‘American Idol’ Bluntly Reveals Its Season 9 Exit Song: “Leave Right Now”

Becky Bain | February 25, 2010 4:21 pm

When choosing the exit song played during each week’s results show, American Idol producers typically favor the inspirational home-themed ballads of their alumni—Daughtry’s “Home,” Ruben Studdard’s “Celebrate Me Home,” and Carrie Underwood’s cover of Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home.” (Daniel Powter’s phenomenal one-hit wonder “Bad Day” being the one exception.) Most of those tunes create the feeling of a homecoming rather than a dismissel, but the exit song for Season 9 comes off a bit more harsh: the chosen song is called “Leave Right Now,” and with an attitude like that, they may as well have used Mariah Carey’s “Up Out My Face.”

“Leave Right Now” was recorded by Will Young, the winner of the first season of AI’s U.K. predecessor, Pop Idol, and upon its 2003 release, it shot straight up to #1 on the U.K. Singles Chart. The track was written by Eg White (yep, that’s his name) whom also penned tracks for many other British artists, including Duffy and Adele. It’s an interesting connection to this season’s batch of hopefuls, as those are the two artists whose sound all the girls were desperately attempting to mimic, according to Simon during the Top 12 Girls performance show on Tuesday.

In an interview with U.K.’s Telegraph, White explains how writing “Leave You Now” turned his life around when he was close to hitting rock bottom:

“I had written loads of songs with loads of people and precisely nothing had come of it. I got asked to write a Christmas single for Gareth Gates and spent five days trying to do it and dug myself into total despair, I just couldn’t get the balance between cheesy and interesting, everything sounded shit. And round about two o’clock on the last afternoon of this designated period, I collapsed into complete depression. And by four o’clock I had ‘Leave Right Now’ completely written. I don’t really know how or why and I don’t remember the process. It was sheer desperation.”

White was happy with the song he had written, but it would still be years until it was appreciated by anyone else. Says White:

“No one would take it… it sat around for a couple of years until Simon Fuller suddenly hears it and goes ‘It’s a hit, it’s a hit!’ My manager played it to him, and apparently he was dancing around the swimming pool in the South of France going ‘this songs a ****ing hit!’. So Will recorded it with (producer) Steve Lipson, next thing I heard it was on the radio. And my first impulse was ‘Christ, it’s flowery, it’s pink, it’s terrifying, it’s got everything in it.’ Within five days it had gone in at number one and that was it. It was like a little switch quietly went up on my career.”

The song was previously unreleased in the States, but you can bet that will change as soon as it debuts on tonight’s results show. Listen to it below, and tell us if “Leave Right Now” is destined to have the same success as “Bad Day.” (Which by we mean have The Chipmunks record a cover version, of course.)

Will Young – “Leave Right Now”