Call us sceptics after returning from a 3 day Bank Holiday weekend, but we do smell a small PR rat with the news that poor old Cheryl has now been axed from not only the US X Factor but also the UK show. And this is how we saw the PR story unfold…
We started with Cheryl’s ‘super hair’ story – great PR, lots of hype, our home grown Cheryl cracking America. This was followed by the official launch where she wasn’t looking too comfy next to Simon and Paula. What other conclusion were the UK media going to come to with those photos? All is not well, there’s lots of media hype both here and across the pond and everyone’s talking about X Factor. Result.
Then comes the news Cheryl’s been axed and replaced by Nicole. Most interesting point being that this was announced on the eve of the American Idol finale. Americans love Nicole, great PR in America for X Factor, etc etc. (Interesting though that Cheryl’s people were happy for her to be ‘shunned’ in/by a country she’s trying to crack – although they know who she is now don’t they?)
Then comes the news that poor old Cheryl’s now been axed from the UK show. Surely not?! And what’s been the response? X Factor 2011 continues to dominate column inches, front page national/online news, fans across the UK are calling, tweeting, blogging and posting their support for Cheryl. Huge debate about why, Simon Cowell branded the bad guy (as if he cares), Cheryl at home being consoled by her mum. Gary Barlow saddened by news.
So what next? With Britain’s Got Talent finishing this weekend, I think we’re in for a lot more of this X factor PR ride. My money’s on the big come back – Cheryl being reinstated by ‘saviour’ Simon in response to the nation’s crys. Gary Barlow involved in some sort of ‘crisis talks’ (to help PR his Take That tour), new judging panel conflict – Kelly vs. Tulisa – who’s gonna go? Whether you like the X Factor or not, this will undoubtedly be very well staged to ensure every PRs dream – maximum impact, huge amounts of media coverage and mass talkability