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Joe McElderry Wins ‘X Factor’…And His “Prize” Is He Has To Sing A Miley Song

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

The winner of Britain's The X Factor was announced tonight in a star-studded finale that was attended by Prince Harry and included performances by George Michael, former X Factor winner Leona Lewis, and even Sir Paul McCartney. And in what was reportedly the biggest race in the show's history (the series' most successful season yet, with more than 10 million votes tonight), Joe McElderry beat out Olly Murs with two-thirds of the vote, winning a £1 million recording deal with Simon Cowell's label, Syco Music.

Joe'd certainly worked hard for this victory--he'd auditioned for The X Factor before, but gotten no farther than the Boot Camp stage (the equivalent of American Idol's Hollywood Week)--so good for him. Here is Joe's hard-earned winning moment:

But now, here's his "prize": Joe McElderry's debut single will be "The Climb." Yes, the Miley Cyrus song.

I've never been much of a fan of "coronation songs"--all that dreck a la "I Believe A Moment Like This Is My Now And Is The Time Of My Life Because I'm Flying Without Wings"--but at least last year's X Factor champ, Alexandra Burke, got to debut with a real classic, a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." And this season, Joe McElderry gets to sing....Miley Cyrus?

While I would have preferred a cover of "Party In The USA" (reimagined as "Party In The UK," of course) if Joe had to do a Miley tune, he did do his best with the triumph-of-the-spirit power ballad, despite his nervous giggles after winning. The song admittedly does adhere well to the coronation-song format. So here's Joe's performance, the studio recording of which is now available for download at if you actually dig it: 

And here is the version by runner-up Olly Murs, who will not have to release "The Climb" as his first single. In a way, then, Olly sort of won, huh?:

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