I posted my 20th Pop Panel last Sunday and promised to celebrate in style this week. The whole point of the Panel was to create something fun and collaborative with other like-minded bloggers, so I couldn't think of a better way of commemorating the past 20 weeks than by inviting back all the guest judges to help decide 2009's ultimate pop song. Basically, I asked everyone to choose the five best tracks from our 20 winners. Their favourite was assigned 5 points, their second choice 4 points, their third pick 3 points and so forth. As it turns out the votes were pretty evenly spread out but there was a runaway winner. I'm keeping my trap shut but I'm not particularly surprised by the outcome. The blogoshpere is nothing if not predictable! Anyway, before we get on with the countdown I'd like to thank all the celebrity judges that took part over the past 5 months (James Leon, Jonah, CC Martini, Courtney Act, Gala, Peter Wilson, Nat from RAEN, Alan Connor, Robyn Loau and Marc Massive) as well as all the bloggers that have kindly volunteered their time. The following have returned to determine the best song ever to rock the Pop Panel:
Aaron (AUS) writer of Fabtastic! Music
Blake (AUS) writer of Dark Cafe Daze
Bomitoni (US) writer of Milk Carton Pop Stars
David (Spain) writer of Cobrastyle
D'Luv (US) writer of Chart Rigger
Enric (Spain) writer of Blog Petit, Però Valent!
Gordon (Scotland) writer of Diva Incarnate
Guy (AUS) writer of Pop Frippery
Jay (England) writer of Postcards From Puerto Rico
Jennifer (US) writer of Adventures Of An Audio Diva
John (US) writer of Pop Music Notes
Ken (The Philippines) writer of The Beat Review
Mike (AUS) author of this classy blog!
Moogaboo (US) contributor to Chart Rigger
Nasty G (Canada) writer of The Isle Of Deserted Pop Stars
Nikki (The Philippines) writer of Pop Reviews Now
Pablo (Spain) writer of Peibols
Paul (England) writer of Fizzy Pop
Poster Girl (US) writer of Poster Girl
Rob (England) writer of Don't Stop The Pop
The Prophet (AUS) writer of The Prophet
Tommie (Sweden) writer of Donna Martin Graduates
Tony (Spain) writer of Tornado
By the way, a special thanks to Pablo for helping me out with the amazing banners. As usual, the songs are listed from least to most popular.
20. Preston – Dressed To Kill (Winner Pop Panel 12)
I'm not surprised Preston came last. It's definitely one of our least appealing winners and flopped worse than Dannii. That week was far more memorable for the cat fight in the comments. No offence to the people he routinely offends but I kind of miss The Prophet. Just don't tell him or his Kanye West sized ego will explode!
19. Passion Pit – The Reeling (Winner Pop Panel 2)
I love Passion Pit but this is definitely one of our most random winners. I'm always slightly disturbed when something cool wins Pop Panel and it doesn't get more hip than these guys. Nikki Webster was robbed!
18. Chae Yeon - Shake (Winner Pop Panel 8)
I still can't believe Chae won! She remains our only non-English language victor and one of my favourite winners. "Shake" has a killer chorus and an extremely classy toilet-tastic video clip that was banned in Korea.
17. Shena – My Fantasy (Winner Pop Panel 5)
I loved Week 5. My homegirl CC Martini was an extremely classy guest judge and Shena came out of nowhere to take first place. Like many winners, the song didn't set the charts on fire but it's something of a pop trash classic - so I'm happy.
16. Empire Of The Sun – Standing On The Shore (Winner Pop Panel 6)
This was my short lived "Australian Week" which went down like a lead balloon! I was scraping the bottom of the barrel with some of the selections but I wholeheartedly approve of the winner.
15. Bluey Robinson – I Know (Winner Pop Panel 11)
This is my third favourite Pop Panel winner. I love everything about it - from the beautiful lyrics to the lush urban meets electro production. Unfortunately, I seem to be the only one given the fact that Bluey seems to have disappeared without a trace.
14. Kim Sozzi – Feel Your Love (Winner Pop Panel 18)
This gives me the giggles. I love Kim and her fabulous do-it-yourself video clip. One of the few occasions when a true pop trash anthem won. As a life long Girlfriend fan, having Robyn Loau as a guest judge that week was a real honour.
13. Bag Raiders – Shooting Stars (Winner Pop Panel 15)
Despite slipping in at least a couple of homegrown acts each week, this was the only time (with the exception of Australian Week) when local talent actually won. I love the song, I love the clip, I love their animated bulges. This has been hanging around the iTunes top 100 for months. I hope their next single gives them the commercial breakthrough they deserve.
12. LeToya – She Ain't Got Shit On Me (Winner Pop Panel 9)
Beyonce appeared on the Pop Panel 3 times and the best she could do was second place. Her floptastic ex-band mate LeToya, however, claimed the title with this catchy tune. I love it but shame about the rest of her shit album.
11. The Gossip – Love Long Distance (Winner Pop Panel 14)
Pop Panel 14 sticks in my mind as the week reclusive 90s gay icon Gala came out of retirement to be a guest judge. Her rambling comments still make me smile and I'm glad her favourite song won. I am, however, slightly surprised by its relatively high position on this countdown.
10. Dragonette – Pick Up The Phone (Winner Pop Panel 19)
Marc Massive really won a lot of new fans with his appearance on the Pop Panel. I loved his Whitney Houston appreciation (respect!) and piss club stories. Dragonette scooped the pool that week and I think they deserved it. This has grown on me no end and their album is amazing.
