On Wednesday (March 3), following the seemingly umpteenth performance of Gavin DeGraw’s “I Don’t Want to Be” on “American Idol,” the MTV Newsroom Blog declared a handful of songs officially retired.
However, a pair of contestants decided to immediately ignore that advice on Wednesday night’s episode. Haeley Vaughn took a stab at Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb” (which could get her sent home this week) while Lilly Scott brought Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” back around again (it was a not entirely unreasonable performance, but nothing special either).
The “American Idol” contestants obviously don’t listen to reasonable ideas, but that won’t stop us from suggesting another five tunes that need to be buried deep within the “American Idol” song crypt.
“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me”
Elton John songs turn up way too often on “American Idol,” especially this nugget from 1974’s Caribou. It hurts contestants two-fold, as it isn’t dynamic enough to show off your chops, but John’s voice is so distinct that it always ends up sounding somewhat wrong. It’s a no-reward situation. (That being said, LaToya London’s performance of “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” back in the third season was pretty stunning.)
“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”
Amazingly, this song has appeared five times in nine seasons, which is way too often. It’s an awful, treacly ballad, and who really wants to sound like Steven Tyler anyway? If “Idol” contestants really want to bust out Aerosmith songs, they should use “Angel” or “What It Takes.”
Anything by the Beatles
Here’s the thing: Sometimes, Beatles songs sound totally okay when sung by the right singer-songwriter types. But even when things go well, most every Beatles song is iconic, and thus the chance for reinvention is slim. Again, there’s a ton of risk and very little reward. Plus, the listening public is still haunted by Syesha Mercado’s “Got to Get You Into My Life,” which means that all Beatles tunes should be put to rest for a while. (This goes double for John Lennon’s “Imagine.”)
“How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?”
No. Just no.
Consider this: Adam Lambert was nearly eliminated because of this song, so obviously it’s either too difficult or cursed (probably a healthy combination of the two). Consider this as well: Did you really enjoy Katie Stevens’ version from last week? Can’t really remember it? Exactly. Let Nina Simone keep it, and you can stick to “I Can’t Make You Love Me” (a beautiful song that is woefully underused on “Idol”).
What do you think? What songs would you retire? What songs don’t turn up enough? Leave your thoughts in the comments!