This Is Crazy

07.10.12

10 Best and Worst “Call Me Maybe” Covers

Carly Rae Jepsen’s catchy single finally hit No. 1 on Billboard.com’s Top 100 on Wednesday after weeks stuck at No. 2. During the months it was gaining steam, hundreds of covers popped up—here are nine of the best (and worst).

From boy bands to talk-show hosts to top politicians, everyone and her mother has joined in on the recent “Call Me Maybe” cover craze. Carly Rae Jepsen herself even stepped in to do a cover of her own song! While some of the performances have garnered nothing more than jeers and ill-willed laughter, others have been extremely successful, in some cases propelling little-known artists to become You Tube stars overnight. While the covers all share the same catchy beat and lyrics of the hit song, the similarities generally end there.

Cookie Monster: WIN

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Aside from being the only fictional character—not to mention the only puppet—to take on Carly Rae Jepsen's mega-hit as of yet, the Cookie Monster get points for taking the pop phenomenon out of the realm of cute boys and digits grounding it in a conversation on sharing. Because, while nothing quite beats indulging in the joyful brainlessness of 'Call Me Maybe,’ it's probably a good idea to try and learn a little bit too.


Carly Rae Jepsen, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots: WIN

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Carly Rae Jepsen performed this cute cover of her own hit song “Call Me Maybe” with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots. Besides giving audiences a rare opportunity to see Jimmy Fallon perform a duet, the song carries an extraordinarily playful feel because the instruments being used were limited to those one would find in an elementary school. And who wouldn't enjoy a music video where everyone in it seems to be having so much damn fun? The video already has nearly 2.5 million views and it has only been up for four days!

NPR Anchors: FAIL

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There are few parts of this cover that wouldn’t cause the most open-hearted music listener to cringe. On a positive note, the singers—or speakers, more accurately—do speak clearly and with nice emphasis. Then again, these are radio-show hosts. The most redeeming part of the cover is the end, when one anchor asks, “This is the No. 1 song in America?” and follows that with a snide chuckle.

Ben Howard: WIN

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British singer/songwriter Ben Howard performed this amazing cover live with cellist India Bourne on BBC’s Radio 1 Live Lounge. The cello adds an elegant dramatic touch to a song many have found rather devoid of emotion. On the other hand, Howard appears to be laughing at certain points in the song, adding a fun light-heartedness balancing out the heavy tone of the cello. With more than 2.8 million YouTube views, this cover ranks as the second most popular, trailing only that of Mr. Obama's.

President Obama: WIN

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While is not a cover in the traditional sense, it was simply too amusing to be left out. Thanks to University of Tennessee student Fadi Saleh’s uncanny editing skills and apparently endless amount of time, our president can now be seen singing America’s hottest song. This mashup of presidential speeches turned into a hit song has many copycats, but with more than 11 million views, holds the title of most popular “Call Me Maybe” cover.

Tay Zonday: FAIL

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YouTube star Tay Zonday performed this cover in the baritone style made famous by his viral hit “Chocolate Rain.” Zonday, with no formal music training, was propelled to internet stardom several years ago when his “Chocolate Rain” video became one of the most watched YouTube videos to date. While none of his subsequent performances have garnered the same kind of attention, his deep signature voice is displayed boldly in his cover of “Call Me Maybe”—to a bewildering and even creepy effect. Still, it’s worth watching just to see how low the human voice really can go.

Megan Nicole: WIN

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Over the past few months, teen internet sensation Megan Nicole has been gaining fame through her covers of songs by artists such as Bruno Mars, Lady Antebellum, Jason Derulo and, of course, Carly Rae Jepsen. Her cover of “Call Me Maybe” has garnered over 4 million YouTube views. Megan also has her own hit single titled “Beautiful” and is currently working with famed Los Angeles music producers Tom Mgrdichian and Chris Cox.

Elyar Fox: WIN

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As far as music videos go, it really doesn’t get much simpler than this: a boy playing his guitar in front of a camera. British teen singer Elyar Fox performed this cover and wooed countless teen girls with his distinct British accent. Many of the video’s comments run along the lines of “Marry me” or “You’re sexy!” Still, his voice speaks for itself and it certainly takes more than a pretty face to garner over a million views.

Colin Powell: FAIL

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Perhaps former Secretary of State and retired general Colin Powell has decided he wants to step back into the spotlight because we can’t seem to offer another explanation for why he would burst into “Call Me Maybe” on CBS Morning News. He even dances along to his short performance and brings in CBS anchor Gayle King to support him. To each his own, but we certainly think that Mr. Powell should stick to politics.

Alex Goot, Dave Days, Chad Sugg: WIN

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Pop trio Alex Goot, Dave Days and Chad Sugg recorded this brilliant cover and added several unique touches, including a ukulele duet and an electric guitar. The video depicts their transformation from Star Wars-loving nerds to the ultimate pop stars. A few of the song’s lyrics were also changed to reflect a male perspective—that and the high production value make this video one of the best “Call Me Maybe” covers around.