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Performances from ITV1’s Cheryl Cole’s Night In: Cheryl Cole, Rihanna, and Alexandra Burke.

cherylnightinPhoto courtesy of Daily Mail.

Sleigh bells ring…are you listening? No? Me neither.

Instead, I was busy watching ITV1’s Cheryl Cole’s Night In, broadcasted live from some nice gentleman’s TV in the UK this afternoon.

The show, similar to Girls Aloud‘s Christmas special, The Girls Aloud Party (minus the funny), was a one-off special including many artists, in-depth interviews, and three performances by the hostess herself. While it all sort of seemed like one massive lead-in for X Factor, it was nice while it lasted.

Let’s sort through the performances, shall we?

It’s “Fight For This Love”–with a quick occupational change!

Trading in the soldier’s jacket for a flowing silk kimono (sort of), Cole goes from soldier to samurai in this phenomenal hot-pink re-hash of her much beloved first single and its original X Factor routine.

And yes, after three nail-biting moments, the payoff returns: The dance break’s back! And what’s more, it’s reinvented! Just watch what she does with that sword. Love, love, LOVE my Cheryl!

Erm…such a pretty dress!

Sorry. Vocally it’s a bit weak, and performance-wise it’s a bit stiff, but I’ll be damned if she isn’t an absolute vision here.

It’s hard for me to be “objective” about Rihannoir, given that I’m so enamored by her lately.

I think this is vocally even stronger than her latest performance on Saturday Night Live, and perhaps one of the more intriguing performances as of late. (She’s performed it so many times in the space of a month, now that I think about it!)

Highlights include blue fire, white shoulder-pad spikes, front-heel high heeled shoes, torches, and a lovely stringed accompaniment. The beginning of the performance hints at a softer ballad rendition of “Russian Roulette.” Can we please make a full version of that happen?

A top-notch performance of “Bad Boys” from last year’s X Factor winner (mentored by Cole!), Alexandra Burke. I don’t know all that much about her, but judging from her tweets and her interview on the show, I’d say she’s a rather chipper person. Hurrah for Alexandra!

In the best surprise of the night however, Cole took to the stage for the final time to perform “Parachute” for the first time ever, along with one of Dancing With the Stars‘ professional dancers, Derek Hough.

Not only did she look STUNNING, but the choreography was as close to perfection as Cole’s ever come. While some fans may bitch about the performance being lip-synched, all I can say is: Who gives a shit? We all know she isn’t a vocalist, so why bother forcing it? This is entertainment, my friends…not a vocal showcase.

And that was Cheryl Cole’s first ever (only ever?) one-off special.