Sunday 21 October 2012

[Discuss] Cheryl Caught Miming During Performance of "Call My Name" @ Stand Up To Cancer

[UPDATE: I am so PEEVED. This post was removed from my blogger account, without any warning. Not only was it deleted- thank God I managed to find a cached version of the site to copy the content again- but there wasn't even a reason given. I am just going to assume it was removed because of the video, and SOMEONE not liking it being out there, so I shall remove that part of the post. If this gets deleted again, then I can only take that as an infringement of my right to free speech because there is no copyright issues going on here, just discussion. I really need to move away from Blogger]

Can someone please explain to me what happened to Cheryl's voice during her performance of Call My Name at the Stand Up To Cancer telethon.

It's my (completely uninformed) understanding that if you mime/lip-sync to a backing, the vocals and the music are mixed into the same audio track. I mean, what would be the point of recording the vocals separately and having a sound engineer/mixer be responsible for starting both tracks separately. It seems like a recipe for disaster.

But how else can we explain what happened to Cheryl's AWOL voice during the first half of the song? The microphone sounded to be switched on and working, as you could clearly hear her breathing, so it couldn't be because that malfunctioned.

I initially thought it might have been my television playing up, but Cheryl's face at the end of the vocal free performance said it all. She looked like she was ready to knock someone out! Davina, you had a lucky escape. If that camera wasn't on, I think you would have had it.

As I said, the "voice" did kind of kick-in halfway though. But was this the playback finally starting up? I don't think so. The quality of it makes me think this may have been Ms Cheryl finally biting the bullet and resigning to singing live. In all fairness, I have to say I'm actually surprisingly impressed with the voice that came out. It wasn't quite hitting the notes, but it was still way better than I thought it would have been AND she was doing some full on choreography...

Who am I kidding, I just feel quite sorry for her...poor Cheryl. First that awful Girls Aloud single [Review here] and now this.... Bless the crowd though, they were still loving it. Vocal or not.

Anybody else have any theories as to what the F*** was going on here?


  1. I have no idea what the usual practice is. Even less so than I used to think. Considering that habit these days of a backtracks being used for only certain notes at times.
    But my general theory is that the human race is getting dumber and dumber.
    That should explain the audience anyway. ;)

  2. Poor Cheryle :S

  3. Lol my eyes feel embarrassed for her, I do however think considering all the dancing she sounded not back when "she" finally kicked in. Funny though that even Leona on a bad day makes her look like a complete amateur...I would like to hear Cheryl attempt "Run", I might come to regret that though.

  4. here is my explanation based on past performances.

    Cheryl was one of the first singers I saw to pioneer rather a neat pre-rec a 'live' vocal backstage and then mime/lip-synch to it on stage. This therefore sounds different enough to the vocal on the recording to 'fool' the audience/half the viewers. An example of this would be the first time she sang 'Fight for this Love' on X Factor a few years ago. Another reason for doing this is to alleviate the problem of dancing and singing at the same time...only a few singers have ever been able to achieve this to any level of success.

    Now, when you 'mime' it doesn't look very realistic if you don't allow any sound to come out at all, so you make a small sound which looks more realistic. Usually the sound engineer will shut your mic off though, or if your mic is left up then your small sound will be drowned out by the pre-rec track. DD has rightly surmised that for some reason, they decided to mix the two tracks live here (!) but that the sound engineer clearly stuffed up the first part.

    I'd laugh a lot if it had been done on purpose to show her up...because she's always proclaiming that she sings live every time (remember the swan dive on 'The Voice'?) when clearly that's BS.

  5. Also I feel that a more pro singer would have realised quicker what was going on, cut some of the dance moves, and starting singing in full voice. Silly girl.

  6. Although at the end, I noticed that her in-ear monitors had come out (they are the white things flopping behind her back) - so with all the crowd noise she may not have had a great idea what was going on.

  7. Divadevotee, I'm often shocked at the welcoming you give Cheryl and her many performances. For someone who is so quick to state the cons of most talented divas around, you're very nice to Cheryl.
    If you really want to know what happened, I can explained. After years of watching Mariah Carey lip her arse off, I feel quite confident in my analysis of all illegitimate performances!
    Cheryl Cole was supposed to mime to a pre-recorded track, probably the one she used on The Voice UK (no, people. That was not live.) The only issue is that it never started playing... Her microphone was still on, as Cheryl has a habit of mixing lip and live singing to create the illusion it's all live (she'll occasionally slip in the odd "FIIIIGHT FOR THIS LOOOOVE!" to make it seem like her performances is true and genuine. Well, this is true and genuine...but it wasn't meant to be.
    Cheryl can't sing live, and much less so with a complicated dance routine. If Beyonce struggles to mix the two, how can you possibly expect Cheryl to soar through it? This performance just proves her performance format and the fact she's vocally talentless.