9. Heidi Montag – Body Language (Winner Pop Panel Week 16)
Only on the Pop Panel would Heidi Montag place higher than Dragonette, The Gossip, Empire Of The Sun and Passion Pit! And rightly so. This is my second favourite Pop Panel victor and I think it should at least be top 5 on this countdown. As usual Heidi's musical genius is denied by her deluded army of haters. It's time to open your heart to the new Queen of pop!
8. The Sound Of Arrows – Into The Clouds (Winner Pop Panel 17)
I still don't get the fuss over this. Sure, the video is pretty but the song sounds like a La Roux B-Side.
7. Marina & The Diamonds – I Am Not A Robot (Winner Pop Panel 7)
"I Am Not A Robot" got my five points as the best Pop Panel winner. I love Marina. Her lyrics cut straight through me, her blog is an endless source of amusement and she's one of the nicest people I've had the pleasure of interviewing. Week 7 was also special due to the presence of Australian Idol's classiest competitor - the divine Miss Courtney Act!
6. The Saturdays – Work (Winner Pop Panel 4)
Yawn. I have no idea how this dire piece of trash won, let alone how it ended up featuring this high on the countdown. I mean, really.
5. Shakira – She Wolf (Winner Pop Panel 10)
I'm still obsessed with this stunning anthem. I blame the sordid vagina cave video! It's nice to see that the song has found an loyal audience despite flopping in Australia and underperforming in the US.
4. Sugababes – Get Sexy (Winner Pop Panel 13)
I quite like this but I'm shocked at its lofty position on this countdown given that it had the lowest score of all the winners. Maybe people are feeling a bit sentimental in the wake of Keisha-gate?
3. Annie – Anthonio (Winner Pop Panel 1)
I swear people just voted for this to annoy me. The most insipid piece of trash ever to grace the Pop Panel somehow glides into third place. I guess there really is a market for tuneless jams performed by ugly Scandinavians with less vocal ability than Cheryl Cole.
2. Whitney – Million Dollar Bill (Winner Pop Panel 20)
I'm ecstatic that Whitney did so well! Given the less than flattering comments about the song last week I was expecting this to struggle but love for the patron saint of crackpipes still burns brightly among the Pop Panel judges! I wish this had won but you can't have everything.
1. Agnes – Release Me (Winner Pop Panel 3)
I originally gave "Release Me" 0/5 when it appeared on the Pop Panel but I've come clean about how much the song has grown on me. But the best song in Panel history? Computer says Whitney was robbed. On the bright side, at least it wasn't Annie. Pop Panel 3 is also notable for being the only time we moved over to Don't Stop The Pop and for Jonah's classy comments.
Here's the new American video for "Release Me". Seriously, have they painted her black to cash in on the urban market? Someone call Oprah!
Aaron (1. Agnes 2. Whitney 3. The Sugababes 4. The Saturdays 5. Shakira)
Blake (1. Gossip 2. Agnes 3. Shakira 4. Whitney 5. Dragonette)
Bomitoni (1. Whitney 2. LeToya 3. The Gossip 4. Bag Raiders 5. Heidi Montag)
David (1. Annie 2. Dragonette 3. Sugababes 4. Sound Of Arrows 5. Agnes)
D'Luv (1. Sound Of Arrows 2. Bag Raiders 3. Shakira 4. Annie 5. Dragonette)
Enric (1. Annie 2. Sugababes 3. Shakira 4. Passion Pit 5. Sound Of Arrows)
Gordon (1. Dragonette 2. Agnes 3. Whitney 4. Shakira 5. LeToya)
Guy (1. Shakira 2. The Gossip 3. Heidi Montag 4. Whitney 5. Sugababes)
Jay (1. Le Toya 2. Sugababes 3. Shena)
Jennifer (1. Marina 2. Whitney 3. Dragonette 4. The Saturdays 5. The Gossip)
John (1. Agnes 2. LeToya 3. The Gossip 4. Whitney 5. Bag Raiders)
Ken (1. The Saturdays 2. Marina 3. Agnes 4. Empire Of The Sun 5. Passion Pit)
Mike (1. Marina 2. Heidi Montag 3. Bluey Robinson 4. Chae Yeon 5. Whitney)
Moogaboo (1. Annie 2. Bag Raiders 3. Kim Sozzi 4. Shakira 5. The Gossip)
Nasty G (1. Sugababes 2. The Saturdays 3. Shakira 4. Preston 5. Kim Sozzi)
Nikki (1. The Saturdays 2. Agnes 3. Sugababes 4. Chae Yeon 5. Sound Of Arrows)
Pablo (1. Agnes 2. Annie 3. The Saturdays 4. Sugababes 5. Dragonette)
Paul (1. Marina 2. Shakira 3. Sound Of Arrows 4. Whitney 5. Annie)
Poster Girl (1. Agnes 2. Sound Of Arrows 3. Heidi Montag 4. Annie 5. Shakira)
Robpop (1. Agnes 2. Empire Of The Sun 3. The Saturdays 4. Shena 5. Sound Of Arrows)
The Prophet (1. Whitney 2. Bluey Robinson 3. Heidi Montag 4. Bag Raiders 5. Annie)
Tommie (1. Heidi Montag 2. Kim Sozzi 3. Marina 4. Whitney 5. Shakira)
Tony (1. Annie 2. Sugababes 3. Sound Of Arrows 4. Dragonette 5. The Saturdays)