By Amy Ryan
May 30, 2007 at 06:08 AM EDT

So, what do Joe Cocker, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Brenda Lee, and Martina McBride have in common? As many of you guessed, it had something to do with this past week’s selection of a new American Idol. All of these artists have performed songs that were later recorded by Idol winners. Kelly Clarkson recorded Franklin’s hits “Respect” and “(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman” on the season 1 greatest hits CD. On Flying Without Wings, Ruben Studdard recorded “Superstar,” a song that was previously best known as a Carpenters tune but was recorded first by Cocker. Fantasia (pictured) included on Free Yourself her cover of “Always on My Mind,” a song Lee was the first to record, before the more familiar versions by Elvis and Willie Nelson. Carrie Underwood recorded McBride’s “Independence Day” on the season 4 Showstoppers CD. And Taylor Hicks’ self-titled debut disc included Gaye’s “Wherever I Lay My Hat.”

Only a handful of you got the answer we were looking for, though many spotted the Idol-cover connection. Best wrong answer came courtesy of HeadScratcher regular Patrick A. Yearout, who noted that all five artists recorded songs that were performed this week on the Idol finale. Cocker recorded the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends” (sung by the 12 finalists); Studdard sang Franklin’s “You’re All I Need to Get By”; Gaye also recorded “You’re All I Need…” and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (sung by the female finalists); Lee covered “For Once in My Life,” covered in turn by Tony Bennett during the finale; and McBride has covered “Silent Night,” sung in turn by Sholandric Stallworth during the Golden Idol segment. McBride also recorded “Broken Wing,” which eventual winner Jordin Sparks sang during the final competition episode last Tuesday.

PopWatch idolizes this week’s HeadScratcher winners: Denise B., Jason Booth, Lisa Menaster, and Katie Phillips.

Thanks for playing, everyone! Come back Friday for another HeadScratcher…

addCredit(“Fantasia: Jamie McCarthy/”)