  8. "Cheryl was one of the first singers I saw to pioneer rather a neat pre-rec a 'live' vocal backstage and then mime/lip-synch to
    it on stage."

    I actually recall Whitney Houston doing that already decades ago. I believe she did so when she sang the national anthem?

    All these kind of shenanigans are why I stopped listening to pop music years ago. And why I love bluegrass/Americana. This would be so unacceptable in that genre.
    If it's too hard to sing and dance at the same time....then don't! Instead of faking it.

  9. Agreed! Ah, I don't remember Whitney doing the anthem, I'll check that out online. Well - in the UK in the 80s and 90s we used to see a lot of miming to the actual record, particularly on TV shows - now they record a vocal separately and try to fool people with that.

  10. I tend to judge Divas against themselves and those of a similar calibre. There's no point putting her up against vocal powerhouses like Mariah/Whitney or comparing her to entertainers like Beyonce/Shakira. She's more like a Britney Spears type performer.

    I'd never go as far as calling anyone "talentless". Her voice might not be strong, but she's never claimed it to be and at least she tries to make up for it with the choreography. Besides, I can't knock someone who appears to put in the work to make their dreams a reality.
    But honestly, I just felt bad for her here. I don't like seeing people embarrassed. Especially so publicly.

  11. Nice to have you back Karen!! :D

  12. I couldn't watch it live. It was too embarrassing.

  13. "But my general theory is that the human race is getting dumber and dumber.
    That should explain the audience anyway. ;)" LOL!

  14. Yes, I was talking not about miming to the record but of that practice of pre taping a performance and miming to that one so that people think "oh it sounds different from the album, must be live"

    I thought, for some reason, you were an American btw ;)

  15. Hahaha, planet is fine, it's just the human stupidity I dislike. ;D

  16. Karen Carpenter was also noted for singing along to pre-recorded vocal tracks on television performances.

  17. Can't believe someone messed with your post. Outrageous! You could post the same stuff on Twitter and no-one would bat an eyelid.

  18. That's not the point, my point is that you give her far too much leeway in her (many) failed performance endeavours. And Britney (in her prime) has far more captivation and stage presence than Cheryl Cole ever has or will have.
    And come on, you're an expert...vocally, she's talentless. There is nothing there, and this just proves it, for even when she's not moving she sounds awful.

  19. I can't say I've noticed being biased towards Cheryl. In fact I know I haven't been. I do like quite a few of her singles, but I'm no fan.

    But just in case anybody is confused about my thoughts on this particular performance: it was awful. It's just my write up wasn't about critiquing the performance itself; it was about trying to understand what was happening. Besides I wouldn't think anybody who saw it would need me to tell them how bad it was, it was plain for all to see.

    Oh and this line "I'm actually surprisingly impressed with the voice that came out. It
    wasn't quite hitting the notes, but it was still way better than I
    thought it would be" was a back handed compliment. It shows how low my expectations are of her abilities as a live singer.

  20. I know, right. I was actually fuming. I need to self host this blog. I don't like the idea that someone can complain about a post- that is similar in content to other blogs- and mine gets pulled because it's hosted by google and they have some robot that removes posts immediately if a DMC infringement is claimed.

    This is second time this has happened. The first time was when I reviewed a leaked version of Aggies "Your Body" and that I can understand, but this performance was on TV and is available all over youtube. Don't take it out on us because you fudged up your performance.

  21. It seems everyone does it. Mariah certainly does. As does Celine. I've even seen clips on Youtube of beyonce supposedly doing it, but I'm not 100% convinced.

  22. Beyonce has lipped on numerous occasions as well, although she uses the pre-recorded vocal which is played on a separate track method versus the more obvious methods of Celine and Mariah (she however makes the mistake of using the tracks at different shows). Beyonce was called out on it by a famous comedian as well for lip syncing.

    In pop music the only singers I can think of off the top of my head in recent years that don't lip sync are Kelly Clarkson, Marina Diamandis, P!nk, Hayley Williams, Adele, Joss Stone, Imogen Heap, Fiona Apple and Norah Jones. There's plenty more obviously, but sadly it is something you have to question in this day and age.

