Apparently the ghosts of Nina Simone and John Coltrane do NOT like having their classic ballad "Feeling Good" messed with. The sexy, smoky number has been covered by everyone from Muse to George Michael to the Pussycat Dolls to Michael Buble, all with varying degrees of success...but it seems that whenever talent show contestants tackle it, they either get cut or at least land in the bottom two.
The most recent near-victim of the "Feeling Good" Curse is onetime X Factor frontrunner Danyl Johnson, the likable gent whom Simon Cowell once declared gave the "best first audition ever" in the history of the British singing competition. This weekend on The X Factor, Danyl slicked back his hair, put on a suit, belted out "Feeling Good," and delivered his strongest performance in weeks (after several missteps as of late)...
...and yet, Danyl inexplicably ended up in the bottom two this week on The X Factor, and it's only because the judges (unsurprisingly) decided to save him over girl group Miss Frank that he didn't go home.
And then, of course, there was arguably THE most shocking elimination night of this year's American Idol, when seeming frontrunner Adam Lambert somehow landed in the bottom two and almost got cut. This mind-bogglingly occurred after his own sharp-suited, Muse-inspired rendition of the cursed song:
And finally, going back to the semi-finals of American Idol season 6, on the same episode contestants A.J. Tabaldo and Leslie Hunt both sang "Feeling Good." Both were feeling pretty bad the next evening, when they went home in a double elimination:
For a magnificent song with such a triumphant vibe, it sure does seem to drag competing singers down. So, what is is about "Feeling Good" that seemingly leaves voters cold? Do viewers just plain not dig the song? (That seems unlikely; it's a classic.) Is there something off-puttingly cocky about the lyrics? Is it too old-fashioned? Or did Nina Simone really curse these contestants? Who knows...but I can only imagine how Coltrane and Simone's ghosts reacted when they saw this "Feeling Good" interpretation on another popular talent show: