Skip to main content

Facebook campaign trumps Cowell song

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN
  • Rage's win marks 1st time in five years winner of Simon Cowell's "X-Factor" has lost
  • Joe McElderry's "The Climb" came in second to Rage's "Killing in the Name"
  • Facebook group vowed to download "Killing" to make it Britain's pre-Christmas No. 1

London, England (CNN) -- Rage Against the Machine has claimed the prestigious No. 1 spot on the British singles chart on the last Sunday before Christmas, marking the first time in five years the winner of Simon Cowell's "X-Factor" has not won.

Joe McElderry's "The Climb" came in second, beaten by a huge online swell of support for "Killing in the Name," backed by a Facebook group with nearly 1 million members.

It was the first time a group had ever won the top slot based on downloads alone, BBC's "The Chart Show" said.

Tracy Morter, one of the founders of the Facebook group backing Rage, said her response was "shock, really."

Video: Rage against Simon Cowell

"You don't actually think it's going to happen, and we just want to make sure Joe knows it wasn't personal against him and hope he has a wonderful Christmas," she said.

The Facebook group also raised about 63,000 pounds ($101,829) for the homeless charity Shelter, she said. The group had "nearly a million people -- we're 3,000 off a million," she said.

The group vowed to download "Killing in the Name" starting earlier this month to make it the No. 1 single in the country on the Sunday before Christmas.

It might seem like a frivolous contest, but hundreds of thousands of pounds -- and a place in history -- are at stake. A Christmas No. 1 enters the history books, exciting passion, disgust, joy and, yes, rage.