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Originally created by the Talent Show Popstars: The Rivals
which debuted in November 2002 in the sense that members were actually voted for by the viewing public, Girls Aloud
long outlasted the male group also created and have 20 UK Top 10 singles to their name, including four UK Number Ones. They also appeared as the school band at the end of the 2008 St. Trinian's
Formerly on hiatus (for what was intended to be one year but ultimately became three-and-a-half), it was announced in May 2012 that the girls were recording new material with their longtime collaborators Xenomania. After months of speculation, it was finally confirmed that the fivesome would reunite to release a new single for Children in Need
2012, as well as embark on the Ten: The Hits Tour, their first in almost four years.
On March 20 2013, the band officially announced their disbandment, following the final date of their Ten: The Hits Tour.
The pop group consists of five members:
- Kimberley Walsh
- Cheryl Cole (nee Tweedy)
- Sarah Harding
- Nicola Roberts
- Nadine Coyle
This pop group contains examples of:
- Album Title Drop:
- It's the sound of the underground, the beat of the drum goes round and around ...
- Give me a squeeze a day, get off this negligee, what will the neighbours say this time?
- Man get up! We're gonna start this fire, tangled up! Because I know I should ...
- Ascended Fangirl: Prior to being named a mentor on Rihanna's television show Styled to Rock, Nicola had admitted to being a huge fan of the singer.
- Back for the Finale: After much speculation (going on for years), the girls confirmed their disbandment immediately following the final date of their Ten: The Hits Tour.
- Banned in China: Supposedly, according to urban legend, banned from a school disco playlist at a school in The Black Country (well, Walsall / Willenhall area if you must be accurate).
- Between My Legs: Used in the "Kimberley" ending of their video for "I Think We're Alone Now". Kimberley buys time for the girls to escape with the loot by flashing the security guys, causing them to faint as she gives a knowing look to the camera.
- Biker Babe: The "Wake Me Up" video. Sarah and Cheryl have commented that they found parts of it more hilarious than sexy.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Sarah (blonde), Cheryl (brunette), and Nicola (redhead). Nadine and Kimberley tend to stay in the blonde-brunette middle range.
- Breakup Breakout: Cheryl's solo career has been more successful than the rest of them. In fact, Nadine is close to becoming The Garfunkel.
- Britpop: Though the group are not strictly a textbook Britpop group, their debut album Sound of the Underground was very much influenced by Oasis, and Brian Higgins later said that he was intending to marry the Xenomania's pop sound with the burgeoning "indie" scene with that album.
- But Not Too White: Nicola has been mocked in the press being "ugly" due to her bright red hair and extremely pale complexion◊. She's since struck back with a fairly successful makeup range for pale women and championing legislation to ban the use of sunbeds for minors under 18.
- Call Back: The lyrics to "Something New" include the lines "we girls gonna run this show" and "feel the beat deep underground".
- The Cameo: The signature "do do do" refrain on Franz Ferdinand's cover of "Sound and Vision" are sung by the girls because both bands happened to run into each other at the same recording studio.
- The Caper: Played for Laughs in the video for their cover of "I Think We're Alone Now". The video even came with three separate endings.
- Cover Version: Several appear on their albums and many times on tour or radio appearances.
- Cuteness Proximity: Played for Laughs on a sketch for their Christmas special, where the only reason they invited Paul O'Grady over for Christmas was that they wanted to play with his dog, Buster.
- Darker and Edgier: The "Sexy! No No No..." video.
- Deliberately Monochrome: Much of the video for "Something New".
- Double Standard: Watch the video for "The Show". Now imagine the public's reaction if the situation were reversed with five men doing those sorts of things to a group of girls.
- Downer Ending: The video for "Untouchable". The girls traipse across space in individual bubble ships and presumably trigger a cataclysm when their ships fail and they crash into the Earth.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: Although the group's debut single "Sound of the Underground" was rather subversive in sound, by listening to early b-sides and demos it's clear the record company wanted the group to be a bog-standard girl group. "Stay Another Day", "Lights, Music, Camera, Action!" and their version of "Sacred Trust" are prime examples.
: We had something that was fresh, rather than us just doing an Atomic Kitten
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: "Je Ne Parle Pas Francais", which ironically was a translated version of "Can't Speak French".
- Fanservice/ Three Minutes of Writhing: Their videos for "Long Hot Summer", "Wake Me Up", "Can't Speak French" and "Sexy! No No No..." are prime examples.
- The Fashionista: All of them are involved with fashion in one way or another. They've all walked runways for charity fashion shows, modeled for beauty and fashion campaigns, and released a DVD about their personal styles.
- Five Girl Band: Although Cheryl and Nadine split the leader position with Cheryl being the leader in public appearances while Nadine is the leader on their songs.
- Genki Girl: Sarah, although all five of them tend to get excitable once you get them going and chattering at the same time.
- The DVD commentary of their music videos up until "Sexy! No No No..." is basically Sarah and Cheryl cackling in both glee and horror while getting distracted by other things.
Sarah: Getting shots of us all together to look serious is physically impossible.
