Tuesday, March 22, 2011

American Idol, Season 10: Top 11 Song Suggestions

Image courtesy of FOX

WARNING: Stop reading now if you want the theme of the week to be a surprise on Wednesday night!

Despite rumors that theme weeks pertaining to a specific genre of music or artist were going to be eliminated in Season 10, the American Idol machine will return to familiar territory when the contestants sing songs from Motown. This means a lot of Stevie Wonder, a lot of Marvin Gaye and a lot of Diana Ross. Many people are upset about this whole theme business, but I think some of the best moments on Idol were when the contestants were forced out of their comfort zones.

If the Idols have any sense about them (which is often doubtful), they'll do a little walk down memory lane to Seasons 1, 2, 3 and 8 to see what worked, what didn't work and which songs to avoid like the plague when it comes to Motown. Yes, Jacob Lusk, I'm talking to you, especially after you attempted to take on Carrie Underwood with "Alone." For shame.

So, can Scotty McCreery find a song fit for his cowboy drawl?! Will we be free from the overdone likes of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and "Superstition"?! Is Thia Megia physically capable of singing songs that aren't ballads?! All this and more are answered below with my suggestions for what the Idols should and should not sing tomorrow night.

Should Sing: "Money (That's What I Want)" by Barrett Strong - I'm so over Casey's growling and wailing, but I know he still needs to do songs that give him some sort of creative freedom. He could do a great stripped-down version of this song with an upright bass and totally rock it.
Should Not Sing: "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye
Should Sing: "Touch Me in the Morning" by Diana Ross - Yes, Tamyra Gray ruled this song in Season 1, but Naima needs a great vocal like this to prove to the judges and America that she has the chops to continue in the competition. Plus, I think she could update this song to be a great dance hit.
Should Not Sing: "Stop! In the Name of Love" by The Supremes
Should Sing: "Baby Love" by The Supremes - A sweet song that is age-appropriate for the 16 year-old and could give her opportunities to play with the melody and show off some of the great talent that has been hiding since the Top 24.
Should Not Sing: "Endless Love" by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross
Should Sing: "Higher Ground" by Stevie Wonder - All James has to do to put his rocker twist on this song is look to the Red Hot Chili Peppers' version for inspiration. He has emerged as one of the strongest in the bunch, and this song could definitely keep him there.
Should Not Sing: "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder
Should Sing: "For Once in My Life" by Jean DuShon - Stefano has quickly proven he has the vocal abilities to go far in this competition. Doing this song as a bold anthem in the style of Michael Bublé is sure to keep the momentum going.
Should Not Sing: "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye
Should Sing: "(Love is Like a) Heatwave" by Martha and the Vandellas - An odd song choice for Jacob considering his need to overdo everything, but I really think he'll find success if he explores these more uptempo songs.
Should Not Sing: "Ooo Ooo Baby" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
Should Sing: "1-2-3" by Len Barry - Scotty is going to really struggle to find a song that fits into his wheelhouse this week, so I suggest he take this lighthearted number, grab a guitar, get into a spotlight and slow it down.
Should Not Sing: "My Cherie Amour" by Stevie Wonder
Should Sing: "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" by Jimmy Ruffin - I know I keep suggesting this for a lot of the guys, but if Paul brings out his guitar and slows this song down just a hair, he'll have a great Idol moment in the making. Paul keeps tweeting about how much he loves Motown, so I'm hopeful that he'll get out of his recent rut tomorrow night.
Should Not Sing: "Brick House" by Commodores
Should Sing: "You Keep Me Hangin' On" by The Supremes - Hey, it worked for Dianna Agron on Glee, right? Thia needs a fun, upbeat song and she needs it now, and who better to give her that than The Supremes?
Should Not Sing: "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" by Marvin Gaye
Should Sing: "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" by Stevie Wonder - I'm concerned she'd sex up this song like she does all the others, but I think Haley could deliver a strong vocal with this Stevie Wonder classic.
Should Not Sing: "Cruisin'" by Smokey Robinson
Should Sing: "Don't Leave Me This Way" by Thelma Houston - Pia went a little more upbeat last week, but this disco anthem would really skyrocket her out of her ballad comfort zone. And I'd buy it on iTunes in a heartbeat. Please, Pia?!
Should Not Sing: "Where Did Our Love Go" by The Supremes
What do you think the Top 11 should sing? Are you looking forward to Motown night or do you wish the producers would give the contestants a little more freedom in song choice? And how much are you betting we'll hear "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" tomorrow night? Sound off in the comments!
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