After regularly watching no less than four singing shows (X Factor UK, X Factor US, The Voice and American Idol ) I am getting so sick hearing the same trite crap week after week. While discussing this topic with her, Katie brought up a great point: song choice is one of the things Glee does best (writing and storylines, not so much). Use the show as inspiration or hire one of the music producers when Fox (hopefully) cancels it next year.
I KNOW that there are creative people with good taste on these shows. Case in point, this woman singing Linda Perhacs’ psych folk classic “Chimacum Rain” on X Factor Denmark:
If producers and performers are allowed to think creatively they might find some songs (whose rights are affordable, too!) like “Chimacum Rain.”
I am not the only one to take issues with the song choices on reality TV singing competition shows. Michael Slezak of TV Line has been rallying against the same tired Whitney tracks for years. But I am going to take it one step further by suggesting new songs these shows should pick up instead. This will lead to J Lo giving contestants confused looks because she hasn’t heard the song ten thousand times before. That’s ok. What can anyone really bring to “River Deep-Mountain High” any more, really?
Country ladies with attitude
Instead of “Hell on Heels,” Pistol Annies
This has 1/100th of the personality of the original.
Try “Tortured, Tangled Hearts,” Dixie Chicks
Sassy British chick
Instead of “Price Tag,” Jessie J
This has become awfully popular with auditioning girl groups because they think it’s modern. No, it’s just fucking terrible.
Try anything by Lily Allen
You are not Jennifer Hudson
Instead of “I am Telling you I am not Going,” from Dreamgirls
Is this because all Idol contestants think they deserve an Oscar? Though Jessica’s version here is probably the best one I’ve seen on these shows.
Try “I am Changing,” Dreamgirls
At least pick the lesser known Effie song.
Instead of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” Eurythmics
I’m not sure why contestants choose this song so often. Is it because they recognize it? I think these kids need music history lessons.
Try “Almost Blue,” Elvis Costello
God this song is so beautiful.
Instead of “Hallelujah,” Leonard Cohen
Once Simon said it was his favorite song, people do it now just to impress him. Also: video features Britney’s flat line delivery and a 14 year old attempting to sing a grown up’s song.
Try “Don’t Forget Me,” Harry Nilsson
Pussy Cats is one of my favorite LPs ever. “Don’t Forget Me” is about his long divorce from his second wife and the line about cancer makes me cry every time. Seek out Neko Case’s version, too. [Also of note when I was reading about this record is that Idol’s Jimmy Iovine was an assistant engineer on it!]
Eff Beatles night
Idol will do it every year as long as they have the rights. Yay?
Instead of “Yesterday”
The most covered song in history. Don’t.
Try “Norwegian Wood”
I don’t know if I necessarily need to hear some D-list version of my absolute favorite Beatles song but if Kree wanted to do it, I would not protest.
More musicals, please!
Glee has helped make so many songs relevant and memorable again. I’d like to see X Factor/Idol at least do one non-corny musicals night.
“Maybe this Time,” Cabaret
“A House is not a Home,” Promises, Promises
Kristen Chenowith FTW.
“Frank Mills,” Hair
Bonus points if a dude sings it.
“I Believe,” Book of Mormon
OK there is no way this would ever work on X Factor but I just wanted to include it. Wouldn’t it be fun to see someone sing “I believe that in 1978 God changed His mind about black people”?
Because musical doesn’t always need to mean “Broadway”:
I know “Falling Slowly” has been done a few times but how about a different song from this great musical?
“I’m Easy,” Nashville
I just need some cute singer-songwriter type to do this and make it famous again so Nashville can be released on Blu-Ray.
“Nearly Lost You,” Screaming Trees
Are the kids still discovering Singles? I hope so. LANEGAN.
Do I even need to give you proof?
The awkwardly fitting hat makes me really uncomfortable.
At least Haley tried.
I will have to do a part two of this in the winter after both X Factors end but before Idol!
[Special thanks to Katie who helped me pick songs via crazy worktime text messages.]