Each year, singing competitions feature talented up-and-coming artists from across the globe, including “The X Factor,” “American Idol,” and “Pop Stars.” As a result, this week’s Top 5 is dedicated to the latest and greatest from reality TV finalists: from newly debuting acts in the U.K. to established superstars Down Under. And best of all? No suspenseful commercial breaks.
1.) Jessica Mauboy, “Something’s Got A Hold On Me”
Jessica Mauboy has certainly been making a name for herself ever since placing as runner-up on “Australian Idol” in 2006: After her season, the R&B-pop songstress broke out with her debut record Been Waiting, as well as her feisty follow-up, 2010′s Get ‘Em Girls. Late last month, the talented crooner revealed “Something’s Got A Hold On Me,” the official theme for the 2013 NRL season (that’s rugby!) in Australia. “Oh, sometimes I get a good feeling,” she belts out. Don’t worry — this isn’t a cover of Flo Rida‘s Etta James-sampling “Good Feeling.” The track soon explodes into almighty power-pop anthem mode, as Mauboy cries out above a propulsive guitar strum and bouncy club beat. It’s a very good feeling.
Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs after the jump!
2.) Misha B, “Here’s To Everything (Ooh La La)”
Misha B has been planning her debut ever since cracking the final four on 2011′s “The X Factor U.K.,” layering her soulful vocals on top of skittish, genre-bending beats like her debut single, “Home Run.” On her brand-new track “Here’s To Everything,” Misha’s feeling the love — and like Jess Mauboy’s latest, she’s sampling a classic gem: Teena Marie‘s “Ooo La La La.” Like her debut, the track is a bit of a pick ‘n’ mix — everything from skittish drum and bass to reggae. “When my world is on fire, I dance with the flames,” she happily declares, dancing through the soldiering beats.
3.) Amelia Lily, “Party Over”
Misha B isn’t the only talented songstress born from Season 8 of “The X Factor U.K.”: Feisty, pink-haired pop princess-to-be Amelia Lily has already charmed the U.K. charts with her dreamy debut singles “You Bring Me Joy” and “Shut Up (And Give Me Whatever You Got),” both produced by the almighty pop production troupe, Xenomania. Now, she’s back with another round of Xeno-produced joy, “Party Over,” a powerful burst of frantic drum and bass production. “Tell me, is the party over?” she demands over and over again above the kicking production, bringing out shades of Girls Aloud at their rowdiest – or maybe early Cyndi Lauper getting skyrocketed through space.
4.) Blake Lewis, “Your Touch”
It’s been a minute (or two) since we last heard from 2007 “American Idol” runner-up Blake Lewis, but the synth-minded pop prince has returned with a harder sonic edge — and a new major label deal with Republic Records. “Your body consumes me/ I never loved someone so much,” Lewis croons above his gritty new electro ballad “Your Touch,” full of grimy dubstep beats and pulsing electronica. Like Usher‘s collaboration with Diplo, “Climax,” the song is a solid blend of stellar electronica production and powerhouse pipes. It’s doing pretty well for Lewis already: “Your Touch” was just picked up as the official theme song for Internet Explorer 10.
5.) Nadine Coyle, “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”
Originally chosen as a finalist on “Pop Stars: The Rivals” — which led to the formation of the U.K.’s almighty Girls Aloud – Irish siren Nadine Coyle isn’t just a national treasure, but she’s one of the most impressive powerhouse vocalists born of reality TV. Now, as she struts her way down the catwalk and delivers hair flips for days on stage at the Aloud’s Ten Tour over in the U.K., one of the tracks from her solo sessions with DJ Vito Fun in 2012 has hit the net: “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend.” But let’s not get it twisted: This ain’t no karaoke number. The powerhouse diva takes the classic track and gives it a bouncy, jazzy twist, made all the better by her iconic Derry accent. Shayhn brahyht layhk uh dahymuhnd!
Bradley Stern is a writer from Connecticut. In his spare time, he enjoys organizing his Britney Spears CD collection in reverse chronological order and writing impassioned letters to Congress urging that Madonnalogy be taught in all public schools. But most of all, he spends his time tweeting musing daily about pop music on his blog, MuuMuse.
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