The 21-year-old postal room worker has inspired more loathing than judge Simon Cowell this season, falling to the bottom of the Rankings of Shame twice ever since viewers started voting. During last week's results, when she was saved from elimination by the judges again, Cowell acknowledged that even they have given her a "hard time" on the show. If the judges can't back her, why should America?
CeCe first rubbed viewers the wrong way during the audition rounds when she debuted her leopard-print face painting and huge ego. Not only did she attempt to undermine the competition with catty comments and talk herself up to the judges, but she also "CeCe-fied" (read: mangled) a cover of "Unchained Melody" and had the gall to utter the hackneyed reality TV villain line, "I'm not in this thing to make friends." Even her coach Demi Lovato cautioned her to check her diva attitude that could read as "unlikeable." Um, understatement much?
Recent attempts at humanizing CeCe — scrubbing her face of animal print, sharing a heart-wrenching story about her deceased sister, hugging a distraught Beatrice Miller — aren't enough to save her. Here's why we think that she won't last much longer in the competition:
A leopard can't change its spots: Or at least that's what many viewers at home will feel. It's difficult to overcome first impressions, especially ones so negative as CeCe's, and considering this boils down to a popularity contest, any changes in behavior on her part will seem suspect. Simply put, she set up the precedent for us to doubt her sincerity, no matter how genuine her actions may be. "Wind Beneath My Wings" was a heartfelt Thanksgiving tribute to her sister, but voters still put her at the bottom the next day.
Image mismanagement: Lovato, bless her heart, is a passionate supporter of Miss X to the O, but the coaches may be more harmful than helpful to their protégés. Her first mistake was to make CeCe a peroxide blonde. Not only did that make her appear colder, but replaced the leopard print with something equally unnatural. Song choices like "The Eye of the Tiger" are also missteps, promoting that tough, "Who cares?" demeanor. Lovato should have worked to make CeCe warmer, sweeter and yet still strong and in your face, like a younger Katy Perry.
Too late in the competition: Even though some viewers may have softened a bit towards CeCe, they've had just as much time to get to know and love the other competitors even more. While she's been inconsistent and struggling to find her voice and appeal, everyone else has been staying true to their brand and capitalizing on their fanbases. Why would anyone switch their allegiance to CeCe when Tate Stevens or Fifth Harmony have personified hard work, humility and gratefulness from the start?
Her talent can't cut it: Personality issues aside, CeCe is not a strong enough singer to take on stellar competitors like Carly Rose Sonenclar or Diamond White. As with her image, CeCe tries too hard to impress with the usual over-singing strategies: wild runs, a wailing tone and erratic pitch. The girl needs to mature in both her attitude and performance, but The X Factor isn't going to wait for her to do so.
Do you agreee or disagree? Has CeCe reformed? Do you think she has a chance to win?
The X Factor airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8/7c on Fox.