Sunday, December 9, 2012

Top 10 Songs I Learned from American Idol

With Season 12 of American Idol starting next month, I thought it would be fun to share with you all some great songs I never would have known about if not for Idol. I know that there are so many great singing competition shows out there today, and that watching Idol will always be extremely cool might not be as cool as it used to be, but I have been a die-hard fan of the show since Season 5 and have yet to have a season let me down. When it does, I will pretend like it didn't happen and continue watching might stop watching, but hopefully that doesn't happen any time soon. I'm a little nervous about the new set of judges since obviously change is uncomfy, but J. Lo and Steven Tyler were new in Season 10 and I loved them. So I have faith.

I love Idol for lots of reasons - watching the great performances, picking favorites and being personally offended/devastated when they are sent home, getting to know the judges, living vicariously through the contestants, etc. I could go on and on. One of my favorite parts, however, is learning about new songs. Every now and then a contestant will perform a really great song that I had never heard before, and the following cycle will then commence. I will immediately become obsessed with the song (the contestant's version and/or the original version), play it 15 times an hour for the next month, become totally sick of it, find another song to obsess over, forget about the first song for a year or so, re-discover the first song a year or so later, and repeat the process all over again.

I wouldn't say that I went through this cycle of obsession with all of the songs listed below, but I definitely went through it with at least half of them. Regardless, they are all great songs, and I wanted to make the list an even 10 so 10 you shall receive.

These are not in any particular order, but I will say that the best Idol performances are Tracks of My Tears, Jealous Guy (may or may not have cried during that performance), Vienna, and Volcano. I have linked to the You Tube videos of the original songs and the Idol performances where I could find them. If I couldn't find the actual performance, I have linked to the studio recording of the song. If you don't have time to watch 20 You Tube videos, you need to reprioritize your life should at least watch the four listed above, plus the Haley Reinhart performance at the end.

Enjoy and let me know your favorite!

1. Vienna by Billy Joel - Performed by Elise Testone, Season 11

2. Jealous Guy by John Lennon - Performed by Casey James, Season 9

3. Tracks of My Tears by Smokey Robinson - Performed by Adam Lambert, Season 8

Smokey Robinson was the mentor this episode, and he describes the inspiration for this song to Adam by saying "I thought about what if a person had cried so much until if you got really close up to them and looked in their face you could see that their tears had left tracks in their face." Deep stuff, you guys. Had to include that little tidbit.

4. Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac - Performed by Didi Benami, Season 9

5. I've Just Seen a Face by The Beatles - Performed by Chikezie, Season 7

6. Volcano by Damien Rice - Performed by Phillip Phillips, Season 11

In-credible performance. I think I am now going to enter the "re-obsession" phase with this one.

7. The Story by Brandi Carlile - Performed by Lacey Brown, Season 9

8. Jolene by Dolly Parton - Performed by Brooke White, Season 7

9. Suspicious Minds by Elvis Presley - Performed by Chris Daughtry, Season 5

10. This Ain't a Love Song by Bon Jovi - Performed by LaKisha Jones, Season 4

And just for fun, possibly the best performance on American Idol EVER - House of The Rising Sun by Haley Reinhart.

Does anyone else still watch Idol or am I the only one? Did you know about most of these songs before or did you find a new song that struck your fancy?