Anti-X Factor Christmas campaign is stupid, says Simon Cowell

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The Independent Culture

X Factor judge Simon Cowell today branded a campaign to prevent the show's winner from having the Christmas number one single as "stupid" and "cynical".

He also said he felt it was "dismissive" of the show's viewers and that he felt the campaign was aimed at him.

A group set up on Facebook is calling for people to make rock band Rage Against The Machine's 1992 single Killing in the Name this year's number one.

It currently has 548,000 members.

Speaking at a press conference with the competition's finalists Stacey Solomon, Joe McElderry and Olly Murs, and its judges Dannii Minogue, Cheryl Cole and Louis Walsh, Cowell said: "If there's a campaign, and I think the campaign's aimed directly at me, it's stupid. Me having a number one record at Christmas is not going to change my life particularly.

"It does however change these guys' lives and we put this opportunity there so that the winner of the X Factor gets the chance of having a big hit record.

"I think it's quite a cynical campaign geared at me which is actually going to spoil the party for these three.

"I also think it's incredibly dismissive of the people who watch and enjoy the show... to treat our audiences as if they're stupid and I don't like that."

He also confirmed that on this week's Saturday night final, Stacey would be performing a duet with singer Michael Buble, Olly with chart topper Robbie Williams, and Joe with singer George Michael.

Cowell also played down the impact of the trend for the X Factor's winner to take the No 1 spot.

He said: "Everyone has this slightly distorted view of Christmas numbers one being incredible. There was that ghastly Cliff Richard song a few years ago, Bob The Builder. So we haven't exactly taken away anything special, it just so happens that our record, to coincide with the show, goes out at Christmas."

The finalists said they were coping with the pressure of making it to the last show.

Stacey said: "I feel like this is the best week ever for pressure because we're in the final three. First, second, third. We're going to get a medal.

"I feel like I've come right to the end..... and the pressure's nice. I feel really relaxed and really happy."

Joe said: "I just hyperventilate before I go on and just put all the nerves into the performance."

Olly, said he was looking forward to the final, in which one act will be leaving at the end of Saturday night's show, and the final two will battle it out on Sunday.

Olly said: "I'm just going to go out there and enjoy it, have fun, have a really good night."

Cowell said he had not made any plans yet as to who he might sign to his record label, apart from the winner, who as part of the five automatically win a recording contract with his label Syco.

However, he praised the final three, saying: "What I like about these three singers is they're the guy and girl who live next door. They haven't come from ghastly stage school backgrounds, they haven't had an awful lot of experience.

"These three people, who under normal circumstances would find it really hard to get a recording contract, suddenly have got a shot."

He added that no decision had been made about the next series, because a deal for a new series had not been finalised.

Cole, who is thought to be planning to launch her singing career in the US, was asked whether she would return to the show if her act Joe won the competition this year and how much Cowell would have to pay to keep her.

She answered: "I would actually take a few months to have a good think about it... he is (Simon) on his best behaviour... nothing to do with money."

The X Factor final is on ITV1 this Saturday and Sunday.