X Factor USA: Simon Cowell rips off Gamu Nhengu for Rachel Crow’s ‘Walking On Sunshine’

Young Rachel Crow took to the X Factor USA stage last night and shone with her version of ‘Walking On Sunshine’ by Katrina and the Waves.

Or was it her version?

After the 13 year old singer from Longmont, Colorado performed the energetic number on the hit Fox talent show, Simon Cowell claimed that the adaptation he made to the lyrics for Rachel’s performance was him ‘being inventive’ but we’d claim that actually, it was him being a copycat!

Rachel’s version of the classic track may have sounded different and new to many American viewers, but us British fans know that it is practically a complete copy of Gamu Nhengu’s X Factor audition for the ITV series last year.

For her 2010 performance, the Scottish / Zimbabwean teenager changed the word ‘mailbox’ in the first verse to ‘telephone’ and also reworked the lyrics and tempo in the chorus so instead of singing ‘I’m walking on Sunshine’, she sang ‘You’re my sunshine….woooo hoo.’ In fact after her tryout, Simon congratulated her on doing ‘something different’ with one of his ‘worst songs ever.’

Crow’s phrasing last night and her style almost mimicked Nhengu’s word for word, only really her backing track and stage production were altered.

We kind of see this as X Factor’s final slap in the face to Gamu Nhengu – first she auditions and gets dropped at judges houses in favour of second rate rapper Cher Lloyd, then as a result of her massive exposure she faced deportation from the UK and now Cowell takes her signature interpretation of Walking On Sunshine and gives it to a teenager on X Factor USA without a word of credit.


You can compare the two performance videos to see what we’re getting at, but wouldn’t it be nice if just for once, Simon Cowell would give credit where credit is due and stop pretending to be personally creative?

Leave your comments below and check out our full review of Rachel Crow’s performance (which we totally loved by the way!) here.

Lisa McGarry

Lisa has been watching reality TV for too long now. She won't do any housework unless 'Big Brother' announces it over the tannoy and everything she does has to be put to a public vote!