Cher Lloyd Odds to Win X Factor 2010 (Season 7)
Will Her Uniqueness Be Rewarded?
Rapper and hip hop singer Cher Lloyd has reportedly made the final round for X Factor 2010 (Season 7). Cher, a 16-year-old student from Malvern, Worcestershire, England, has many things going for her from a uniqueness perspective. On the other hand, no one like her ever stands much of a chance of winning a reality TV singing contest like X Factor. Can Cher buck the odds and win X Factor? This is highly doubtful for a few reasons, but she certainly stands a better chance than anyone of her type that has ever set foot on the X Factor stage.
The first thing that helps Cher's chances is, quite frankly, that she will be viewed as more unique because of her race. Like it or not, if a black guy were to sing country or hard rock, it would seem more unique than a white guy singing it even if the two singers have the exact same talent. Producers like Simon Cowell know this and put contestants on these shows for that very reason. Likewise, Cher's rapping and singing hip hop gives her a huge advantage over a black person singing the same thing. This is just the reality of marketing. It's not about talent, but it can and likely does have a positive effect on Cher's odds of winning X Factor. It may not be "fair," but that's just the way it is sometimes in life.
However, Cher's genre creates a double-edged sword in this case. No modern-style hip hop singer has ever won these shows to my knowledge. As much as the shows talk about being "current," current music, at least in the hip hop genre, clearly does not lend itself to good singing. That's why these hip hop, "current" contestants that occasionally do get on these shows tend to fizzle out at a rapid pace. Hip hop just doesn't work on the format of a show like X Factor. The voters don't go for it, and just because a bunch of teens are easily force fed hip hop doesn't mean that the voters who watch these shows will buy it. We are talking about two different kinds of crowds here, and the voters just don't go for hip hop.
However, there is some kind of chance here for Cher Lloyd to catch hold like a Blake Lewis did on the sixth season of American Idol. And this is because Cher, like Blake, is also a competent singer and performer as well as a rapper. While Blake Lewis was a beat boxer and singer instead of a rapper, he has similarities to a contestant like Cher. Namely, Cher is a great stage performer from what we have seen but is smart enough to mix in more traditional singing with her hip hop and rapping. In essence, if Cher can succeed at presenting herself as a good singer and performer instead of overdoing the rap/hip hop, then she may be credited by the voters for being unique. On the other hand, if she goes overboard on the "current" style, she will be labeled as a wannabe by too many people and will likely lose votes.
From a strictly singing standpoint, Cher shows unrefined potential. She is neither a bad nor a superb vocalist. Her tone is okay but not great, and her vocal control could definitely use some improvement. This may cause her to lose some votes. At only 16, her fans can only hope that she improves dramatically over the course of the X Factor competition.
Cher's age weighs against her in terms of odds of winning the show. Although many contestants from 17 to 19 have won X Factor of similar singing competitions throughout the world, a 16-year-old contestant winning is far from common.
Perhaps the biggest thing helping Cher is simply that she does have the ability to make people like songs that they would not normally like. I literally hate the street-like hip hop lyrics of her first audition (the Keri Hilson version of Soulja Boy's "Turn My Swag On"), but I quite enjoyed her swagger and the way she performed the song. Cher does have some soul in her voice that could potentially take her a long way in the singing industry.
In the end, there are many things that hurt Cher Lloyd's odds of winning X Factor 2010. It will be a huge uphill battle for a 16-year-old girl who sings in a genre rather unpopular on live voting shows. But she is just as equipped as any contestant to make a run in this genre. She carries that air of uniqueness that Blake Lewis did on American Idol, and that gives her some shot of catching fire and stealing the title away from the more traditional singers that usually win these competitions.