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Cowell’s second festive humiliation?

Posted Mon 4 Oct 2010 15:55 BST by Ben Gilbert in Behind The Music
As the ‘X Factor' moves on to the live stages, the race for the 2010 Christmas number one is only a matter of weeks away. But after last year's Facebook-engineered campaign to get Rage Against The Machine to the top spot, Simon Cowell could be set to choke on his turkey once again.

With just 12 contestants left to compete for the big prize, there are no guarantees that any of them will be able to avoid a similarly embarrassing fate to Joe McElderry's. Because it already seems certain that many of the people who rallied against the reality show last year are determined to repeat their historic feat.

In fact, one ‘song' is emerging as the unlikely frontrunner in this battle to defy Cowell again and the international music mogul is unlikely to enjoy the sound of it. He will be concerned that the numbers backing classical composer John Cage's piece ‘4'33"' currently total almost 18,000 on this Facebook page.

Even more infuriating will be the fact that the equally celebrated and derided work is entirely silent. Originally unveiled on 29 August 1952 as part of a recital of contemporary piano music in Woodstock, New York, the three-movement work is considered the American's most important composition.

But it is not, inevitably, without controversy, and it prompted Cage into a 40-year defensive stance that lasted right up to his death in 1992. "They missed the point. There's no such thing as silence. What they thought was silence, because they didn't know how to listen, was full of accidental sounds.

"You could hear the wind stirring outside during the first movement. During the second, raindrops began patterning the roof, and during the third the people themselves made all kinds of interesting sounds as they talked or walked out," he said following the premiere in America.

Of course, the supporters backing ‘4'33"''s unlikely festive bid have no such qualms. Online commentators can't get enough of the song, which is also being linked with a contemporary ‘mash-up'. "I love the bit where the trumpets don't come in," commented one fan, while another said: "Wanna use this as my ringtone."

With the likes of Matt Cardle, Rebecca Ferguson, One Direction and Cher Lloyd amongst the favourites to take this year's prize on a programme that commands huge audience figures, Cowell will be determined to avoid another ‘Killing In The Name Of' moment. How stupid would he look if his latest pop darling was defeated by this?

What do you think of the campaign behind ‘4'33"'? Will you be getting behind it or backing whoever takes the ‘X Factor' title? Have your say below...

1. Chris -
How ridiculously stupid. While I love the idea of screwing over Simon Cowell to call this a "song" is just a joke. Those commentators on that video, what a pair of idiots. Seriously. And anyone dumb enough to pay to "listen" to that should just try sitting at home, turning off the TV and shutting the hell up for five minutes. Works for me. I bought Rage last year, but if people want to get one over on Simon Cowell at least do it with a Xmas song.

2. Yahoo! Music User -
What will The Killers be releasing this year?

3. Yahoo! Music User -
I thought the egotistical idiot promised to stop hogging xmas number 1 after last year. STOP STEALING CHRISTMAS MUSIC FROM US YOU SELFISH HOG! no one will make xmas songs as long as he tries to keep a monopoly on it - come on, silent song!

4. danielle -
why cant they actually pick a christmas song to go against x factor not some random crap

5. Paula Girl -
Not quite sure how well that will do on radio! :0

6. JIMMY -
I agree with Chris. At least do this with a Christmas song. There must be lots to choose from. What about "Christmas Song" by Dave Matthews Band?

7. Yahoo! Music User -
Do these stupid people not realise that they are as bad as Simon Cowell, by trying to manipulate us?

8. Leon -
Those who say this is not a good choice are missing the point. The campaign is against the drivel Simon Cowell puts us through each year. This song shows that we would rather pay to listen to silence rather than his offering. I think it is a great idea but I do agree the silence song wouldn't be an option in any other circumstance.

9. Yahoo! Music User -
As X factor is a fake, I would back the idea.

10. Mary -
So much for the intelligensia. For that kind of money I can do silence too. Wake up and smell the coffee. The Sound of Silence would be a better choice.

11. Lee -
Damn right Leon,my thoughts exactly!

12. Linda -
Who would want to be in a deaf man/womens world, what a load of idiots.

13. leslie -
biggest load of crap iv never herd

14. Yahoo! Music User -
Who cares its time for the mogul to be taken off his high horse and his side kick fake girl cheryl cole. good riddance

Beats listening to Diana Vickers and even she makes some of the latest rabble look talented.

16. danielle -
how about someone in the charts now bring out a nice CHRISTMAS song for CHRISTMAS no1...

17. SHANE -
I would like all to back the Muppets Ma-Nah Ma-Nah for the Xmas No. 1 ... strangely poetic methinks :-)

18. BlackCat1973 -
Anyone who is a fan of music would prefer to listen to silence rather than the karaoke singers, without a musician in sight, which SC produces each year.

19. star -
Joe McElderry was number 2 last year. that's a huge achievement for an artist just starting out.

20. Lauren -
It should be a christmas song, like 'Don't Shoot Me Santa' by The Killers. They're on hiatus at the moment, so I'm not sure if they will be releasing one this year. :(
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