WESTLIFE have announced their challenge for the Christmas Number One will be ‘WHAT MAKES A MAN’ – released on December 18.
The single features on the group’s recent album ‘Coast To Coast’, and according to early chart predictions, is the hot favourite to be the Christmas chart-topper.
The single is backed by two covers, ‘My Girl’ and ‘What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted’ and according to a chart expert at HMV in London, is likely to become the Irish crooners eighth consecutive Number One single.
He said: “It’ll probably make it by the narrowest of margins.”
HMV say the likeliest candidate to challenge Westlife is UK ‘Big Brother’ winner Craig Phillips, with his single ‘At This Time Of Year’. They claim the song has “many of the hallmarks of a classic Christmas Number One – novelty value, high media profile and a strong charity angle.”
The most likely alternative artist to get to Number One is Eminem, with his single ‘Stan’, although initial predictions are that he will only reach Number Three. He said: “This is easily the most controversial of all the releases, and the hardest one to call. This song is not big on festive spirit, but Eminem has a massive global following. We have received more enquiries for this release than any other. It’s probably coming out a week too early (though).”
Other artists hoping to make the festive Top Five are underground dance production guru Rui Da Silva, with ‘Touch Me’, Sugababes ( ‘New Year’), Robbie Williams ( ‘Supreme’) and S Club 7 ( ‘Never Had A Dream Come True’).
Speaking exclusively to NME.COM, Rui Da Silva said he expected his rivals Westlife to top the chart, although he would prefer Eminem. He said: “(My single) ‘Touch Me’ is for people who love music, and Westlife is something completely different. It’s aimed at a specific age group, it’s very well manufactured, and is a strong selection to be Number One without any doubt. Eminem should be Number One because it’s such a beautiful song!”
The latest odds appear to agree with HMV’s predictions. Westlife are currently 1/3 favourites, with Craig Phillips at 5/1 and Robbie Williams at 8/1.