Matt: I'll defy Simon.. and WON'T do a cover if I win.
MATT Cardle is on a collision course with Simon Cowell after he swore he will NEVER release a cover song... even though the show's winner will have no option.
The Essex lad - who considers himself to be a serious singer-songwriter - is determined to pen an original track if he wins the show next Sunday.
But Simon, who has total control of the winner's debut single, will insist Matt performs the song he thinks has the best chance of hitting the No1 spot.
Speaking at the Narnia film premiere last week Matt, 27, who has been tipped to romp home to victory in next week's final, said: "I want as much control over my career and debut album as possible.
"I wouldn't do covers as I want to write my own stuff. We'd come to some agreement I'm sure."
But his optimism may be slightly misplaced as Simon is convinced cover tracks are the way to go when it comes to securing the coveted Christmas No1.
Out of the six previous X Factor winners only Shane Ward released an original track, and his career failed to take off.
The last four winners - including his two most successful acts, Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke - have all performed covers.
And Simon has already lined up top songwriter and producer Cathy Dennis - who has previously worked with Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears and more recently Diana Vickers - to mastermind the Christmas single.
Sources on the show say Matt's desire to be original will have to take a back seat if Simon believes a cover track is the way to go. A source said: "Simon respects Matt as an artist and he doesn't want to stifle his creative side, but that certainly doesn't mean he is going to give him free rein to release whatever song he wants.
"When it comes down to it, all Simon cares about is selling as many singles as possible and getting the Christmas No1.
"If that means making Matt sing a cover then that's what's going to happen. Most of the backstage staff think Matt's certain to win and he's got an amazing and exciting career ahead of him.
"But if he wants to truly be a success he will have to learn that Simon's the boss and what he says goes."
MATT ON HIS GIRLS: See over
True original... Matt wants to write his own song Cowell... already planned Xmas single