After four long years away from The X Factor, Cheryl clearly wanted to make an impression with an attention-grabbing, live performance of her new single.
But it may not be the impression she was hoping for, after viewers complained to Ofcom about the pre-watershed raunchy dance, which saw her writhing about on the floor and licking her own hand.
15 people have reportedly already filed complaints since Sunday night’s episode of the talent show, where the 35-year-old sang Love Made Me Do It in front of Simon Cowell and his new judging panel, Ayda Field, Nile Rodgers, as well as her ex-boyfriend Liam Payne’s old bandmate, Louis Tomlinson.
TV watchdog Ofcom told OK! magazine: “We’ve had 15 complaints objecting to sexual tone and clothing in Cheryl’s routine.”
It comes after viewers also voiced their outrage over the dance, which saw the Geordie crawling across the stage in her thigh-high leather boots, rubbing her bum, licking her tattoo, and gyrating with male dancers.
One viewer moaned: “It was inappropriate before watershed,” while another questioned: “What was the licking of the hand all about??? 😳.”
A third said: “Terrible vocal, looked and acted like a [bleep], not sexy at all. You should be thinking about how this behaviour affects your son. #embarrassingmum.”
And a fourth complained: “Disgusting performance for a family show, what is going on with this show this year?”
Others seemed to enjoy it though, with one viewer tweeting: “RAUNCHY CHERYL IS MY FAVE 😂,” while another added: “I loved it! That’s what I was waiting for after such a long time, couldn’t be better! Great song, great moves! Sexy mum! Cheryl is back! X.”
— The X Factor (@TheXFactor) November 18, 2018
A third wrote: “Everyone claiming that Cheryl’s performance was inappropriate pre watershed really need to get out more, I’ve seen more X-Rated action in McDonalds tbh.”
It wasn’t just the dancing that offended many other viewers about Cheryl’s comeback performance.
In fact, fans watching at home branded the Girls Aloud star “awful,” “awkward,” and even “painful”.
One tweeted: “Watching Cheryl Cole perform on XFactor is actually painful, wowww.”
Another wrote: “If Cheryl was auditioning for this show she wouldn’t get through lmao #xfactor.”
Another winced: “Cheryl please just stop this is just cringe and you can’t sing! #TheXFactor.”
A fourth tweeted: “Cheryl made me do it (turn the [bleeping] X Factor off cos she’s [bleep]).”
Cheryl is beautiful but I don’t actually know what to think about that performance on XFactor
Any thoughts tweeps?#XFactor
— James Jordan (@The_JamesJordan) November 18, 2018
Even Strictly star James Jordan waded into the conversation, tweeting: “Cheryl is beautiful but I don’t actually know what to think about that performance on XFactor.”
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