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X Factor winner racing to top slot

X Factor winner Matt Cardle is way out in front in the race for the Christmas number one according to early sales figures.

The singer sold 112,000 copies of his single When We Collide during its first day on sale.

Figures from the Official Charts Company show his nearest challenger is Rihanna who has sold 41,000 copies of her single What's My Name. She also had an X Factor boost after performing the track in Sunday's final on ITV1, dressed in little more than a floral bikini.

Cardle's track, a renamed cover of the Biffy Clyro song Many Of Horror, was released as a download within hours of the show finishing. It will not come out on CD until later in the week.

Although most singles sales are now through downloads - accounting for around 99% of the singles chart - the Christmas X Factor single tends to buck the trend. Last year's winner Joe McElderry saw more than half his sales on CD, so Cardle can expect another surge when it is released on Wednesday.

Efforts to derail Cardle from the number one look likely to fail. In 2009 anti-X Factor campaigners beat McElderry to the festive top spot by championing Rage Against The Machine's Killing In The Name.

However the leading contender this year, The Trashmen's Surfin' Bird is on course to make only number three in the charts after selling 25,000 copies. And a stunt to get a silent track to number one - a cover of John Cage's famous sound-free composition 4'33" is currently only the 19th biggest seller so far this week.

But a campaign to get Biffy Clyro's original song into the charts seems to be gathering pace. It is on course to make the top ten after shifting 15,000 copies.

Meanwhile,.broadcasting watchdog Ofcom is considering whether to investigate racy scenes shown in the X Factor final. Both ITV and Ofcom have each received around 1,000 complaints about the pre-watershed scenes, including US star Christina Aguilera performing a suggestive routine with scantily clad dancers and Rihanna's raunchy performance in the bikini.

An X Factor spokesman said: "We are confident that the performances given by our guest artistes on Saturday were appropriate for the show."

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