So, The X Factor UK is getting near to its gritty end and the question I’m asking is will the discerning British public demonstrate anti-Factor sentiment again and deny the winner the honour of the once guaranteed Christmas Number One? From 2005 to 2008, the winners of The X Factor consistently took the Number One spot, beginning with Shayne Ward in 2005, followed by Leona Lewis, Leon Jackson and Alexandra Burke. In 2007, bookmakers started taking bets on what the Christmas Number Two would be instead!
“Tired of [The X Factor] getting to Number One every year” and wanting “to get the Christmas Number One back”, Jon and Tracy Morter started the Facebook campaign that saw Rage Against the Machine’s 1992 single ‘Killing in the Name’ catapult into first place in 2009. The X Factor chart domination was over as the anti-corporate campaign made Rage the first group to get a Christmas Number One with a download-only single having the most download sales in a single week ever in UK charts. Apparently it was the closest race for Christmas number one since the Spice Girls' Goodbye and South Park character Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls in 1998 – who am I to argue....
So, what will happen this year? Whilst some of this year’s crowd of precious X Factor contestants are clearly talented, it seems Simon Cowell was genuinely frightened that Brazilian PE teacher, Wagner Carrilho, would win the competition simply to ‘annoy him’. To Simon’s visible relief, Carrilho was voted out of the show by the judges on Sunday - Simon commenting that he was happy with the decision because “there were people out there trying to derail the show for different reasons and what has happened tonight is that we have put [The X Factor] back in the hands of the public”. Whilst Carrilho has forgotten the words of his songs, delivered outlandish routines, and sung out of tune (think Jedward 2009 and you get the idea), he was regularly in the top half of the result accordingly to recent internet leaks, flamed by fans’ determination to keep him in the competition thanks at least in part to a Facebook campaign urging the public to “throw a spanner in the works of Simon Cowell’s obscene money-making machine.” Unfortunately, The X Factor judges were able to unceremoniously dismiss Carrilho courtesy of some nice game-play which means The X Factor has gone back to being boring.
Maybe there is hope for Carrilho post The X Factor? Being a rejected X Factor contestant hasn’t stopped Gamu Nhengu recording a charity single, ‘Where Will You Sleep This Christmas’. The song is being released on behalf of Children’s charity Aberlou, with the proceeds raising money to help Scottish families and children.
Earlier this year, judge Cheryl Cole caused controversy by axing Zimbabwean born Gamu, who is currently battling officials over deportation and visa issues.
Outside The X Factor sausage machine, watch out for a remake of Bing Crosby’s ‘White Christmas’. Despite selling millions, Crosby has never had a number one single. However, thanks to studio wizardry, opera star Bryn Terfel is performing a duet of the timeless classic. William Hill is now giving the track odds of 6-1 to become the Christmas Number One.
Also, Coldplay has announced that it is releasing a new song called ‘Christmas Lights’ on 1 December. Check out their recent press release:
Whilst it is no longer certain that The X Factor winner will secure the Christmas Number One spot, it is clear that The X Factor is tried and tested formula for success. I’m still waiting to see whether an internet or social media campaign will gather enough momentum over the next 2 weeks to ensure The X Factor is pipped to the post. However, at this stage, my money is backing Simon Cowell....