First, the big man, #1 Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Israel K.) blew a big early lead against #16 Where Did You Sleep Last Night (Nirvana), but recovered down the stretch, taking it home, 169-163. Rainbow dropped two 10s, and Nirvana picked up three, so both songs make the Wall of 10s.
The second match-up was tight at first, but #8 Killing Me Softly (Fugees) pulled away, ending the fairy tale run for #41 Travelin’ Soldier (Dixie Chicks), 186-165.5. Killing the Softly netted two 10s, making the Wall.
If there was any doubt that “The Weight” was one of the great songs of all-time, try this on for size: in the Living the Dream Inaugural, the Band’s version advanced six times, eventually losing in the quarter-finals to eventual-champion “Stand By Me” by only four points. If it had pulled out that match, it might have gone all the way. Now the Staples’ version is in the quarter-finals too, toppling #13 Proud Mary (Ike and Tina Turner), 169.4-160. After starting off as the #29 seed, the Staples are peaking at the right time.
I failed to note in my original post that our fourth match-up was a Mark O. classic, the first time two Sweet Sixteen songs from the same nominator have faced off. Mark O. gave a slight nod to “Two of Us”, but in the end #5 With a Little Help From My Friends” beat out #12 Two of Us (Aimee Mann and Michael Penn), 179.5-162.