I’m going solo and weirdly specific for the third iteration of the Earn This Mixtape. Here are eighteen covers of the seminal holiday classic “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey, separated into the good, the bad, and — since this is the internet — the ugly.
Mariah Carey, Jimmy Fallon, and The Roots
The most enjoyable version of “All I Want For Christmas” is one that features Mariah. (Can I still call it a cover?) Basically any song covered by The Roots and classroom instruments instantly becomes an order of magnitude more adorable.
Against the Current
My runner up favorite cover spices up the original with some pop-rock instrumentation while still featuring a dynamic and energetic vocalist, rising YouTube star Chrissy Costanza. (The video also features a shot of one of the band members funneling from an eggnog bong, so there’s that, too.)
Heike Has The Giggles (Italian Pop-Punk)
Winner in the category of “doesn’t really speak English, but tries to anyways.”
My Chemical Romance
It’s actually impressive how good “All I Want For Christmas” sounds as an emo song. MCR definitely puts their stamp on it.
Sunny Hills High School Choir Duet
The sound quality isn’t great, and the vocals aren’t world-class, but I still think that this unique reading is warmer and more evocative than most other covers of the song you’ll find.
I would be remiss not to mention the climactic scene of my wife’s favorite Christmas movie.
Yawn. It’s possible to interpret this song as a ballad, but the only thing Lady Antebellum succeeds in here is making the song sound dull and repetitive.
Miley can actually be a pretty engaging singer when you put her in a live context, but you wouldn’t guess it from this awkward cover.
Alvord, one of YouTube’s cover-singing sweethearts, is pretty hit-or-miss in my opinion. This is one of her weaker outings — she tries too hard. Too much mugging for the camera and straining to be evocative.
Little kids singing pop covers is a YouTube subgenre that I don’t really get. This seven year-old is probably a nice enough girl, and has some decent chops, but… wowza. This comes across as creepy rather than cute. I couldn’t watch more than about 30 seconds of this.
There are a few decent covers of “All I Want For Christmas” with male singers (example), but this is not one of them. The Santa outfits and bad accents almost push this one into more humorous than bad, but not quite.
Nothing quite puts me in the holiday spirit like drag queens singing in Spanish, accompanied by dancing midgets.
It’s a video of two dudes eating. Scored to “All I Want For Christmas.”
I’m not sure what’s more ridiculous: the dance remix, or the fact that it’s accompanied by a slideshow of animals dressed up as Santa Claus.
Pretty normal cover… until you hit the 3:00 mark.
Mariah Carey feat. Quad City DJ’s
As a rule of thumb, every song is better when mashed up with the Space Jam song.