That all changed when the then-16-year-old stood before the talent show's judging panel, headed by Simon Cowell, and delivered an attention-grabbing cover of Soulja Boy's "Turn My Swag On."
Lloyd came in fourth on "The X Factor," finishing behind One Direction, Rebecca Ferguson and series winner Matt Cardle. But she was on top of the U.K. singles chart less than a year later with the edgy dubstep-flavored single "Swagger Jagger."
The next stage of the campaign commences Oct. 2 with the domestic release of "Sticks + Stones," which features two new tracks not available on the U.K. version ("Behind the Music," "Oath").
"There's a big field for me to play in over here," she says, referring to the U.S. market. "It's very tough, but I love a challenge." Epic's hopes are no less grand. "If One Direction is the new 'N Sync," Seviour says, "then Cher Lloyd is the new Britney Spears."