Because We Want To' from her days before she was Rose Tyler, which was again, something of a feisty teenage pop anthem, 'Swagger Jagger' borders on being rather chipmunk-y and grating after more than 5 listens and somehow doesn't hold testament to the message of the song or to her obvious talent, and it doesn't feel as strong as I imagine Cher might have hoped it would. I think we're probably going to see her best material when her follow up single and debut album gets released.