Hey! I’m Justin Guarini. I was the runner up for the first season of American Idol back in 2002, losing out to Kelly Clarkson, who deserved to win because she is objectively a better singer than I am. Her new album Piece by Piece just hit number one on the Billboard charts, so I decided to review each song. This is gonna be fun!


Heartbeat Song
Great melody!

Love this one.

What a fantastic song!

Take You High
Okay listen: I get it. You all think I’m just sitting here, bitter and stewing in my 2002 American Idol loss, but no. I’m a grown adult man. I’ve come to terms with my loss and I understand that Kelly is just better than me. I get why everyone loves her. If I sang this song, it would be fine. If I did this song at karaoke, everyone would be like “Wow Justin you should have won American Idol.” But they would be wrong. Because if we’re talking on a national scale (which we are), I’m not your guy. And it hasn’t been an easy journey, coming to terms with that. This quote really helped:

“When we are envious, we are caught in the mistaken belief that there is not enough good in the world for everyone.”

Not sure who said it, but I love it. I have it tattooed behind my ear because whenever I feel that searing pain of jealousy and wish death upon Randy Jackson, I want to be able to look at it and remember.

To remember that yes, a lot of good things have also happened to me. I’m good at the guitar. I’ve got a nice face. I had a son a while ago. Heck, my career hasn’t even been that bad. Just the other day I was in a Diet Dr. Pepper commercial. I made a lot of money for that! Trust me: to a regular person, the amount I made for that one commercial is so much money! Not I’ve-Won-3-Grammys money, but it’s a national commercial and my agent only takes 10%.

I’m proud of my progress. When we were filming From Justin to Kelly, I had this moment where I thought “They put my name first… maybe I AM better than Kelly Clarkson.” Then I realized it was an alphabetical thing and no, I’m not better than Kelly Clarkson. Kelly is likable, a great role model, and insanely talented. I am also talented but not insanely so. I have a great voice, obviously. I would not have made it to second place in American Idol if I sucked at singing; however, I can’t sing like Kelly Clarkson. But guess what? 99% of the world can’t sing like Kelly Clarkson, so why am I beating myself up about it? I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, I am Justin enough.

And with that confidence in myself comes the strength to admit that Kelly is a better performer. Also, it turns out there’s only room in this world for one curly haired singing Justin, and Timberlake is the one America will choose Every. Time. Man, Kelly’s voice is so good it’s upsetting. Have you listened to this album? I hope so, it’s great. I’m listening to it right now. Oh right, the review:

Piece by Piece
So good.

Run Run Run
This one’s also good.

I Had A Dream
I listened to this one twice.

Let Your Tears Fall
Love it.

I tried singing this just now in the stairwell at work. And honestly? Wasn’t as good.

War Paint
Amazing album.

Dance With Me
Whooo baby. Magical.

This one’s my favorite.

Good Goes The Bye
More like Good Goes This Song. Love you, Kel.

Bad Reputation
Better than Adele.

In The Blue
No, this one’s my favorite.

Second Wind
Wish this wasn’t the last song!


FINAL REVIEW: 10/10 music notes. I would buy this album but Kelly sent me a signed copy already. We’re still very good friends and our kids play at the park together.

At least I’m not Brian Dunkleman,

For everything Justin:

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