'X Factor' star steals the lead on bandits in chart race
IT was always going to be a David and Goliath struggle and it seems the dark horses have lost.
With this year's Christmas Number One to be announced tomorrow, it looks as if 'X Factor' winner Matt Cardle will take the top spot ahead of Limerick Youtube stars Rubberbandits.
Latest figures reveal that Cardle has sold 33,281 copies of his debut single 'When We Collide' ahead of Rubberbandits' 'Horse Outside' with 13,533 purchases, both physical and download.
Last night the gap of almost 20,000 units was described as "insurmountable" by one industry expert, but a spokesman for Rubberbandits claimed there was still everything to play for until shops closed this evening.
"Rubberbandits have 120,000 friends on Facebook. If even 10pc of them go out and buy the single, we can still do it. The shops have been re-stocked with 25,000 CDs," the spokesman told the Irish Independent.
But with three-and-a-half million hits on YouTube, the worldwide fame of the cellophane-bagged bandits has now spread to China, where their video for 'Horse Outside' has become popular on Chinese video sharing site Youku, complete with local language subtitles.
The promo, made by RTE programme 'Republic Of Telly' has also resulted in media attention for Limerick model Madeline Mulqueen, who features in the video as a sassy bridesmaid.
However the Irish Independent can reveal the 20-year-old is not the girl seen on a horse with a Rubberbandit at the end of the video.
This is in fact experienced rider Grace McAleese, from Howth in Dublin.
An event booker at the Wright Venue in Swords, the 26-year-old was drafted in at short notice to shoot the scenes on horseback.
"A friend of the band knew I could ride horses and asked if could shoot a scene. It was done up in Kilronan Stables in Swords one lunchtime with a Rubberbandit up on the horse with me," said Grace.
This was confirmed by Rubberbandits: "We shot Madeline on a horse too but had a technical problem with the footage so reshot with Grace."
Madeline paid tribute to her co-star: "She can ride a horse and I can't. I'm not good enough to be on a horse so they filmed Grace. She deserves credit for managing to do it with a plastic bag over her face."