The race for Christmas number 1 is well and truly on, with bands, choirs and solo artists battling it out to reach the coveted top spot.


With bookies slashing the odds on X Factor 2018 winner Dalton Harris claiming the Christmas number 1 – which would be Simon Cowell's first win since 2014 – we take a look at his competition.

Dalton Harris and James Arthur – The Power of Love

During the show’s halcyon days, the winner’s single was guaranteed to be the Christmas chart-topper, no matter how crap it was. (Shayne Ward’s That’s My Goal, anyone?)

But since the X Factor jumped the (baby) shark, the winner’s single has failed to make the top spot. The last was Ben Haenow's cover of OneRepublic’s Something I Need, back in 2014 (which we would argue was the last wholly decent series).

While Dalton Harris’s sugary cover of The Power of Love by Jennifer Rush, aided by fellow X Factor alumnus James Arthur, is a beautiful song, being an X Factor winner no longer packs the punch it used to - with Simon Cowell looking as bored as his dwindling audience during this weekend’s grand finale.

Dalton’s cause is further hindered by this X Factor final being the show’s earliest yet – with the Christmas number 1 not being announced until 21st December, the song runs the risk of being forgotten in favour of later and more festive offerings.

This time next year, Dalton – one of the X Factor’s best talents in years – will most likely be following in Rak-Su’s footsteps: trying to flog a Christmas song sponsored by Coca Cola, and that’s a real shame. Unless there’s a Christmas miracle, of course.

Ariana Grande – thank u, next

Despite being surprise released a month ago on November 3rd, following her split with fiancé Pete Davidson, Ariana Grande’s super-catchy (and highly memeable) thank u, next shows no sign of slowing down in its mission to dominate the world’s charts. Its ascension has been furthered by Grande’s Mean Girls-styled video, released over the weekend. With a huge following on social media, and having already topped the charts worldwide, there’s no reason why Ariana wouldn’t keep sitting pretty at number 1 over Christmas.

Los Unidades (aka Coldplay) – E-Lo

Coldplay have rebranded as Los Unidades (which translates as The Units) for their latest single E-Lo, which has seen them team up with Pharrell Williams. The new release is headed by charity Global Citizen, which aims to stamp out extreme poverty by 2030.

Despite the ostensible rebrand, E-Lo is still most definitely a Coldplay song, coloured by Chris Martin’s distinct vocal – and while Coldplay is not for everyone, they remain one of the biggest and best-loved bands in the world, which makes them a real contender.

Elton John – Your Song

Tied to the beloved John Lewis Christmas adverts, with heavy circulation on television as we draw closer to the big day, Elton John may see himself score a Christmas number 1 with the classic Your Song.

Ellie Goulding reached number 2 when her cover version was picked to soundtrack the advert in 2010, and the original could go that one step further and win the coveted top spot.

Nick Knowles – Make You Feel My Love

As he’s already jammed with Biffy Clyro (and he’s not embarrassed to talk about it), Nick Knowles looks to further grow his street cred by winning Christmas number 1.

In all fairness to the frontman of DIY SOS, the campaign to get Knowles to the top was started by Radio X presenter Chris Moyles while Knowles is still smouldering as the nation’s heartthrob in the I’m a Celeb jungle.

It’s not actually that bad. It’s not good either, but it’s not bad.

With a raft of actual talent looking to take the top spot, it’s not looking likely that Knowles will win the race to Christmas number 1 – but a girl can dream.

Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas Is You

The Christmas songs to end all Christmas songs, Mariah Carey comes out of hibernation every December to belt out this banger. As it stands, All I Want For Christmas Is You rose 65 places in the charts last week, to stand proudly at number 34. That unstoppable rise is set to continue as we edge closer to the big day. It’s the 2018 Christmas number 1 we deserve.

The Celebs – Rock with Rudolph


Alright, so it’s not quite Band Aid, but it’s a quaint idea – a group of celebs, including Lionel Blair, The Chase’s Anne Hegerty, and Dani Harmer (aka Tracy Beaker) have joined together to perform in honour of Great Ormond Street, raising money for sick children. While it’s facing down some musical behemoths in the mission to climb the pop charts, it’s for a good cause – and with some fairly famous faces taking part, it may be the unexpected Christmas hit of the year.

Sign up to the email newsletter