It's officially Christmas advert season, with John Lewis releasing its latest festive ad – The Beginner – featuring a cover of Blink 182's All the Small Things by Mike Geier.

While few people on this side of the pond will be familiar with the American singer and his dulcet tones, you may be surprised to learn that Geier has a clown alter ego – and was rejected by Simon Cowell back in 2017.

The musician, who performs as the Pagliacci-style clown Puddles Pity Party, originally went viral after performing Lorde's Royals as the 'Sad Clown with the Golden Voice' with Postmodern Jukebox, in a video that has over 32 million views.

Mike Geier performing as Puddles Pity Party
Mike Geier performing as Puddles Pity Party Getty

He went on to compete in the 12th season of America's Got Talent as Puddles, performing Royals in the quarterfinals and receiving an X from judge Simon Cowell before being eliminated the following night.

Geier returned to the America's Got Talent stage in 2020 for the Champions season, performing Foreigner's I Want To Know What Love Is, with Cowell saying it was an "interesting" performance.

"It's what we call Marmite – you either love it or hate it," he added. "I loved it. You just won me over."

The 58-year-old has toured as Puddles across the US, the UK, Belgium and Australia, while in 2019, Geier began a residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

John Lewis' Christmas ad isn't the first commercial he's appeared in, with the singer featuring in a Cartoon Network advert back in 2017.

There have been a number of moving John Lewis Christmas ad songs over the years, with Lily Allen's cover of Somewhere Only We Know for the 2013 advert topping the UK Singles Chart, while Tom Odell's Real Love rose to number 7 the following year.

As for the best John Lewis ad of all-time, the readers have spoken, with a poll crowning 2016's Buster the Boxer as the department store's ultimate Christmas commercial.

John Lewis isn't the first brand to get its festive offering out this month, with the likes of Sainbury's, ASDA, M&S and JD Sports airing their Christmas crackers.

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