Guillaume over at Vraie Fiction has some pretty strong views on the cover versions of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", & rightly so (http://vraiefiction.blogspot.com/2008/12/hallelujah.html ).
I don't watch the X-Factor, or other such TV shows, for that matter (too upmarket for me), so it was through the Guardian website that I heard about the winner performing the song. Surreal doesn't even begin to describe it. Mind you, it could have been worse, they could have chosen "Bird on a Wire".
By way of a compare & contrast exercise, here's three versions of the song, starting with the composer's own take: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzWeN-bVDUc .
Next, Jeff Buckley's ethereal reading of the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqsW9x0Wk74 .
Finally, K.D. Lang's impassioned rendition on Later with Jools in 2004: http://www.youtube.comwatch?v=FTv9m8c6hnw .
Personally, I favour KD Lang's cover of the song, but all three are the best versions you could hear. Bob Dylan also chipped in with his own performance of Cohen's classic, but shouldn't have. My only worry is that it might now become a karaoke favourite. That really would be too much to bear.
BTW, Guillaume, bon voyage et Joyeux Noel.