Carly Rose Sonenclar sang Nina Simone. Kelly Clarkson chose Etta James. For Harry Styles it was Stevie Wonder.
OPINION: All classics. This year, however, NZ X Factor hopefuls are choosing to audition with David Guetta.
Auditions for the local take on the worldwide sensation are working their way up the country as we speak, and last week 10 of the most auditioned songs were revealed.
And what a mixed bag it is. Here they are; some of the most popular choices from southern auditions, in no particular order:
Titanium - David Guetta feat. Sia
Rolling in the Deep - Adele
Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen (Jeff Buckley version)
Valerie - Amy Winehouse
Sunday Morning - Maroon Five
The A Team - Ed Sheeran
Little Things - One Direction
Angel - Sarah McLachlan
Halo - Beyonce
Skinny Love - Bon Iver
Now some of those are solid vocal choices (she says like she knows what that means).
Others, a bit weird. But they certainly give us an idea of what our South Island friends think they could be...musically. It seems Kiwis want to be divas like Beyonce, a capella stars like the girls in Pitch Perfect (the film certainly showed what you can do with Titanium), and surely there have to be a few older contestants if Sarah McLachlan is still getting a look in.
The one that stands out for me though has to be Bon Iver. It's not a song being thrashed on radio - the album hasn't done huge things here - so it's not an obvious choice by any means, and yet people are choosing it as their make-or-break song. Bizarrely awesome.
The other thing that made me go "mmm" was the obvious absence of New Zealand music. There is a heap of interesting local stuff floating around at the moment, so why isn't it being sung?
Perhaps that's a tip for anyone still waiting to audition - stay away from the obvious, and look a little closer to home. I'm sure whoever is watching the auditions will appreciate not having to hear Adele one more time.
Oh and for the record, I would totally sing Torn by Natalie Imbruglia. It might not be a classic, but it has served me well in both karaoke rooms and the shower... "I thought I saw a man brought to life..."
- Auckland Now