December 21st, 2009
The Onion’s AV Club has the story:
Since 1952, having the chart-topping single in the week leading up to Christmas has been a very big deal in the U.K…for the last four years, the winners of The X Factor, a pop singing competition lorded over by American Idol judge/svengali Simon Cowell, have dominated the Christmas charts, including treacly covers of the AI-dictated Kelly Clarkson single “A Moment Like This,” a song from The Prince Of Egypt soundtrack (“When You Believe”), and the ubiquitous “Hallelujah.”
With yet another X Factor winner, Joe McElderry, expected to cruise to Christmas #1 with yet another cover—this one of Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb”—the Internet said “Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me.” A grassroots Facebook campaign, launched by Jon and Tracy Morter, sought to game the system by encouraging music fans to support Rage Against The Machine’s profane, anti-authoritarian anthem “Killing In The Name” as the Christmas single. The song’s long-shot candidacy gained momentum throughout the week, as Brits tired of the Cowell juggernaut responded in huge numbers; today, it eked out a victory with a stunning 502,000 downloads to McElderry’s 450,000.