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Rebecca Ferguson Versus The Fame Monster

Karen Regn loves the soul and charm of the transformed X-Factor runner-up.

Written by . Published on February 23rd 2012.

Rebecca Ferguson Versus The Fame Monster

X FACTOR runner-up Rebecca Ferguson’s vibe is a blend of soulful, vulnerable but strong, and just a little bit sad. Throw in her brand of ladylike professionalism, and the overall effect is captivating. 

If Ms Ferguson could do anything to appear more of a seasoned performer, it would be to let herself get, well, wild.  

She performed Monday 20 February at The Bridgewater Hall. This kicked off her ‘Heaven’ tour, that comprised over a dozen gigs in England, Scotland, and Wales.

Her transformation from trembling X Factor novice to seasoned performer was evident even from the opening of the show, when she appeared back-lit, looking stunning in a long, white dress with long sleeves, a front slit and gold accents.

She looked very much the lady that X Factor judges praised her for being throughout last year’s competition, but as she sang the opening line of ‘Fighting Suspicion’ in a delicate vibrato, the artist revealed how far she has come since trembling on stage before the likes of Simon Cowell.  

She projected coyness through ‘Mr Bright Eyes’ but  in ‘Glitter and Gold’, her soulful authority as she sang ‘take care of your soul’, seemed like a stern forewarning from the enlightened.

But following those lofty, preaching lyrics, it didn’t take long for Ferguson to show that she’s not an expert, but just a girl who’s been there and is communicating the lessons we all live to learn. 

“I live around the corner from here so I quite like singing in this place,” she said, after welcoming the audience.

She giggled a lot throughout the show, and those peals of laughter combined with chatty conversation made a stark contrast from her serious soul session. They sufficiently lightened the mood, and endeared herself to the audience with that nice-girl image.

After ‘Diamond to Stone’, in which she glided back and forth across the stage like a swan, she sat for an evocative performance of ‘Teach Me How to Be Loved’.

In covers of the Kings of Leon’s ‘Knocked Up’ and the Rolling Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’, Ferguson opened up her voice in rock-ballad fashion, but distracting strobe lights complicated what was already a dissonant arrangement in the first song. Then, when she introduced the band during the second, the names were completely unintelligible.

If Ferguson could do anything to appear more of a seasoned performer, it would be to let herself get, well, wild.  Her voice has unusual nuance – rich, dark and rolling – but her stage presence is predictable and stagnant. 

I wanted her to get her hair out of her face, and to put a touch of that giggly personality that’s visible when she’s speaking into some of her performances.

She finished with ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ and other selections from her album, including ‘Too Good to Lose’, and ‘Fairytale’, which she introduced by telling the audience about her sister’s crush on Justin Bieber.

She thanked the audience and said that she wasn’t the shy girl she was last year on the X Factor.  She said: “I’m a completely different person than I was – and that’s down to you.”

She said goodnight and walked off the stage. Then, looking like a person incapable of even telling a white lie, she gave a backwards glance that read: ‘See you in a minute– I haven’t done my big song yet’.

We may hate to admit that Simon Cowell has one more thing to be smug about, but he should be genuinely praised for bringing this fine lady out of obscurity. 

‘Nothing’s Real But Love’ is a ballad from a woman preoccupied by change, but determined not to get caught up in fame and distractions. 

The song drew a perfect close to a splendid, if tame, gig that made one thing clear – though Ferguson's star power outside of the X-Factor fame machine is being put to the test on this tour, she can more than make it without SiCo holding her up.

Rebecca FergusonRebecca Ferguson

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JonnyminajstarzMarch 19th 2012.

i got a chew off her LOL

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