American Idol is on its tenth season and, like any show, they’ve had to make some changes to keep things fresh. The judges’ save, allowing competitors to play instruments, and the additions of Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres were all ways Idol tried to keep the show interesting. But might I suggest that the show get rid of some dead weights? I’m not talking about firing Randy Jackson (at least not this time). No, I’m suggesting Idol ban some of the old chestnuts that have been dragged out one – or seven – too many times.
Jason Castro did it. Lee DeWyze did it. Either way, “Hallelujah” is too much for the average Idol contestant to sing. For one thing, the lyrics contain references to adultery and other stuff that always ends up being cut. For another, the song is oversaturated throughout pop culture, not just on Idol. It’s been everywhere from The West Wing to Shrek, and it’s losing its power and meaning in the process. Put this one back in the drawer, guys.
“Fallin’” was the single that introduced Alicia Keys to the world, and wannabe ingenues have been using it as their “Idol” audition song ever since. Unfortunately, though, most of the singers who attempt this song can’t match Alicia’s vocals and end up packing it with so many runs and so much melisma that you can’t find the notes. It’s too showy, and most singers can’t keep up.
Whenever a female singer on “Idol” is trying to break out of whatever box she’s been put into, she reaches for “Alone” as the song to break her out of it. When you are Carrie Underwood, trying to prove that you can sing rock as well as country, it works. When you are absolutely anyone else, it does not. Lesson learned.
4. “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me”
This song might break an “Idol” record for the amount of times it’s been used on the show. However, the contestants aren’t totally to blame here. It’s a huge favorite for judges’ picks: David Archuleta, Justin Guarini, and Clay Aiken have all been tasked with singing it in the finals. Besides this song, what do these three singers have in common? They all lost. Accept that the song is cursed and let it go.
5. Anything by Whitney Houston
If you sing something by Whitney Houston, Randy will tell some dumb story about how he was there when Whitney recorded it and how he is friends with famous people and you are not, and he will use that story to illustrate that Whitney sang the song better than anyone will ever sing ever again, and that will include you.