Touch Me (Smash song)

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"Touch Me"
Single by Smash cast feat. Katharine McPhee
from the album The Music of Smash
Released String Module Error: Match not found
Genre Dance-pop
Length 3:50
Songwriter(s) Ryan Tedder
Bonnie McKee
Smash cast singles chronology
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"Touch Me"
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"On Lexington & 52nd Street" "Touch Me" "Don't Forget Me"

"Touch Me" is an original song introduced in the eighth episode of the first season of the musical TV series Smash, entitled "The Coup". It is written by Ryan Tedder and Bonnie McKee.[1] In the show's universe, the song is written by Tedder, who plays himself.

In the episode, because the Bombshell musical about Marilyn Monroe is having some trouble with direction, choreographer and director Derek Wills (Jack Davenport) and producer Eileen Rand (Anjelica Huston) seek a new direction for the show (without telling songwriting duo Tom Levitt (Christian Borle) and Julia Houston (Debra Messing) first) and Derek enlists Karen Cartwright (Katharine McPhee) to help him. He has gotten Tedder to write a song that shows a more contemporary and edgy side of Marilyn Monroe, and Karen, with help from some dancers enlisted by Derek, along with Tedder and his band, performs the song in front of Tom and Julia, on a bed and wrapped in a bedsheet while dancers playing paparazzi swirl around her.

The song is currently available on the cast album The Music of Smash.

The song has sold 18,000 digital copies as of May 9, 2012.[2]


Tedder made a cameo on the series in "The Coup" as himself and within the show gives the song to Karen to perform after Derek (Jack Davenport) asks him to and work on the Marilyn Monroe project for him.[3]

The scene, described by The Smoking Gun, is as follows: "Karen appears wrapped in a white sheet, singing and thrashing while surrounded by masked men. By the end of the song, she's completely caged in and looks a bit like a 'scared bird'".[4]

The Hollywood Reporter suggested that the spot, which first aired during the Super Bowl, was deliberately seductive (e.g. with McPhee only wearing a sheet) in "an attempt to entice male viewers".[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Prior to its release, the song drew comparisons with the Max Martin-produced Glee song "Loser Like Me" which peaked at #6 on the Hot 100, and it was questioned whether it would have the same success as a single.[6]

TV Fanatic commented that "the lyrics, music, staging and costume pushed the boundaries from traditional Broadway show to music video level", and asks "Was it over the top? Definitely! Was it exciting? Oh yeah!". the review added that the tune is "catchy".[7] Sam Lansky of MTV Buzzworthy said that the song serves as a reminder "of just how killer Katharine McPhee's vocals really are as well as her not-insignificant contribution to the realm of popular music".[8] PopCrush describes the song as "dancefloor-ready" number that has "a slice of synth pop that finds plenty of effects lacing McPhee’s vocals". The site adds that they refer to this version of Karen as "RoboMcPhee", due to the "studio treatment on her voice as she delivers parts of the sexified lyrics in robot fashion", which it thinks is just the right amount. It cites Katy Perry, Lana Del Rey and Jennifer Lopez as artists of whom the track is reminiscent. It concludes by saying "the song evolves into an EDM epic that should have fans putting their drinks down so they can shake their things while unencumbered on the dance floor."[9] Gossip & Gab describes Katharine's performance as "sexy, theatrical [and] evocative".[10] While Entertainment Focus described her vocals as "sultry",[11] Telefilm Central describes them as sexy and "slightly trashy".[12]


The song peaked at #4 on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart.[13]

Chart (2012) Peak
US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[13] 4

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
United States May 1, 2012[14] Digital download - Digital Album Columbia Records


  1. ^ "Katharine McPhee - Touch Me Lyrics". Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  2. ^ Idol Chatter 05-09-2012 "Kelly Clarkson hits 3 million for 'Stronger' single"
  3. ^ "OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder on Smash; Katharine Sings "Touch Me" in Episode 1×08 "The Coup"". Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Katherine McPhee's Sheet-Clad 'Smash' Performance". The Smoking Gun. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  5. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (2/5/2012). "'Smash': Katharine McPhee's 'Touch Me' Shows a New Side of the Broadway Drama (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 28, 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ Bain, Becky (February 2, 2012). "Katharine McPhee Performs Ryan Tedder-Produced "Touch Me" In ‘Smash’ Promo". Idolator. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  7. ^ Day, Carla (March 27, 2012). "Smash Review: Touch Me". TV Fanatic. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  8. ^ Lansky, Sam (3/29/12). "Why Katharine McPhee's Role On 'Smash' Is A Total, Um, Smash". MTV Buzzworthy. Retrieved April 28, 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. ^ Sciarretto, Amy (March 17, 2012). "Katharine McPhee Sings Original Song ‘Touch Me’ on ‘Smash’ Soundtrack". PopCrush. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  10. ^ "VIDEO: Smash Preview – Katharine McPhee ‘Touch Me’". Gossip & Gab. March 23, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  11. ^ Ellwood, Pip (2012-04-24). "'Smash' Soundtrack UK Release In May". Entertainment Focus. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  12. ^ G, Rita (April 9, 2012). "Smash – 1.08 The Coup". Telefilm Central. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Hollywood Reporter, February 21, 2013, "'American Idol' on the Charts: Katharine McPhee Makes 'Smash' Return; Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood See Grammy Bumps"
  14. ^