The X Factor, Nirvana or TOWIE? Jon Morter on the 2011 Christmas number one race

The man who beat Simon Cowell to the top spot with Rage against the Machine in 2009 assesses this year's contenders

In 2009, Jon Morter, along with over a million Facebook friends, propelled Rage Against the Machine to Christmas number one, beating The X Factor’s Joe McElderry and spurring an annual challenge from campaigners and novelty hits to try to do the same.


You can read more about how Jon beat Simon Cowell’s media machine to the top spot here, but how does he assess the runners and riders in the 2011 contest? 

Winner of The X Factor 2011 (1/2)

Naturally this is the hot favourite, but at present there’s still speculation as to what the song will be.  Talk of Gary Barlow penning the song has turned in recent days to Damien Rice’s Cannonball – we’ll have to wait and see.   I don’t think they have any acts of the standard of Matt Cardle or Leona Lewis this year, but I do reckon Little Mix could win it. They are releasing the single a week earlier this year so potentially giving others a chance for the Christmas Day chart-topper.

Military Wives Choir – Wherever You Are

They’re gaining a lot of support from the likes of Radio 2, which will be a huge boost, plus are raising money for the Royal British Legion, too.  I reckon this will sell extremely well, but the main social networks (Facebook and Twitter) are showing much bigger support for Nirvana’s campaign.

Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit (5/1)

My tip for the top. It’s a brilliant song by a brilliant band and the Facebook page is growing at a very good rate (and in a better position than the Rage Against the Machine campaign was at the same stage two years ago). There’s a rumour that because of the sheer amount of support, the record company is re-releasing a limited run of 7″ vinyl singles, too. The one to watch, in my opinion – plus they’re also raising money for the children’s music charity, Rhythmix.

The Wombles – Wombling Merry Christmas (10/1)

A classic Christmas song from 1974 that’s been given a fresh new video poking fun at The X Factor. This is being released on the same day as The X Factor so it has to sustain an extra week of sales to challenge for the Christmas chart-topper on Christmas Day itself. I hope it does well as it’s good fun, but fear it might just run out of steam.

The Smiths – Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want

A case of the original version picking up sales due to a cover being used on an advert. I’d guess it will certainly sell well because of this, but Christmas number one? I very much doubt it. Will fans of The Smiths buy it again to propel it ahead of The X Factor or Nirvana? I doubt they’d be bothered, somehow.

Cast of The Only Way Is Essex – Last Christmas (16/1)

Being Essex born and bred myself I find the show excruciatingly painful to watch. I’d imagine their potential butchering of the Wham! classic to be equally painful, too. No chance.

Matt Berry & Everyone – A Christmas Song

I reckon this might be a bit of a “dark horse”. Comedian/singer/actor and general all-rounder Matt Berry has created the very first “crowd-sourced” Christmas song and is releasing it to raise money for Shelter. As a result of it being crowd-sourced, there’s plenty of friends and relatives of those involved who will be encouraged to buy it.

Joe McElderry – Last Christmas (33/1)

Famously beaten to the 2009 Christmas number one by Rage Against the Machine, he now has another crack at the festive top spot and guess what? There’s potentially another loud rock band in his way.  Saying that, he has a very engaged fanbase online, and I’d guess he’d do Last Christmas more justice than the cast of that TV show. Could surprise everyone.

The Wurzels – Sleigh Ride (50/1)

This would be a huge long shot to top the chart on Christmas Day but stranger things have happened in the past (Bob the Builder beating Westlife, Mr Blobby beating Take That). They deserve a mention simply because they’re the Wurzels.


After beating Joe McElderry and The X Factor to Christmas number one, Jon Morter and his wife, Tracy, were instrumental in organising the Save 6 Music campaign on Facebook. Jon now advises companies on social media strategy and is a founding partner of media company Big Other. He presents The Jon Factor, Saturday nights from 9pm on TotalBikerFM