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Simon Cowell admits defeat in Christmas Number One battle with Military Wives Choir

X Factor boss says their charity track 'Wherever You Are' is a 'worthy' winner

Dean Chalkley/NME
Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME
Simon Cowell has admitted defeat in his battle with the Military Wives Choir to claim this year's Christmas Number One spot.

According to the Official Charts Company, the collective's rendition of 'Wherever You Are' has shifted 242,000 copies in two days and is the fastest-selling single of the last six years. X Factor winners Little Mix, meanwhile, have only sold 38,000 copies of their Damien Rice cover 'Cannonball' in the same period of time.

Taking to Twitter to react to the news, Cowell wrote:
Congrats to Little Mix & congrats to Military Wives. It's a great cause & a worthy Christmas No. 1.

Earlier this month, the man behind the campaign to score Nirvana a Christmas Number One with 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' backed the Military Wives Choir to nab the yuletide top spot, telling NME: "The Military Wives single has got a very big amount of pre-orders. In complete honesty, I think that's the one to keep an eye out for, more than the actual X Factor."

If the Military Wives Choir do take the top spot, it will be the second time in three years that the winner of X Factor doesn't top the charts at Christmas, after 2009 winner Joe McElderry was outsold by Rage Against The Machine's 'Killing In The Name Of'.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Little Mix's version of 'Cannonball' was the lowest-selling single from an X Factor winner since 2004.

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