Emeli Sandé: From Critics' Choice to Public Enemy

From the high of bookending Olympics' Ceremonies, to the low of dreaded X Factor live shows, Emeli Sandé has gone from Critics' Choice to Public Enemy in one rollercoaster year.
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"Ubiquity is a strange thing. You take something that you like and you make it ever present because you went to spend as much time with it as possible; makes sense, right? It's nice, you want more.”

This thinking rarely works out. You can have too much of a good thing.

One such sad case is that of Emeli Sandé. Reaching levels of backlash usually reserved for ousted dictators or Chris Maloney, Sandé is a singer of undoubted skill and talent, blessed with a disarming Scottish accent and a distinctive mop of blonde hair but now faces the ignominy of being trotted out for every possible public event, looking like a tired mix of Lola the Showgirl and ex-Everton defender Abel Xavier. Quite what her management team were thinking is anybody's guess…


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Actually, it's pretty easy to guess: massive great big wads of cash. Sitting in their glass offices with great dollar-signs for eyes and cheque-books for hands, they're ready, willing and able to squeeze every last penny out of what was not much but a solid-if-unspectacular début album, "Our Version of Events".

It's hard on Sandé, a young British artist who should be supported, but it's also hard not to develop a hatred for her. The many bland ballads that sound like harmonious water-torture are undoubtedly partly her fault, but they would have stayed album tracks had not the execs had an Adele-sized hole to fill in the market. Lo, were it not for the Tottenham warbler's extended absence we would probably have been spared such Emeli-overload (at the very least the difference would have been split).

Being the biggest star in the world at the time (give or take a Gaga or a Rhi-Rhi), Adele would have surely eaten up half of the airtime given to Sandé at the Olympics' bookended ceremonies: a spectacular Danny Boyle-directed extravaganza, marred by a deep vein of crumby pop acts (who at least had the decency to keep their appearances to a singular). Sandé apparently had carte Blanche to totter around the stadium bludgeoning us over the head with her tame balladry, throwing singles around like an eHarmony hurricane.

And now, after her bore-riffic performance at the X-Factor final, she appears to have hit rock bottom: she'll skulk off to her west London pad, lethargic, perhaps booking a dalliance in Cannes or Ibiza after the Yuletide; she'll gorge on stuffing and sprouts then it's back into the studio with that other demi-god of force-fed pop mediocrity Calvin Harris.

There is a silver lining, at least, as unless the Wimbledon club allow her to plinth-mount in the middle of centre court, with backing vocalists on umpire chairs and Pro Green dressed as a ball-boy, we don't have any major sporting events for her to ruin next year. Or the year after. Or the year after that."