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What Not To Sing
July 7, 2009 6:33 PM   Subscribe

I understand that MeFites don't really do American Idol, but if you're the rare one who does, then you will probably appreciate the combination of fandom and geekery that produced What Not To Sing. They look at reviews of AI performances from all over the web, and distill them to provide numerical and star ratings for each AI performance. Every one. EVER. They have a listing of the top and bottom 40 performances across all 8 seasons, which makes for interesting YouTube searching. If you're curious about all performances of Michael Jackson songs on the show or just wish to confirm that Sanjaya sucked, they can help with that as well. The feature currently amusing me is this season's Camp Should-A-Been, where they judge contestants solely on performance rating, with the lowest rated performer leaving.
posted by booksherpa (23 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Needs more snark.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 6:36 PM on July 7, 2009


I loves me some American Idol.
posted by WhySharksMatter at 6:41 PM on July 7, 2009


Snark? Needs more processing power and bandwidth! What ranking do they give "Service Unavailable"?
posted by the dief at 6:41 PM on July 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


It looks like it was down briefly while they updated with the finale of Camp Should-A-Been. It appears to be back now, with an unexpected winner at the camp.
posted by booksherpa at 6:46 PM on July 7, 2009


The first thing I looked at was the bottom rankings. I wasn't disappointed either, Jason Castro performing 'I shot the sheriff' should be shot.
posted by tellurian at 7:03 PM on July 7, 2009


Needs more cowbell.
posted by turgid dahlia at 7:34 PM on July 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


needs more karaoke.
posted by man vs sun at 7:38 PM on July 7, 2009


Deceptive use of the ai tag.
posted by Sailormom at 7:44 PM on July 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Even as non-fan of American Idol, I gotta appreciate the obsessive-compulsive completism of this list.

There was a time I hated on American Idol pretty hard, actually. No longer. See, without American Idol, there never would have been a Superstar KZ and without Superstar KZ, I never would have encountered Freestylo! The "Idol" concept had to get all the way to Kazakhstan before it did me any good, but credit where credit is due, right?

Fut-Fut-Fut-FREESTYLO!
posted by EatTheWeak at 7:46 PM on July 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


needs youtube links

nice resource though
posted by Bonzai at 7:55 PM on July 7, 2009


Sorry, I just can't take them seriously when they rank Clay Aiken's "Build Me Up Buttercup" as the #4 all-time best performance on American Idol. Just... no.
posted by MegoSteve at 7:57 PM on July 7, 2009


Australian Idol 1 was won by a Malaysian, proudly Christian fella affectionately known as Pubehead. The site owners that dubbed him Pubehead went crazy for some reason and got involved in a pretty major cyber bullying scandal.

Australian Idol 2 was won by a great big fat person [APOLIGIES TO JAME GUMB]. Unfortunately she had the same name as a gay male porn actor so there was a minor scandal after she won. Somehow, someone accidentally got the link wrong on the official site. Yeah, right.

Then the poor thing put on another 100 pounds. Then she got punched in the head at a pub for no reason. Then she got swine flu, poor thing.

Australian Idol 3 was won by a flamer, IIRC. It’s all getting a bit hazy now.

But anyone who accuses Australia of being a racist sexist fattist homophobic nation has got a few roos loose in the top paddock, given this is the ultimate popularity contest of recent times.

AUSTRALIA, FUCK YEAH!!!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:59 PM on July 7, 2009


Godammit. I just noticed she didn't catch the flu.

Mainstream news media was initially reporting she did. I stupidly linked the first link I could find ASS U ME ing it was still the case. Apologies to Casey.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:06 PM on July 7, 2009


I just can't take them seriously when they rank Clay Aiken's "Build Me Up Buttercup" as the #4 all-time best performance on American Idol.

