Yikes.  Forgive the scientific title.  It gives me chills and flashbacks to ninth grade honors bio, Science Fair and a purple sweatshirt with green paisley diamonds on it that was worn at least once a week (NOT by me).


It’s no secret that American Idol’s huge popularity has an effect that carries over to iTunes.  When a song is sung, even if obscure, it often jumps onto the iTunes charts.

This was especially evident when Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” jumped from relative obscurity into #1, thanks to Jason Castro’s incredible performance of the song on the show.

This is the first year that American Idol and iTunes have had a partnership.  I’m a big fan of it — the contestants all record one of the songs that they cover each week into a polished track, available immediately on iTunes the day after the results show.  (Of course, during the run of the show itself, they don’t publish songs in the top 100, to keep the voting fair.)

But even before American Idol and iTunes teamed up, songs sung on the show would become the most downloaded tracks in the country.

I was just checking out the iTunes top 100 and I was blown away by how many songs on the charts have to do with the show.  Here are all of them:

First, songs by Season 7 contestants:

  • #1: David Cook, “Time of My Life”
  • #2: David Cook, “Dream Big (American Idol Performance)”
  • #4: David Cook, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (American Idol Performance)”
  • #5: David Cook, “The World I Know (American Idol Performance)”
  • #10: David Archuleta, “In This Moment (American Idol Performance)”
  • #12: David Archuleta, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (American Idol Performance)”
  • #21: David Archuleta, “Imagine (American Idol Performance) [Top 2]”

If you go to more extremes, here are the original versions of songs that have been performed by contestants this season:

  • #46: Chris Brown, “With You” (performed by David Archuleta on Top 3 night)
  • #59: Collective Soul, “The World I Know” (performed by David Cook on Top 2 night)
  • #85: Bryan Adams, “Summer of ’69” (performed by the top 12 at the finale)
  • #96: Aerosmith, “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” (performed by David Cook on Top 3 night)
  • #98: Jeff Buckley, “Hallelujah” (performed by Jason Castro on Top 16 night and at the finale)

And, just so we’re covering everything, here are the songs performed by current chart-toppers on the results show:

  • #7: Natasha Bedingfield, “Pocketful of Sunshine”
  • #8: Leona Lewis, “Bleeding Love”
  • #14: Carrie Underwood, “Last Name”
  • #23: Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown, “No Air”
  • #24: OneRepublic, “Apologize” (performed with David Archuleta)
  • #37: Maroon 5, “If I Never See Your Face Again”
  • #40: Miley Cyrus, “See You Again”
  • #47: Mariah Carey, “Bye, Bye”
  • #50: Jordin Sparks, “One Step At a Time”
  • #61: George Michael, “Praying for Time”
  • #73: ZZ Top, “Sharp Dressed Man” (performed with David Cook)
  • #97: Timbaland featuring OneRepublic, “Apologize” (performed with David Archuleta)

And finally, songs by past Idols:

  • (Mentioned previously: #14: Carrie Underwood, “Last Name”)
  • (Mentioned previously: #23: Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown, “No Air”)
  • (Mentioned previously: #50: Jordin Sparks, “One Step At a Time”)
  • #65: Carrie Underwood, “All-American Girl”
  • #79: Daughtry, “Feels Like Tonight”
  • #88: Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown, “No Air” (single version)
  • #93: Carrie Underwood, “Before He Cheats”

If you stick to current contestants and the songs they sang on the show, that’s 12 (or 15, if you count the original artist/Idol collaboration performances).  That is a LOT out of 100.

If you count songs recorded by American Idol contestants, that’s 14.

Count every song on iTunes that has been performed on American Idol at some point during this season, and you have a staggering 28 out of 100.

All from one TV show.

Look, FOX, you have a juggernaut of a show that is making you a TON of money.  There’s no reason to make us sit through thoroughly unfunny promotions for new Mike Myers movies that I won’t name here on principle.