Shall we get our eliminations back underway? I think we shall. With a track that was one of five contenders for my 11, goddammit. 15. Kate DeAraugo - Faded Average Score - 8.347 High Scorers - Me, @Phonetics Boy, @DJHazey & @Music Is Life (10), @Untouchable Ace (9.6) Low Scorers - @Sprockrooster & @klow (6), @Pineapple (7) Our 7th-place finalist has been revealed, and it's none other than Miss Kate DeAraugo! Bet you'd forgotten about her, hadn't ya? I mean, it's been 56 eliminations since her other track left rate, so you'd be forgiven for doing so. Especially when one track is the maudlin 'Maybe Tonight', and the other is iconic mid-00s pop-rock anthem 'Faded'. Much like Casey did with 'Whats Going On' the year beforehand, 'Faded' saw Sony enlisting The Veronicas to pen a radio-ready pop-rock smash for Kate's first post-winner's single release. While 'Whats Going On' stalled at a disappointing #18 (to say nothing of its placement here), 'Faded' was a second top-10 hit for Kate. Sis only got two solo singles out, and both were top 10 smashas! When will your faves? I mean, given the calibre of 'Faded' as a pop song from that time period, it's easy to see why. The Veronicas now their way around a pop hook, and 'Faded' more than rises to the occasion. The chorus is obviously the piece de resistance, with Kate delivering us a genuinely impressive vocal over those soaring guitars. But there are all kinds of other little hooks hidden throughout the song as well. The verses are cleverly written, with the final word of one line being the first of the next 'You never take / take the time to really look', etc. And then there's the 'Faded, hated, slippin away' hook after the chorus'. It's a genuinely tight piece of pop songwriting and that ain't the blind standom talking. As I mentioned at the start of the post, 'Faded' was a serious contender for my 11 - and remains to this day one of my favourite 00s pop songs. As an example of the pop-rock sound of the era, I don't think there are many songs - both from Australian acts and in general - that tick the boxes quite like this one. If Kelly Clarkson or The Veronicas released it, it would have been an even bigger hit than it was for Kate. It's undeniable. Of course, some of you might have been familiar with 'Faded' before the rate not because of Kate - but because of Cascada, who proceeded to adapt the song into their signature dance-pop glory for their album Perfect Day. While I prefer Kate's version, Cascada's is gorge too and highlights just how melodically solid the bones of the song are. Ultimately, seeing 'Faded' get to #15 is a pleasing result for me. It's actually the highest-placing pop-rock track of the rate, with the remaining 15 songs being dance-pop bangers or power ballads. So that's worth celebrating! What a song. @Untouchable Ace (9.6) isn't missing 'Maybe Tonight', clearly - The only song for me from her. @berserkboi (8.6) gives 'Faded' the berserky equivalent of like a 3, but still finds a positive angle - I don’t know what they were thinking with that mumsy styling in the car scenes when they were going for Rock Chick but this is a good song by Pop Rock standards. @pop3blow2 (8.3) channels his inner Natalia Kills - *scream* I said her other song was a Carrie + Kelly mash-up… this is soooo Kelly Clarkson it is almost too much for me. Even that video. I mean her hair, shirt, & everything. As Natalia would say : ”We have a doppelgänger in our midst….” @saviodxl (8) is getting shades of another artist - Michelle Branch, is that you? And @daninternational (7.5) completes the comparisons - It's decent Ashlee Simpson pop @klow (6) clearly has some of the same issues with the song as our fellow judges - Her voice is a bit anonymous here - a bit of a case of someone with "the range" not actually having "the range". I'd like to hear the Veronicas' version though as it's a great hook.