While the album charts have been dominated by Taylor Swift (her third album Speak Now has been permanently implanted at the pinnacle of the Billboard Top 200 since Christmas), the Hot 100 has been a much more combative place. There are two competitors who have been trading the top position back and forth for a few weeks. In one corner, Katy Perry’s “Firework” has been riding on the back of two other chart-topping hits (“California Gurls” and “Teenage Dream”) and a powerful video. Opposite that is Bruno Mars’ “Grenade,” which harnesses both Mars’ writing and performance prowess. Last week, “Firework” was the winner, but seven days later, Mars’ “Grenade” is back on top.
“Firework” comes in at number two this week, with the rest of the top five fleshed out by Rihanna (“What’s My Name?”), Ke$ha (“We R Who We R”) and Pink (“Raise Your Glass”). The rest of the top 10 was basically the same, though Rihanna’s “Only Girl (In the World)” made its way back into the list at number 10 (Nelly’s “Just a Dream” got bounced to make room). Actually, the entire Hot 100 is pretty static this week, with very few songs making big moves. The highest debut of the week belongs to Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Country Strong,” which found its way to number 81 (it’s number 30 on the Country chart).
There weren’t any other notable debuts or moves, though there are a number of variables that could effect the chart over the next few weeks. For one, the NFL playoffs could give Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow” a boost to the top spot (it’s currently at number seven) if the Pittsburgh Steelers continue to win (they play the Baltimore Ravens this Saturday, January 15). The other big variables? “American Idol” premieres its new season on Wednesday, January 19, while “Glee” returns to the airwaves just after the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 6. That means that karaoke versions of some of your favorite songs will be storming the chart for the rest of the spring and should throw some intense curveballs at the Billboard hierarchy.