Monday, November 27, 2006

Let the bells ring out...

It's around this time of year that record companies and bored newspaper editors start to talk up the "race for the Christmas number one". Sometimes the race is a truly exciting marathon, as proper pop acts with real fanbases run as fast as they can towards the finish line. Other years - like this year - it's more like a round of It's A Knockout. Only without the laughs.

The front-runner for 2007 (yes, I am going to keep the tedious racing metaphor up for the entire post) is the as-yet-unidentified winner of X Factor. This isn't necessarily as evil as knee-jerk spectators may imagine - Girls Aloud's Sound Of The Underground was Christmas number one way back in 2002 and it is a bona fide pop classic, after all.

Unfortunately, however, the eventual winner is recording a Westlife-tastic cover version of Kelly Clarkson's American Idol single A Moment Like This, thus proving that when pop reality eat themselves, their shit sounds the same. (NB: Leona to win!)

Because of the crushing inevitablity of the X-Factor "phenomenon" topping the charts, no-one else is really even entering the race. Slade and Cliff Richard are turning up at the starting line out of habit but, at their age, no-one really expects them to go the distance.

Running as a relay team are Peter Andre and tits-out model Jordan his thoroughly respectable wife, Katie, who release their cover of A Whole New World, from Disney's Aladdin. Its a hell of a lot better than the version that was circulated on the internet a few weeks back, but it still sounds like two squirrels fighting in a tin bucket.

Who else is under starter's orders? Ricky Tomlinson has a song called Christmas My Arse, which is every bit as bad as it sounds. And that Crazy Frog is murdering Wham's Last Christmas. Apparently, he missed the memo telling him to fuck off and die.

Bookmakers William Hill have also taken bets from punters who desperately believe George Michael, Justin Timberlake or Eminem could make a spirited last-minute dash for the finish line. But it will never, ever happen. And not just because the three of them are permanently enveloped in a haze of smoke from 'special' cigarettes.

In fact, the only decent song I can find in the starting list is Lily Allen's Littlest Things, and I don't even like it that much. Good video though:

So, for now, I'm off to listen to my Phil Spector Christmas Album. Bah and, indeed, humbug.

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