'The X Factor' pulls out of Christmas Number One race

This year's winner's single will be released a week earlier than in previous years

'The X Factor' pulls out of Christmas Number One race

Photo: ITV/Nicky Johnston

The X Factor has ruled itself out of the race for this year's Christmas Number One, according to reports.

The ITV talent show juggernaut has traditionally released its winner's single the week before Christmas, and in most cases has comfortably topped the festive chart.

But this year, the show will be holding its final on December 9, two weeks before the announcement of the Christmas rundown, according to BBC News.

Last year's winners, Little Mix, topped the chart with their single 'Cannonball' and were number one as Christmas Day fell on a Sunday, although later that day they lost out to the Military Wives, meaning there were technically two Christmas number ones.

However, this year, producers have apparently taken the winners out of the race, although ITV will not officially confirm its schedule until nearer the time. It is not known whether the decision is related to Lucy Spraggan's departure from the show. The singer-songwriter pulled out of the contest due to illness two weeks ago and has not been replaced, meaning the show might necessarily need a shorter run.

The X Factor's Christmas chart dominance was broken in 2009 when a Facebook campaign successfully propelled Rage Against The Machine's 'Killing In The Name' to the top spot, beating Joe McElderry's version of Miley Cyrus hit 'The Climb'. However, the following year Matt Cardle won the race with his cover of Biffy Clyro's 'Many Of Horror'.

Girls Aloud are making a bid for their second Christmas Number One, with their new track 'Beautiful 'Cause You Love Me' which debuted this week, having an 'impact date' of December 17.

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