Thursday, 15 December 2011
“All I want for Christmas is a No 1. I like the idea that a group of women singing in a church with a speccy choirmaster is Simon Cowell’s greatest threat. I’m sure he’s quaking in his boots.”
Those are the words of Gareth Malone, the nation’s favourite choirmaster, in an interview to be published in ES magazine tomorrow.
And I reckon he’s right. As Simon Cowell sits in the LA sunshine, he must be stunned that a choir of 100 military wives from two Devon army bases look set to turn the tables and scoop the top spot at Christmas.
With four days to go, everyone I know is rooting for the Military Wives’ single, Wherever You Are. It’s already the bookies’ favourite to beat X Factor winners Little Mix and Amazon says the track, a moving love song composed from letters written by servicemen and their wives during a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan, is the most pre-ordered music product of all time.
Twitter is buzzing with support for the wives (you can follow them at @Milwiveschoir) and Chris Evans has been playing the song for weeks on his Radio 2 breakfast show. “We’re having to give out mascara warnings every morning – ‘it’s your five-minute mascara warning... don’t put on your mascara yet,’” he says. “It speaks love, it speaks care, it speaks magic and it speaks massive emotion, all the right things at the right time.”
Like millions of others, I’ve ordered my copy and can’t wait to get my hands on it on Monday (December 19). Because the Military Wives’ story is a triumph all round. It’s helped a fabulous group of women discover their voices (in every sense of the word), raised loads of money for the Royal British Legion and SSAFA Forces Help and shown that Simon Cowell doesn’t always get his own way.