- Genre Roulette: While firmly standing in Pop territory, they've experimented with all kinds of genres. Out of Control is probably the best example of their variation in style; that one album alone sees them playing with Soul, Drum & Bass, Electronic Music, Funk, Dancehall, Alternative Rock, Power Pop and Country Music.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Where did Kimberley put that hair dryer in the "Wake Me Up" video?
- Girl Group
- Girliness Upgrade: Compare "Sound of the Underground" to "The Promise", and they've come a long way. At the start of their career, they were quite tomboyish with lots of combat fatigues and street-style clothing, and slowly evolved into the glamorous style that they're known for today.
- Go Karting with Bowser: The dodgy cover of "Walk This Way" with their chart rivals Sugababes done for charity.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: The entire band's fondness for clubs, alcohol, and parties have been well documented in the tabloids, but Sarah Harding is the stand out case. She not only has a home on the infamous party island of Ibiza, she was also engaged to a DJ. The band's lyrics also contain frequent references to drinking and partying the night away.
- Sarah's Hard-Drinking Party Girl ways have now caught up with her as she's entered rehab and her engagement was called off.
- Their 2013 Greatest Hits tour will be a "dry" tour in support of Sarah's new-found sobriety and "On The Metro" references drinking soda instead of alcohol.
- Nadine owns a bar in Los Angeles with her family.
- One particular segment on their behind-the-scenes television special was Cheryl being horribly hungover after she and Nadine had spent the night drinking from their hotel bar. Cheryl has said that Nadine has and will drink her under the table.
- One interview with the Arctic Monkeys mentioned that one time at an industry party, the girls out drank them.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners/Les Yay: Kimberley and Cheryl are very close, to the point that the band's fanbase enjoy reading into this, nicknaming them "Chim".
- In fact, the first time Cheryl and Kimberley met, Cheryl blurted out that she thought Kimberley had beautiful skin.
- Cheryl caused a minor meltdown in the fanbase by jokingly proposing to Kimberley on Twitter. And called Kimberley her◊ wife.
Kimberley: “@CherylCole: @kimberleyjwalsh !!! Marry me???” Lmjao...what have you started
- Hidden Depths: Nicola actually has written several songs that were on their albums: "I Say A Prayer For You", "It's Magic", and "On The Metro". She also wrote and produced her own solo album to strong critical praise.
- Several songs on What Will The Neighbors Say?, Tangled Up, and Out Of Control were co-written by the girls themselves with Xenomania.
- Kimberley managed the group's finances and activities during a period where they did not have any management after leaving Louis Walsh's management in the early stages of their career.
- Hollywood Thin: Nadine. It's also speculated that Cheryl was fired from the American version of The X Factor for not being this.
- Intercourse with You: "Watch Me Go", "Fling", "Love Machine", "Wake Me Up", "Graffiti My Soul".
- Ironic Fear: The girls, especially Nicola and Nadine, all have some fear of heights. Their last four tours involved large heights and platforms flying over the audience.
- Long Runner Line Up: Type 3 (All original members with a hiatus/breakup). If it weren't for their hiatus, they would have been a Type 1 by the time they broke up.
- Missing Episode: Audio of Kimberley Walsh's solo, which takes on a very Tina Turner - esque sound! There is no Keep Circulating the Tapes as it is gone for good, but for once not due to an Old Shame reason, rather more it's unknown why.
- Mood Whiplash: "Something New" is a fierce, unapologetic girl power anthem. Its follow-up single "Beautiful Cause You Love Me" is the exact opposite of that, and almost undoes the point they're trying to make in the former!
- Motor Mouth: Cheryl. The girls just tend to let her do most of their speaking when it came to group interviews and she's described herself as that girl who just never shuts up.
- Ms. Fanservice: Let's face it, the whole lot of them.
- New Sound Album: While Girls Aloud's first 3 studio albums were experimental and dynamic in terms of genre-straddling, Tangled Up was essentially a 50-minute rave party. This wasn't a bad thing, however, as Xenomania were still creative with their song structures and lyrical themes.
- Noodle Incident: Whatever it is in Yorkshire concerning Kimberley and Nadine that gets the local papers overexcited in that area.
- The circumstances surrounding Cheryl's dubious exit from the US version of The X Factor still remain murky to this day.
- Odd Friendship: With some well-known bands such as Kaiser Chiefs, Arctic Monkeys, and Coldplay.
- Oireland: Nadine. Though she's probably more Stroke Country than anything.
- Old Shame: They absolutely hate their video for "No Good Advice". And with good reason, since they were basically covered in tinfoil.
Nadine: How did we ever think that was a good idea? Spandex? Silver? Tinfoil?
Kimberley: The funny thing was that we actually thought we looked okay.
Nicola: [Silver] was on its way in and then people saw us in it, it was on its way back out!
Cheryl: What were we thinking?
Sarah: How the hell we're gonna get the AA to come and pick us up on the moon?
- Kimberley loathes their video for "The Show".
- Inverted with "Love Machine." All the girls have gone on record saying that they initially loathed the song when they first recorded it, only to be won over due to the positive reception of the song. Nicola had found the lyrics "daft" and Cheryl admitted that she didn't think it was a good single.
