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Beating Simon Cowell at his own game

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Connector of the Day: Jon Morter
  • Leader of Facebook campaign for Rage Against The Machine speaks to CNN
  • Jon Morter motivated by the boredom he felt imagining another "X Factor" Christmas number one
  • Father of three congratulated by Cowell who said the Christmas charts had received a "shot in the arm"

London, England (CNN) -- Last week, he was the anonymous leader of the Facebook campaign to oust Simon Cowell's "X Factor" winner Joe McElderry. This week he's probably fielded more calls than his musical nemesis.

Jon Morter told CNN's Becky Anderson that a chance viewing of UK talent show "The X Factor" a few weeks ago got his own creative juices flowing.

"I was watching along and my thoughts progressed towards Christmas thinking they're just going to get another Christmas number one. And I thought, that's boring. Let's do something about this."

The rest, as they say, is history. Morter's campaign on Facebook to get Rage Against The Machine to the Christmas number one slot was a resounding success with over 500,000 singles downloaded.

The song "Killing in the Name" is probably the least festive single ever to top the UK charts. But that didn't bother Morter as the song has been a favorite of his for years.

"It's been part of me growing up for the past 10-15 years. Does it send the right message? I don't know really. It was just to stick something else at number one that was different, that wasn't a sugary ballad. Something with a bit of kick to it," he said.

Video: Rage against Simon Cowell

For Morter, the campaign was about redressing the balance that had become skewed since "X Factor" took over the Christmas charts.

"The whole point of the campaign was the Christmas number one domination. Since I was young kid I always followed the Christmas Number one."

Morter's success highlights how downloads have changed the music charts in recent years.

"The technology is vastly different now and the rules are different as well for the charts. So strictly speaking any song that you pay for a download -- over 40 pence [60 cents] I think -- can be a single. So in theory anything can be a number one now if you push it."

Despite suffering a rare defeat, Simon Cowell was gracious and congratulated Morter personally and even managed to put a positive spin on events.

"He thanked us for a good campaign and said it was a complete shot in the arm for the Christmas charts with so many people looking forward to this chart. In that respect we had a great conversation. He was very nice."

Morter's propulsion into the media spotlight hasn't surprised him though. And the stranglehold that "The X Factor" has had over the past four Christmases hasn't pleased everyone. Perhaps most pleasing for Morter is the fact that he's dared to take on such a colossus of the music industry and won.

"Someone who's not in the music industry has suddenly turned up and beaten him at his own game," he said. "I not surprised it's caused a lot of shock."