Theme 2 – American Idol-ers vs Glee
There have been well over 50 songs that have appeared on both Glee and Idol, so I narrowed it down to songs that have been performed by over 3 contestants on Idol, which narrowed it down to a pleasant 15. Lucky for the Idol contestants, they didn’t have a lot of Rachel Berry performances (or my favorite girl, Santana Lopez), so in some cases I actually did like the Idol version better. Not many but hey, the Idol kids aren’t being paid to sing yet either. Let’s check out the list.
1. A House is Not a Home by Dionne Warwick. Performed on Glee by Kurt Hummel and Finn Hudson while dealing with the trials of their parents shacking up. This song was also performed by Idol’s season 2 winner, Rubin Studdard, and my least favorite season 10 contestant, Jacob Lusk. The best performance though, including Glee as an option, was Tamra Grey from Season 1. It was breathtaking.
2. A Little Less Conversation by Elvis Presley. Performed on Glee by Will Schuester, Brittany S. Pierce, and Mike Chang in the episode that Ricky Martin appeared in. I barely remember the song because all I want to remember from that episode was Ricky Martin singing “Sexy and I Know it”. Points should be given to Schu for its bi-lingual flair, but truth be told, I’m not a huge Schu fan when it comes to singing. This song has a close tie with two Idol contestants in the form of Lee DeWyze and a personal favorite contestant, Daughtry. I think we all remember him!
3. All By Myself by Eric Carmen/Celine Dion. Performed on Glee by Sunshine Corazon (Charice) and a second time by Emma Pillsbury. I’m not going to lie, Pia Toscano did pretty well singing this song, but if you’ve ever heard Charice sing? You know she KILLED it, as she does all things musical.
4. Alone by Heart. Performed on Glee by April Rhodes (Kristen Chenoweth) and Will Schuester, in the first appearance of April Rhodes on Glee. I think we all know that Kristen Chenoweth is one of the best singers of all time when it comes to the great white way. It’s a great version of the song but it features Schu so it’s no surprise that there are some hot Idol contesters. Two amazing versions of this song have been performed on Idol and they were by Allison Iraheta, and Season 4 winner, Carrie Underwood (and when you see her hair in this performance, you’ll love her even more).
5. And I’m Telling You, I’m Not Going by Jennifer Holliday. Performed on Glee by Mercedes Jones (at “Sectionals,” of course). This is an odd song on Idol having been performed 5 times and all 5 of those times were in the semi’s. What does this mean? It means that while all of those performances were decent, NONE compare to Mercedes. That being said, an American Idol contestant did sing it in her Oscar winning performance for “Dreamgirls” and if anyone did it better than Mercedes, it’s JHud. It just wasn’t on the Idol stage.
6. Endless Love by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross. Performed on Glee by Rachel Berry and Will Schuester. This song was weird on Glee because it’s where Rachel develops a crush on Mr. Schu, so it’s just a little creepy. The only reason I’d say the Glee version is better is because they get to do it as a duet which is how this song should be sung. And really no one notable sang it on Idol either, but I’ll mention that it’s one of the few times on this list that we see a performer from this season in the form of recently booted DeAndre Brackensick. Like I said, no one notable. So, we’ll move on.
7. I Believe I Can Fly by R. Kelly. Performed on Glee by the New Directions. This was a great song on Glee as part of a mash-up with the song “Fly” by Nicki Minaj. It was for Regionals so you know the New Directions brought it. Again, there was no one notable from Idol who sang this song, so we’ll say the New Directions in this round.
8. (You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin. Performed on Glee as a mash-up as well (with Hall & Oates “I Can’t Go For That”) by New Directions. While the New Directions version was fun, and I love a mash-up, the best performance of this song, was Season 1 winner, the amazing Kelly Clarkson. And check out her outfit while singing this song. You’d think the first Idol was from 1991.
9. I’m the Only One by Melissa Etheridge. Performed on Glee by the dreamy Noah Puckerman. And his performance was dreamy! Not to mention, it was one of my favorite episodes of Glee (“I Kissed a Girl”) since it heavily featured Santana. I did really like Lauren Alaina’s version of this song last season but I still think Puckerman wins this round. It helps that his hotness knows no bounds. Sorry Lauren. It’s probably why you lost Idol too (although I don’t feel that way about Scotty).
10. Imagine by John Lennon. Performed on Glee by New Directions and the deaf choir they competed against. Really, when you perform with a deaf choir, how can anything Idol puts up, compete? Well, you compete with a tiny little soft spoken boy named David Archuleta. That’s right, the first song I ever downloaded off itunes after hearing it on Idol, was his version of Imagine. It was perfect. I think I shed a tear in both shows performances of this song. Archuleta wins though. I think it’s the piano.
11. My Funny Valentine by what we’ll call “Original Broadway Cast” because everyone has covered this song! Just look at the “Notable Recordings” section of Wikipedia. Performed on Glee by Tina Cohen-Chang in the “Silly Love Songs” episode. Tina is definitely one of those overlooked voices on Glee. I could even see a girl like her auditioning for Idol being overlooked (especially if Simon was still one of the judges). I’m so glad she’s going to get more screen time this year and next since she won’t be graduating this season. The only way Tina loses this match would be if she competed in Season 6, when Melinda Doolittle covered this song in the Semi’s.
12. Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland. Performed on Glee by Noah Puckerman and Will Schuester. Technically Puck and Schu sing the Israel Kamakawiwoʻole version of this song, which I actually like more than the original, and the only person to do that version on Idol was Jason Castro and that was fantastic. I loved that dirty hippy. As far as the Judy Garland version though, Katherine McPhee actually sang this in the Finale of her season (I’ll still never understand how she lost to Taylor Hicks). Simon Cowell picked the song for her and that guy knows his stuff. Wow.
13. Smile by Charlie Chaplin. Performed on Glee by the New Directions.. I don’t need to know who sang this on Idol because this is an overall favorite song of mine from the Glee Soundtracks. The only version I’ve ever liked more was when Veda sings it in My Girl 2. And maybe Michael Jacksons version. Maybe. Oh and Josh Grobans verison. Maybe I just really like the song. Winner – New Directions.
14. True Colors by Cyndi Lauper. Performed on Glee by Tina Cohen-Chang and New Directions. Maybe it’s just because it’s more fresh in my mind but I really liked Creighton Frakers recent version of this song when he sang it in the semi’s of this season. I thought it was so sweet and totally fit his style of song. Just like it did Tina when she sang it on Glee.
15. Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler. Performed on Glee by Rachel Berry, and smaller parts by Finn, Jessie St.James and Puck. It’s a rough song for Rachel as she realizes she’s lost all the guys who kind of liked her in the first place. And lets be realistic, if Rachel was on Glee (if she could make it past Randy complaining about her “broadway voice”) would win American Idol ten times over, so we all know she’d be the real winner no matter what. I’ll say Carly Smithson had a pretty good version but nothing really compares to Rachel Berry.