UPDATE 24/12.2015: The NHS have closed the gap on Justin Bieber's single, with only 662 sales between them. The singer recently Tweeted his support for the NHS single, which you can read about here.
UPDATE 22/12/2015: Justin Bieber's 'Love Yourself' has overtaken the NHS Choir's 'A Bridge Over You' by over 3,000 sales, making it the favourite to become Christmas Number One.
ORIGINAL: Unlike most year's, the X Factor winning single is not a real contender for Christmas Number One.
Instead, the big chart battle is between the NHS Choir’s ‘A Bridge Over You’ - a mash up of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ and Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ - and Justin Bieber’s latest ballad ‘Love Yourself’.
The Choir, formed of staff at Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Choir, said they took inspiration from the 2009 campaign that shot Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Killing in the Name Of’ to number one.
Unlike 2009, the X Factor single has barely dented the charts, with Louisa Johnson’s winning single ‘Forever Young’ only reaching number nine last week, behind Stormzy’s single ‘Shut Up’.
According to the Official Chart Company’s most recent update, the NHS Choir is ahead of Bieber’s single but only by 2,000 sales.
Meanwhile, Stormzy’s single is also gaining traction, having managed to climb to number seven, backed by a big online campaign pushing #ShutUpForXMasNo1.
Bieber’s ‘Sorry’ is also in contention for number one, currently sitting at number three in the charts. Other contenders include Adele’s comeback ‘Hello’, although it is unlikely to pick up traction and overtake Bieber or the NHS Choir.
Campaigner Joe Blunden explained how reaching number one would give NHS staff a “much needed moral boost”. He said that the idea for a Christmas Number One single came about “to celebrate the thousands of NHS staff that go the extra mile every day”.
“The NHS is under huge pressure, particular with winter upon us, and we wanted to do something that could show just how valued the NHS is, and just how loved the staff are.”
So who will take the number one spot? It is a tough battle to call, with Justin Bieber having just overtaken the NHS Choir on the iTunes charts. But physical copies of his single are limited, unlike the Choir's who are stocked across the country.
At this stage, with only 2,000 sales between them, it is too close to call.
2015’s Christmas Number One will be announced on Christmas Day. All proceeds from the NHS Choir single will be shared between charities Carers UK and Mind.
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