[1 December 2009]
I will admit it. One of my guiltiest guilty pleasures is The X Factor. It is essentially the British version of American Idol. It is awful, but I love it.
When it was announced that the 2008 winner would sing a cover of Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah”, I thought the situation couldn’t get any worse.
It just did.
It has been announced that the 2009 winner will sing a cover of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’”.
I could not believe my ears.
When I eventually believed them, I wanted to eat them in a fit of pure, undiluted fury.
“Don’t Stop Believin’” is one of my favorite songs. I am against cover versions in (almost) every shape and form. The original is the best. Unless you can do something imaginative with the original (listen to Taken by Trees’ version of “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, for example), then leave it as it is. There is nothing about The X Factor that could possibly be considered original. Take it from someone who knows.
I could list all the things that are wrong with this choice, but I will start with the most obvious. One: the original version is brilliant and you should never mar brilliance. Two: why not pick an original song for the winner? At least then it can stand as a song in its own right. Can they not afford songwriters in this poor economic climate? Three: one of the contestants, an admittedly talented guy named Joe, already sang this song (and is favored to win, apparently). Does anything scream favoritism louder than that?
I will end this post with a solemn plea. Please buy the original version of “Don’t Stop Believin’” from iTunes during the week before Christmas. In the name of good taste, good music and all that is holy, buy “Don’t Stop Believin’”. Please.