For the second week in a row, Cheryl Cole did something outrageous on The X Factor. After last week’s no-vote fiasco, in which she refused to send home either Katie Waissel or Treyc Cohen - causing uproar and indignation in households that have a strong bond with the television - the two-time Sexiest Woman in the World appeared on the show with a comedy hairdo and her whole left leg exposed. It was the broadcasting equivalent of some complimentary garlic dough balls. And it worked.

Cheryl went for a big red rinse on her head, then had someone with outrageous hair skills tie it in a bow. The dress, a black ballroom gown designed by a person with outrageous dress-making skills, showed off plenty of leg and what is fancily referred to as a lady’s ‘décolletage’. Which means, if you’ll excuse our more straightforward lexicon, her tits.

Cheryl Cole shows some leg at the X Factor
Best foot forward: If Cheryl Cole played football, she'd be left-footed

Use that next time you’re talking to a girl (pronounced with a whiff of a French accent), and she’ll assume you’re gay. It’s a good way to get invited round to her place on a Sunday to watch Sex and the City DVDs in bed, but once safely snuggling under the duvet, it’ll require some masterful negotiation skills to convince her to have sex with you without her having a tantrum about being conned. Tread carefully.

So, Cheryl Cole’s performance on the The X Factor was very well managed. It meant that those who wanted to throttle her for her her tactics last week felt a little bit better about the whole thing, and that FHM.com readers got to seem some skin.

Cheryl Cole's black dress on eviction night on X Factor