Girls Aloud Jingle Bell Ball

Girls Aloud [L-r: Sarah Harding, Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts, Cheryl Cole and Kimberley Walsh] line-up ahead of the Capital FM Jingle Bell Ball in London

It was a night where Girls Aloud were supposed to mark their comeback in style with a glittering opening performance at the Capital FM Jingle Bell Ball at the O2 Arena in London; yet since the girls have been away on individual endeavors the landscape of British pop music has changed somewhat and the five-piece were surprised to find themselves eclipsed by, among others, The Wanted - fresh from a jaunt supporting Justin Bieber in the USA - Calvin Harris and Example, among others. 

The Wanted, Jingle Bell Ball

The Wanted have been impressing all Autumn out in the States in support of Justin Bieber and they were good again in London

Indeed The Wanted boys stole the show from a group who The Independent described as "rusty" in their review of the massive event last night (December 9), despite only appearing for one song, 'Heart Vacancy'. Girls Aloud performed 'Something Kinda Oooh', 'The Promise' and new single 'Beautiful Cause You Love Me', though were lacklustre throughout.

Example, The Jingle Bell Ball

Example arrives ahead of the Capital FM Jingle Bell Ball

Calvin Harris and Example were sandwiched between the two massive pop groups, and brought a club vibe to the giant arena - and impressive feat given the size of it. Example joined Harris for a version of 'We'll Be Coming Back', with the other guest joining the Scottish producer in his short set being Tinie Tempah. 

Connor Maynard, Jingle Bell Ball

YouTube sensation Conor Maynard was also in attendance

With Pink headlining the event, Girls Aloud were given a glimpse at the standard that the pop world is at now, the singer still very much at the top of her game having come back from giving birth. A feisty, energetic performance it put Cheryl Cole et al in the shade - though at least they got their outfits right. The first night of the event on Saturday (December 8) had seen the likes of Bruno Mars, One Direction and JLS perform. 

Cheryl Cole, The Jingle Bell Ball

Cheryl Cole performed on the Saturday night as well at the event