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Simon Cowell, American Idol
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When X Factor premieres on Wednesday, there are five songs that the show’s contestants would be very unwise to bring their first auditions, Simon Cowell told reporters on Tuesday.

The main offenders?

R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly”

Etta James’ “At Last” (“I’m allergic to that song,” he says.)

The Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody” (“Everybody seems to think ‘Unchained Melody’ is my favorite song of all time. It is not.”)

Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” (“I cannot listen to that anymore.”)

John Legend’s “Ordinary People” (“They always try to sing it like [Legend’s] version. It’s never good.”)

We agree with Cowell, especially about “Unchained Melody,” a song that was originally written for an obscure prison movie and was revived, of course, for cinematic pottery sex.

And there are so many others to add! Take “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” especially the Israel Kamakawiwo’ole version that no one except actual Hawaiians and strict adherents of the “barefoot lifestyle” should ever attempt. And then there’s the Pussycat Dolls’ “Don’t Cha” (No, we don’t.)

And please, don’t ruin Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds” (after hearing Collins talk about that song in this incredibly moving This American Life episode, we don’t want anyone to touch it) or Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing” (so many key changes, so little Whitney-worthy talent!), or any of the other picks in our gallery American Idol: 20 Songs We’d Ban From the Show Forever.

So, what would you add to the list? Tell us in the comments.


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Simon Cowell, American Idol
The X Factor
Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, and Paulina Rubio judge Season 3.
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