“Somebody That I Used To Know” is the most inescapable pop song of 2012. Not only is it a great song, but it seems to be the song that everyone wants to sing. From Glee to American Idol to The Voice to The Sing Off — we’ve heard all kinds of renditions of Gotye’s signature song. And we still can’t get enough of it.
We scoured YouTube for the best non-professional covers of “Somebody That I Used To Know” to bring you the five best and worst covers of the song you can’t help singing. Because sometimes the awful covers are the most fun to watch.
1. The Netherlands Radio Choir
Under the threat of more funding cuts, the Netherlands Radio Choir recorded their own rendition of the track to generate attention when Goyte came to the Netherlands for a series of concerts. Men in tuxes, women in black gowns, flying crane shots, and incredibly serious faces make this a genuinely lovely cover to watch, but the classical treatment is what makes it more memorable than the average cover.
2. PS22 Chorus
Every song the kids of Staten Island’s PS22 Chorus cover is a great, heartwarming watch. It’s always fun to see them get into the tracks and chair dance. This version features Kahlil taking the lead vocals and Daniel-san taking a percussion solo.
3. Walk Off The Earth
This is the O.G. of Gotye covers — the one you may have even seen before you heard the original song. It made the rounds in January of 2012 and has racked up over 100 million YouTube streams. That’s the power of a darn good (and very unique) cover.
4. Omar Afuni
YouTube is ripe with mashup covers of Gotye and Katy Perry’s “Part of Me,” but this guy takes it to another level with violin arrangements, dramatic lighting, and possibly the smoothest transition between the two tracks you’ll find.
5. Evan Chapman & Natalie Salzman
And then there’s the cool and calm cover of the track, set to harp and various percussive instruments by Indiana University student Evan Chapman and his pal Natalie Salzman. They employ a vibraphone, keyboards, bass drum, the frame of the harp, beer bottles, and finger snaps — but not the song lyrics. It’s a way cooler take on turning it into elevator music.
Bonus: Just when you think all the great Gotye videos have been done, that no new interpretation could come along…blammo. An adorable, moody pair of six-year old friends in the backseat of a car change the game. The worst part is they’re probably cuter dancers than you.
1. A NightMare Clown
No real coverage here, it’s more someone put footage of a horrifically scary clown on top of the song along with it’s maniacal laughter. That’s the best way to ruin the whole thing and be creepy in one fell swoop.
It’s an emotional song. And puppies are adorable. But making up your own lyrics and dedicating the track to your dog is still not cool.
3. Flo Malley
It’s like the French version of Jack Johnson got a hankering to cover the track just after he listened to Boyz II Men’s Cooleyhighharmony. B-boy stance, Paris style.
4. The Chipmunks
It’s just wrong. When did Alvin get so angst?
Hey, you know what? Not everything needs to have a dubstep mix.
-Courtney E. Smith, CBS Local