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The Military Wives Choir is Heading for the Christmas Number One Spot Ahead of X Factor Winners

Posted on the 21 December 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost
The Military Wives Choir is heading for the Christmas number one spot ahead of X Factor winners

Military Wives Choir: Heading for the Christmas number one

A choir of military wives is marching towards the UK Christmas number one single spot, ahead of X Factor winners Little Mix. The single, ‘Wherever You Are’, is the result of BBC reality show The Choir, which sees choirmaster Gareth Malone attempting to bring together people from different walks of life who don’t normally sing. This year, Malone turned his attention to the wives and girlfriends of men serving in Afghanistan, with chart-topping, and apparently heart-warming, results.

Making the nation proud. “Gareth Malone’s choir sold 242,000 copies on Sunday and Monday alone – more than the number one by X Factor winners Little Mix sold all last week,” reported Sonia Poulton for The Daily Express, describing the single as “a Christmas number one of which the nation can be proud”. The Periscope Post is sure Britain would have been equally proud of Little Mix’s cover of ‘Cannonball’, had the girl group not been so comprehensively beaten by the military wives. Poulton argued that ‘Wherever You Are’ deserves the top spot because it is sung with genuine emotion and because the proceeds are going to charity.

The Military Wives Choir is supporting charities the Royal British Legion and the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen Families Association. This year’s X Factor charity is Little Havens.

Tax break. And speaking of charity, let’s take a moment to thanks The Daily Mail! Initially, the single was going to be subject to VAT: “But – after a day of growing pressure highlighted to ministers by the Daily Mail – Chancellor George Osborne and Defence Secretary Philip Hammond intervened,” said the Mail, modestly, revealing that the money raised from the VAT will now go to charity.

Little Mix’s cover of Damien Rice track ‘Cannonball’ had the lowest first-week sales in X Factor history, according to The Guardian.

Ordinary people. Indeed, The Mail is all in favour of the military wives, with Ray Connolly praising the choir’s lack of showbiz glitz and glamour: “They don’t look like stars. They look like women you see in the supermarket or at the school gates.” Connolly pointed out that Little Mix’s single is also in aid of charity, but argued that the X Factor winners are “tainted by the brass-faced commercialism of their mentors, Simon Cowell and his crew” and that there is “an element of showbiz opportunism“. By contrast, Connolly said, the lyrics of the military wives’ single are based on letters and poems the women have sent to their partners and as such the single is “truly genuine, moving and inspiring”.

See the Military Wives Choir perform ‘Wherever You Are’ below.

A different reality. The Choir is an entirely different kind of reality show from The X Factor, wrote Jonathan Freedland on The Guardian’s Comment Is Free blog: “There are no withering one-liners, no pantomime villain judges, no losers – and no prize but an injection of confidence.” According to Freedland, choirmaster Malone’s greatest achievements have been in turning the military wives into a community and allowing them to express their long-repressed emotions in music.

Watch the Little Mix ‘Cannonball’ video below.

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