‘X Factor’ Winner Joe McElderry Covers Donkeyboy’s “Ambitions”

For the first single off his upcoming debut album Wide Awake, 2009 X Factor winner Joe McElderry has covered “Ambitions,” a grand slice of uplifting pop originally performed by Norwegian band Donkeyboy. Hear Joe’s version (plus see his album cover) and watch the video for the original after the jump.

[wpaudio url=”//static.idolator.com/uploads/2010/09/Joe-McElderry-AMBITIONS-Official.mp3″ text=”Joe McElderry – Ambitions” dl=”0″] We have to hand it to Joe—this is a surprising (in a good way!) switch-up in sound after his X Factor winners’ song, a by-the-numbers cover of Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb.”

“I like to have fun on stage so I wanted an up-tempo song. It’s more fresh and fun, feel-good and young,” 19-year-old McElderry is quoted as saying in The Sun. “It represents me as a person.”

Just one thing, though—why is Simon Cowell having this kid do so many covers of recent songs? “Ambitions” was a #1 hit in Norway for Donkeyboy only last year.

Here’s the video for the original:

McElderry’s cover of “Ambitions” will be released in the UK on October 11. A music video for the single was shot earlier this month by director Nigel Dick in Bulgaria, according to Digital Spy.

And here’s the cover of Wide Awake, which is out October 25:

Joe McElderry Wide Awake album cover
Do you like Joe’s take on “Ambitions”?