This evening, Cheryl Cole performed her debut single, “Fight For This Love,” for the VERY first time on live television.

Though she’s already been on tour with Girls Aloud for over seven years, performing live for hundreds of TV shows and arena concerts, there was just something about the fact that it was only Cheryl that made the moments leading up to her entrance as nerve-inducing as her very first performance on Popstars.

As we should have known, Cole handled it like the pro that she already is. Stepping off the stage as a judge and into the spotlight as a performer, the singer unleashed a stellar performance of “Fight For This Love,” suited in a slightly modified version of the military jacket from her video, a mesh top, and a pair of double-slitted black slacks.

Though her voice may have threatened to crack at times (whether it be result of the dance moves or that whole national audience viewing thing) she held on throughout, moving her way across the stage with a flank of soldier-dancers in tow.

However, it wasn’t until the song began to fade (and Simon began to stand) that the real “WOW!” moment began: As the music broke into a militant strut a la Rhythm Nation, Cole strutted it out for a brilliant, all-too-brief dance breakdown. The legs! The shimmying! That licky-hand-slap dance move! It was all she needed to do and then some; almost certain to secure her place at #1 this week.

Big love to the fact that Nicola, Kimberley, and Sarah were in the audience. I’m assuming Nuh-deen’s busy recording her own debut single right now out in L.A. or something. (Note: This is more of a dream than an assumption.)

And as for the main attraction, Miss Whitney Houston, who performed immediately after? Err, well…I’d rather not get into it out of respect.