Monday 30 May 2011

No guarantee of success in America

A tough week for the 'people's princess' Cheryl Cole.

A public humiliation for the singer following her sacking from the US version of X Factor.I'm not denying it isn't a personal setback for her, but there was no guarantee she was going to be a household star in the US in the same way that she is here in the UK.

Cole is just the latest in a long line of British singers, bands, actors and comedians who have tried their luck in America.

Some achieve unlikely success - others who you assume will become major stars end up failing miserably. You just can't predict who's going to make it.

What made things more difficult for Cole is that nobody knows who she is in America. Simon Cowell was always taking a risk by putting her forward to be a judge for X Factor.

Secondly there’s the issue of the accent. It’s easy to mock Americans and say they’re stupid because they don’t understand our accents. The truth is we may know a lot about them, they however know very little about us.

If you’re living in Middle America, a some small town in Missouri or Ohio where are you ever going to hear a Geordie accent? Or any other British regional accent for that matter? They do find it difficult to understand us, as I found out with my Brummie accent when I visited Chicago.

Finally, there’s Cole’s back-story that’s contributed to her popularity in this country doesn’t automatically translate to America.

The working class girl from a rough estate in Newcastle who’s battled against the odds; become a member of the biggest girl band in the country and married a star footballer won’t mean anything to your average American. As an artist or personality she’s starting from scratch.

We’ll have to see if Cole will be back as judge for the our X Factor, there isn’t much time for a decision to made. As for breaking America, she isn’t the first and won’t be the last British star to come back with their tail between their legs.

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