It's not the folks at WNTS ranking it 4th, it's their compilation of reviews of performances from all over the web ranking it 4th. But yeah, I was a big Clay fan at the time, and really enjoyed his performance of that song, and I still agree with you. Frankly, I was surprised that Fantasia's Summertime didn't rank #1, but having watched the two ahead of it (1, 2), I can see how a case could be made for them.
posted by booksherpa at 8:10 PM on July 7, 2009



The best one I saw was from the INTERNATIONAL Idol, if any of you can remember it. The American chick Christy Carson or Kimberly Carlson or whatever her name is was REALLY PISSED OFF she didn't win, and she showed it.

The winner, cruelly nicknamed "The Hobbit" by the Aussie judge, did a magnificent rendition of U2's It's a Beautiful Day during the closing credits. A coupla times he was chuckling out loud to himself in self depreciating disbelief.

The complete antithesis of that uppity American bitch.

NOT an Idol fan, but I have a missus who likes crap TV and she wears the pants in the house and we always have the teev on in the background even if we're not watching it...
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:54 PM on July 7, 2009


American Idol is a seriously guilty pleasure for me.

Except for the truly bad auditions. That is just cruelty on the part of the producers. I'd like the show a lot more (and yes, I know, it would get much lower ratings) if we only saw auditions of decent singers.

Also the show would be better if the judges made the decisions, screw the popularity contest. That tone-deaf bint last year who saved her ass (Cowell even commented on it, saying she'd made a very smart move) by singing God Bless America should have been booted much earlier on, and would have been had it not been for her shucks darn act.

Also also: Kris Allen? Call me. I'll make you breakfast.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:11 PM on July 7, 2009


When I watched Idol I loved this site and contributed some research and reviews (for season one) to it. The Idolmetrics section is a gem and I think can be enjoyed for what it is whether or not you like Idol. I happen to be an Idol fanatic who stopped watching after season 7 but who can still remember a lot of the contestants and performances.

Before I knew this site existed I used to figure out a lot of this stuff on my own. I also kept notes and personal reviews on every performance of every season starting with the first (Tamyra singing "And I Am Telling You" when at the time I thought she was more backup singer than star but I changed my mind). American Idol can be predictable in some ways.

For example, when a contestant performs is key, and it's usually worse to go second than first. Apparently Kris Allen continues the tradition of the highest rated singer not winning (so the internet doesn't know all), a trend broken only by David Cook. They're now trying to determine if it is better to sing a familiar song, and I wonder what the research will reveal. I personally think picking a song with a strong melody is far more important than choosing a well-known song but we'll see.
posted by Danila at 9:19 PM on July 7, 2009


EatTheWeak. Insane! Thanks. I almost didn't click on them, glad I did.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:42 PM on July 7, 2009


Interesting rankings but I have to disagree with ranking Elliott Yamin's cover of A Song For You by Donny Hathaway - ranked at 33? Are you kidding me? Easily, easily top 5 performance. If not #1.

Performance here.
posted by empyrean at 9:47 PM on July 7, 2009


And now that I've thought of him, it's a complete crime not to include his cover of Moody's Mood for Love somewhere in the top 40. If anything it's better than the previous song I mentioned.
posted by empyrean at 9:49 PM on July 7, 2009


uncanny hengeman - You're quite welcome. I just love that we live in a world where a man from Kazakhstan can wave a dombra around on a stage flanked by Pepsi logos on a show that's a knock-off of an American television show which is in turn a knock-off of a British television show and give a performance which becomes the centerpiece for dope remixes from all over the globe. Yay twenty-first century!
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:17 PM on July 7, 2009


For those who like American Idol-style shows, there's currently an Asia-wide one going on right now called Sutasi. (And it looks like the Sutasi creator needs some twittering help)
posted by needled at 6:39 AM on July 8, 2009


American Idol is a seriously guilty pleasure for me.

Except for the truly bad auditions. That is just cruelty on the part of the producers. I'd like the show a lot more (and yes, I know, it would get much lower ratings) if we only saw auditions of decent singers.


I take it you were not a WB Superstar fan then?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:40 AM on July 8, 2009


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