Joe McElderry Climbs To ‘X Factor’ Win

If you’re an American who’s not yet up on Simon Cowell’s mega-successful British series The X Factor, you will be soon—it’s reportedly set to be launched here in the States sometime after American Idol‘s ninth season.

Eighteen-year-old Joe McElderry was crowned the winner of X Factor‘s sixth season last night. But unlike last year’s winner Alexandra Burke, we’re probably not going to see him in a half-jersey, slinking around in a football locker room anytime soon.

McElderry’s first single, a cover of Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb,” was made available digitally yesterday, and it’s already the top download at the U.K. iTunes store.

Here’s Joe—who was mentored this season by X Factor judge/Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Cole—being announced the winner:

McElderry is expected to nab the celebrated Christmas #1 single on the U.K. chart next week, as the X Factor winners have done in recent years past.

Let’s hope that’s at least some consolation for “The Climb” songwriter Jessi Alexander, who told Entertainment Weekly she hit “a new low” when the tune was withdrawn from the Grammys after initially receiving a nomination in the Best Song Written For A Motion Picture category (for Hannah Montana: The Movie).

“The Climb” had its Grammy nod yanked away after Disney disclosed that it hadn’t initially been written for the film.

Says Alexander:

“The story is, originally, me and Jon Mabe sat down as songwriters, like we do every day, and I had this melody that came to me on the way to work that morning. I knew that it was special. I knew it was pop. And I knew it was Disney. We started a song. It was actually called “It’s the Climb,” and it was a more spiritual song, sung in third person. And it was really about my woes, and Jon’s woes in the music business. But when I write songs, being at Disney, I turn them in and of course think they all should be submitted to film and television. That was one of the reasons I signed at Disney, was to hopefully get placements at film and television. So before filming, Peter Chelsom, the director of Hannah Montana: The Movie, actually came to Nashville and heard my music, and wanted me to submit songs for the movie. I put the song “It’s the Climb” on a CD, and he called back within weeks and said the song was gonna be an integral part of the movie, and the only thing he needed was for me to change what I would consider to be a substantial amount of the song. And that’s where the gray area is. For me, when you change something from third person to first person, it can change the whole meaning of a line.”

Ah, well. The Brits will be celebrating the song for awhile, at least. Maybe the BAFTA rules aren’t so strict?