The big moment in the UK X Factor this weekend – in fact, the biggest moment from the last few series of it – was contestant Fleur East’s cover of the as-yet unreleased Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars song ‘Uptown Funk’. Cue a surge in downloads of her version from the iTunes Store, and the decision to bring the Ronson track’s release forward a month from its planned January debut. Yesterday, that was duly topping the iTunes chart, with East’s cover in second place – something we can’t remember happening in recent memory. X Factor sceptics, of which there are a few, are already wondering whether this wasn’t part of the plan all along, with East’s version drumming up excitement for the “rush released” original. Even so, it’s a sign of X Factor’s continued clout – for all the limpness of much of the current series – to drive sales. Interesting side-note: the Mars track is available to stream as well as to buy.

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