I’ve been wanting to do this post for a long time because as a life-long fan of American Idol (2002 – 2016 and 2018 – present), I’ve noticed that some songs are cursed. In other words, if the contestant sings a certain song, then they get sent home! I don’t know why that’s the case, but the curse is real. Though Halloween is eight months away, let’s get spooky by discussing 10 cursed songs from American Idol that cut these contestants’ Idol journeys short.
I’d like to point out that this post is not meant to be taken seriously and I’m not here to make fun of these contestants. These are just my opinions and feel free to disagree, if you’d like. Also, there are times where a contestant is safe after singing a song that’s cursed. I’ll explain more later. With all that said, let’s get on with the music!
10. “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” by Train
So far, only one person got eliminated from singing Train’s “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me),” but there’s still some bad luck surrounding the song. In season five, Ace Young sang it during the top 10 round, got bad comments from the judges, and landed in the bottom three. In season eight, Mishavonna Henson sang “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” during the semi-finals and was eliminated from the competition. Finally, in season 13, MK Nobilette sang the same song during the top 12 round and landed in the bottom three. So, not all bad, but not all good either!
9. “Only Girl (In the World)” by Rihanna
The semi-finals for season 10 were weird because a lot of the contestants chose to sing songs that were completely different from what they normally sing. Unfortunately, it did not end well for them. Especially for Ta-Tynisa Wilson, who sang “Only Girl (In the World)” by Rihanna and she was the first girl to perform for the night, so that didn’t help one bit. Wilson wasn’t chosen to be a wildcard contestant and was sent home. Then, in season 12, Jett Hermano sang the same song during the Las Vegas semi-finals round and unfortunately, did not advance to the second semi-finals round.
8. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King (1994)
Well, first of all, I’m not a fan of this song anyways. So, there’s that! But in season 16, Dennis Lorenzo sang “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King (1994) during the top 10 round (also known as Disney Night) and was eliminated from the competition. Then, in season 18, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” was one of the two songs that Louis Knight sang during the top 7 round and not surprisingly, he was eliminated from the competition. To be honest, season 18 was kind of a cursed season because starting with the top 20 round, American Idol had to film their shows remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
7. “Suspicious Minds” by Mark James, but was later recorded by Elvis Presley in 1969
Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds” is definitely cursed because it was one of the songs that got Chris Daughtry eliminated from American Idol. It was season five, during the top 4 round, where the contestants sang two Elvis Presley songs each. Then, in season seven, Colton Berry sang “Suspicious Minds” during the top 24 round and was eliminated from the competition. There’s an exception to this song, though. In season nine, Siobhan Magnus sang “Suspicious Minds” during the second week of the top 9 round and was safe (no bottom two or bottom three either). But here’s the thing, she slowed it down during the second half and the song was hardly like the Elvis version at that point.
6. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears
In season 14, Rayvon Owen sang Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” during the top 9 round and was in the bottom two, but was saved by the “fan save” option. So, that guy was close to being eliminated.
Dalton Rapattoni from season 15 wasn’t as lucky. He sang the same song during the top 3 round and got eliminated from the competition, but the worst part was that the judges picked that song for him. Was he sabotaged? Did the judges give him a cursed song, so that the top two finalists would be Trent Harmon and La’Porsha Renae? Who knows!
Then, in season 18, during the top 20 round, Franklin Boone sang “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and was eliminated from the competition. Finally, in season 19, Colin Jamieson sang “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” during the top 16 round and was not chosen to be a top 12 finalist. After his song the following night, the judges chose not to save Jamieson.
5. “River Deep – Mountain High” by Ike & Tina Turner
In season four, when Amanda Avila sang Ike & Tina Turner’s “River Deep – Mountain High” during the top 16 round and got eliminated, nobody cared. But, when season 10 favorite Pia Toscano got eliminated after singing that same song during the top 9 round, people were talking big time! It was official, “River Deep – Mountain High” was cursed! I wouldn’t say Hollie Cavanagh from season 11 broke the curse because she ended up in the bottom two for the top 5 round (she was in the bottom two/three a few times before then). “River Deep – Mountain High” was one of the two songs she sang for that round.
4. “Never Can Say Goodbye” by The Jackson 5
The curse of The Jackson 5’s “Never Can Say Goodbye” started all the way back in season four with David Brown during the top 24 round. He wasn’t eliminated, but he got bad comments from the judges for singing a “safe song.”
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m still bitter about Jorge Núñez’s elimination from American Idol for season eight. I don’t blame him, though, because Michael Jackson week is a tough way to start off the finals. It’s bad enough Núñez sang a cursed song during the top 13 round, but he sang it in a lower key than what was on the recording. The studio version of Núñez singing “Never Can Say Goodbye” sounded so much better because he sang it in a key that suited his voice. Is it possible that he was sabotaged as well?
Then, in season 11, Aaron Marcellus sang “Never Can Say Goodbye” during the semi-finals and got eliminated from the competition, obviously.
3. “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon
In season 15, Lee Jean sang Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” during the top 8 round and was eliminated from the competition. In season 17, Eddie Island sang the same song during the results show after failing to win the public vote the previous night. The judges chose not to save him and Island was eliminated from the competition. Season 19 is an interesting one because this particular contestant dropped out of American Idol. Wyatt Pike sang “Use Somebody” during the top 16 round and withdrew from the competition before the results show. That sounds a bit strange, don’t you think?
2. “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston
In season two, Jennifer Fuentes attempted to sing Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” with just a piano during the semi-finals and failed miserably. She didn’t make it to the finals. In season three, two girls (Elizabeth LeTendre and Tiara Purifoy) annoyingly sang the same song during the semi-finals and both were eliminated. LeTendre was on the wildcard show, but she didn’t make it to the finals.
Four seasons later, in season seven, Asia’h Epperson sang “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” during the top 16 round and she got sent home. Here’s where things get interesting again! In seasons 14 and 15, two contestants (Tyanna Jones and MacKenzie Bourg) sang “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me),” but neither contestant was eliminated. During the top 9 round in season 14, Jones made the song more modern. Bourg added an electric guitar and created his own arrangement for the song during the top 8 round. Both contestants made the song different from the original version, therefore, they survived another week on the show.
1. “Love Will Lead You Back” by Taylor Dayne
Honestly, I can’t think of a more cursed song than “Love Will Lead You Back” by Taylor Dayne. The curse started back in season two, when Carmen Rasmusen sang it during the top 6 round and was eliminated from the competition. Two seasons later, in season four, Mikalah Gordon sang “Love Will Lead You Back” during the top 11 round and was eliminated. Three seasons later, in season seven, a girl named Amy Flynn sang the same song during the second round of Hollywood Week and she was eliminated from the competition. Flynn didn’t even pick that song; her “vocal coach” picked it for her. Finally, in season 10, Karen Rodriguez sang “Love Will Lead You Back” during the top 12 round and was eliminated, of course.
There you have it, everyone! Those are 10 cursed songs that were sung on American Idol. Let me tell you, going through the later seasons was brutal, but I enjoyed doing research for the most part. Remember, never underestimate the power of song choice!
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to like it and share it with your friends. I write about music, Disney, TV shows, movies, and whatever suits my interests. If that sounds like your cup of tea, please subscribe to my blog for more content like this! To help me keep this blog going, click here to make a donation or click here to join my Patreon. You can also follow me on social media through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
Don’t forget to leave a comment down below to start a conversation!
Take care and see ya real soon!