Two of the world’s biggest music stars look set to battle it out for the 2017 Official Christmas Number 1. The Official Charts company revealed its midweek update on Monday showing Ed Sheeran and Eminem pulling away from the rest of the field, but there’s still plenty of time for that to change before the chart is announced.
Could an existing entry climb up to the number one spot? Will the X Factor reassert its dominance on the festive chart? Or will a Christmas classic re-enter and take the crown? As ever, several online betting sites are taking bets on who will win, so it’s time to assess the contenders and their odds!
2017 has been a pretty incredible year for Ed Sheeran, to put it mildly. From headlining Glastonbury to breaking chart records, the British singer-songwriter has truly conquered the music world this year. He has dominated the charts, with his third album becoming the third fastest selling album in UK history and all 14 songs on it reaching the top 20 singles chart.
One of those singles, Perfect, is the current number one and is on course to stay there and land the coveted Christmas number one title. The song was leading the way in the midweek figures and it would certainly be fitting if the man who has dominated music this year ends it on top of the tree.
His closest challenger is likely to be Eminem after his song River made a surprise entry at number two in the midweek chart. The song, which comes from the American rapper’s new album Revival, is not even being released as a single but is certainly proving popular.
According to Official Charts, it has been outperforming Perfect on streaming platforms, which are of course now included in the figures. Ironically, the song actually features none other than Ed Sheeran, so either way it looks likely that the Christmas Number 1 will involve him in some way.
Because of this, many bookies have combined the two songs and are offering odds on Ed Sheeran either as a solo or duet, somewhat spoiling the fun for punters. 10Bet is currently offering the best odds of 1/3. Some are offering a separate market of the two charts the highest, with Paddy Power pricing Perfect at 3/10 and River at 9/4.
Wham’s festive classic Last Christmas always re-enters the chart around this time of year, but this time there’s been a special effort to get the popular hit to top spot. Last Christmas is the best-selling song to have never reached number one but this year a campaign backed by former member Andrew Ridgeley is trying to change that.
It all started following singer George Michael’s death on Christmas Day last year. The 1986 classic was third in last week’s chart and is 13/2 with 10bet to climb two places. With the song certain to be streamed in households across the country in the days leading up to Christmas, it‘s certainly a viable contender.
The X Factor has lost its grip on the Official Christmas Number 1 over the last few years, with just two of the last six winners coming from the talent show. The last one was in 2014 and this year’s X Factor winners Rak-Su are not expected to reverse the trend.
The X Factor final was earlier than usual this year so Rak-Su’s single Dimelo has already been in the singles chart for two weeks, peaking at number two. Dimelo dropped to six last week and is a long shot at 16/1 with William Hill to make it to number one.
As well as Last Christmas, several other classic Christmas tunes we've all grown to love over time will re-enter the top 40 as they do every year. Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You climbed to number two last week and is 14/1 with Paddy Power to go one better on Friday.
The likes of The Pogues, Slade and Sir Cliff Richard are all set to be among the top 40, but their odds of 100/1 with William Hill tell punters everything they need to know about their chances. For odds on this year’s Christmas Number 1 and a range of other novelty betting markets, head to Paddy Power today!