- While the girls themselves don't seem to have a problem with "Long Hot Summer", Xenomania hates it and considers it a lazy and disastrous effort.
- One Woman Song: "Racy Lacey".
- Oop North: Kimberley is from Bradford, Cheryl is from Newcastle, and Nicola is from Runcorn.
- Although she was born and had her very early childhood in Ascot, Sarah spent much of her life in Stockport and identifies herself as a Northerner.
- Opposites Attract: The theme of "Love Is The Key".
- The Precious, Precious Car: When the girls appeared on an episode of Fifth Gear, Sarah got so enthusiastic at the opportunity to drive a Ferrari around the test track that she didn't see other cars in the parking lot and rammed it into their manager's van. Unaired footage showed that after Sarah took the car on a drive anyway and only realized the extent of the damage after she came back. Everyone else had been stunned into silence.
- Punny Name: The salon in the video for "The Show" is called Curls Allowed.
- Their name itself is arguably one to play up the "boys vs. girls" theme on Popstars and a track on their debut album was titled "Girls Allowed."
- Reality Show / Talent Show: This is one of the few success stories to come from those types of programs. In fact, they're listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the "World's Most Successful Reality TV Group". It does remain to be seen if One Direction and Little Mix can be as long lasting.
- The girls themselves, with the exception of Nadine, regularly make guest appearances on other reality shows as well. Kimberley competed and came in second place on Strictly Come Dancing, Cheryl boosted her solo profile with The X Factor, Nicola is a mentor/judge on Styled To Rock, and Sarah hosted the dating program Dating In The Dark. Nadine's reality show appearances so far have been limited to the band's behind the scenes specials and as a guest judge on America's Next Top Model.
- Redheaded Stepchild: Nicola was picked on by the British press for being a redhead. She comments on this on her song "Sticks and Stones" on her solo album.
- Sampling: "Graffiti My Soul" samples the Peplab song "It's Not the Drug", "Biology" interpolates the main riff of The Animals' "Club-a-Gogo", and "Sexy! No No No..." samples the guitar riff of Nazareth's "Hair Of The Dog".
- She's Got Legs: All of them, but Nadine will wear outfits that show off her legs the most often. The girls have flat out said that when it came to styling them, Nadine was always the one in the mini-skirt.
- Silly Love Songs: Even a girl group with biting wit has to belt out a few silly love songs once in a while. Examples include "I Say a Prayer For You", "Forever and a Night", "Whole Lotta History" and "Beautiful 'Cos You Love Me".
- Singing Voice Dissonance: While they have lovely singing voices, Cheryl's Geordie and Nadine's Northern Irish accents can be rough on unfamiliar ears. TMZ TV tried to watch a clip of Cheryl on The X Factor and were unable to understand her, and Nadine's accent was thick enough to warrant subtitles when she appeared on America's Next Top Model.
- Skunk Stripe: Nadine sports one in the video for "The Show" and during all the girls' promotional appearances for that single.
- Spiritual Successor: Considered this to the Spice Girls as Geri Halliwell had a hand in selecting them since she was a judge on the show that formed them. They've since outgrown that label.
- Synth Pop: A good deal of their output is composed of this.
- Take That: The b-side "Hoxton Heroes" mocked the hipsters in the British indie scene who were more obsessed with flaunting their "indie credibility" and fame connections, than instead of being legitimate musicians the Girls could enjoy.
- Technician Versus Performer: Nadine is undeniably the strongest singer in the group, but she lacks the live performance skills that makes Cheryl more popular.
- Tempting Fate: The girls were invited onto a ghost hunting special and the first half of the special, nothing happened. Cheryl, exhausted and wanting to go home already, calls for a ghost to just make a noise already. A loud tap then sends all the girls screaming out of the room.
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: In "The Promise" and "I'll Stand By You".
- A Very British Christmas: "Sound of the Underground" debuted at #1 on the Christmas charts as part of the goal of Popstars, and the Christmas special "The Girls Aloud Party."
- Video Full Of Film Clips: Their cover of the Pointer Sisters' "Jump (For My Love)". The video is intercut with clips from Love Actually to create the illusion of the girls sneaking into Downing Street and wandering around trying not to get caught.
- Wake Up Makeup: In the intro to their "Ten Years At The Top" TV special, Nadine wakes up with a full face of makeup.
- Word Salad Lyrics: Their entire catalog, with the most infamous examples being "Love Machine", "Biology", "Sexy! No No No...", and "Miss You Bow Wow". The reason for this is Xenomania's production method of making words up to sync with the melodies and shaping the lyrics from there.
- Wrench Wench: The concept of their video for "Long Hot Summer." Bonus points for actually being filmed in an actual auto shop.
- Younger than They Look: In 2001 Nadine had won a similar show in Ireland, but had been removed from the resulting band because she'd lied about her age. Louis Walsh (who was also a judge on the Irish show) guided her into this band instead.
- Made even more hilarious by the fact that the other band in question, Six flopped badly and haven't been heard from since.
- The TV show that set out to create Girls Aloud also featured a girl who claimed she was 16 to make it into the competition. She made it fairly far...and was then revealed to be 13.