In just three days’ time we’ll discover whether one of the greatest rock anthems of all time pips one of the cheesiest covers in living memory in the race to become the Christmas number one.

Now we’ve got nothing against Geordie Joe – winner of this year’s X-Factor and favourite to top the charts on Sunday.

In fact we actually enjoyed his version of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ which proved to be one of two highlights on the damp squib of an X-Factor show billed Rock Night.

It was a refreshing change to see a future pop icon belting out a genuine soft rock classic and in any ways it’s a shame that song isn’t going to launch the South Shields’ kid’s career.

At least it means there’s no chance of a conflict of interests in the rushonrock offices.

For given the choice between Killing In The Name Of and Joe’s timid festive track the former will always win hands down.

The Rage Against The Machine classic is about as Christmasy as an Easter egg.

It’s not exactly Feed The World and even makes the innuendo of The Darkness’s Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) look like the most PC track since Cliff Richard’s last single.

But it’s rock. It’s a song built on the solid foundations of heavy riffs and a pounding chorus and should appeal to the Guitar Hero generation in a way Geordie Joe and his X-Factor pals never will.

Persuading the masses to download KITNO to stop Mr McElderry making the number one spot may be a gimmick.

And it may seem Scrooge-like to the millions of X-Factor fans who delight in reality TV and its offspring.

But it’s rock. Anything with power chords and an ear splitting rhythm section has to be better than a flimsier-than-tinsel Cowell-dusted pop tune.

If, as seems the case, there is no longer a genuine race to be crowned Christmas number one – and the X-Factor winner’s song is the default track of choice – it’s essential the competition emerges from somewhere.

And we’d rather it came from the world of heavy rock.

Better still one of the bigger bands in the world should do a Darkness and pen an original tune packed with festive fret burning magic.

Metallica versus McElderry? Mastodon versus McElderry? Even Magnum versus McElderry…

Now any one of those would be a real contest.

And Geordie Joe might just have met his match had one of those genuine rock giants polished their jingle bell pedals in time for a true tilt at the Christmas number one title.