  23. See what I mean about human stupidity? ;D

  24. I wondered where this vanished to!

  25. LOL - fudged up. I wonder if her 'live' pre-recorded vocal is quickly run through some autotune software as well - because when she's truly sung 'live' (such as the duet with Gary Barlow and her famous Radio 1 live lounge version of Parachutes) she's been horribly pitchy. I don't think her musical ears are that good tbh.

  26. Gaga? That's another pop singer I can think of who I've never seen lip (yet).

  27. Did Nicole Shirtlifter do it with the Pussycat Dolls, or did she sing live? I was never much of a fan.

  28. its a shame as i think shes quite nice and down to earth, and i think she can sing just not brilliant ....her voice is...cute not amazing. do you think this is a goverment conspiricy DD ? maybe they think your trying to send messages to aliens by doing vocal reviews lol

  29. I could have sworn Gaga lipped a performance on an Australian television show back during the Fame era.
    Although she doesn't lip sync per se she does use a pretty noticeable backing track, a large percent of the time (excluding acoustic performances).

  30. Yes, it seems she was sick on stage during one performance but somehow one still heard her singing.

  31. i just think that she should quit singing and just join got to dance UK.
    she's a good dancer so she may win there or something like that.
    but anyways @divadevotee:disqus you just have to review alicia keys' new song "girl on fire"

  32. Yes - I've seen that clip - it's the 'I'm on the Edge with You' line from 'Edge of Glory', which you're right, technically is part of the main melody. In terms of noticeable backing tracks, you often have to have some backing vocals on the track to make it sound like the original record; unfortunately not everyone would like a 100% acoustic show! I guess it's about trying to find a balance between the bvs and your live vocal. I'll have to look out for that Aussie performance as I've never seen her lip to a whole song yet (that I've noticed).

  33. She is stunning to look at, and a cracking dancer, but once again, I refer everyone to this:

  34. Blasphemy Britney can chew up and spit out Cheryl in a heart beat.

  35. ha people trying to bring gaga down
    gaga has never completely lipped a performance before and yes the backing track is present but for almost 95% she is singing live while doing choreography
    plus her acoustic performances like edge of glory on the piano

    beyonce sings live in concerts but she lets the backing track take over on each chorus in crazy in love

    and that incident when she was sick and the im on the edge part came on was the backing
    people need to accept that singers that do choreo while singing use backing track - gaga was sick that time and she did about 1hr and 45 mins of a 2hr show and still she chose to sing live - even though the backing track was present thats impressive for someone who wasnt 100%

  36. ''people'' don't have to accept that. Nor imo should they. It's a matter of what one thinks should have priority.
    Some feel music should have priority, live vocals should have priority.
    I am one of those and I will never accept the use of such technology provided tricks. I will continue to criticize such practises.
    But...anybody who doesn't mind that kind of thing is free to continue to enjoy.:-)

  37. this is a blog focused on mainstream vocalists and i respect u saying that vocals comes first

    and the using a backing track and lipping are two totally different things which people get confused about

    people like beyonce and lady gaga use either backing tracks or back singers (usually backing track to make the mixing more smooth) because they do two hour shows full of choreography

    there are some songs where using a backing track is necessary and songs where the singers sing the whole thing live just with their voice alone

    i know u dislike gaga but dont call her out on lipping a performance because she doesnt lip - she uses a backing track

    and i do think vocals should come first
    thats why i dont support people like cheryl cole or britney spears who are notorious for lipping and britney just doesnt give a fuck and doesnt care if people know that she lip syncs

  38. I'm afraid you misunderstood. I am aware of the technical difference between lipping and backtrack use. I simply dislike both( and dubbing and auotune and all such, as I said, technology inspired tricks)

    I've heard all the excuses and I find they don't hold water for me.
    The one you just used for instance.Artists have been putting on long shows with choreography long before backtracks, dubbing, lipping and the likes existed.
    I feel if the show is beyond the capability of the artist, that artist is the one in need of accepting his/her limitations rather than fake things.

    As for Gaga...true, I dislike her for the many ways she is too fake for my tastes but believe me....I have criticised such fakery long before Gaga came along..

    And much as I dislike such fakery, I can respect those who are open about being guilty of that more than those who compound the afront by adding lying about it to their repertoire.