Monday, March 14, 2011

American Idol, Season 10: Top 12 Song Suggestions

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The first elimination of the American Idol Season 10 finals is over, and I wasn't terribly sad to say farewell to Ashthon Jones and that puzzling extra 'h' in her name.

This week, the Top 12 will compete and yet another dream will be crushed at the cruel hands of America's teenagers, baby boomers and twenty-something bloggers (such as yours truly). I have a few suggestions for which songs they should sing, and the songs they should absolutely avoid (but probably won't).

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

Okay then.

This week's theme is "The Year You Were Born," which means we'll be hearing a lot of music from the late '80s and early '90s. Yep—only two contestants were born before 1985. Raise your hand if you feel ancient.

So before the set list leaks chock full of Phil Collins and Mariah Carey, here are my suggestions, in order from oldest to youngest:

PAUL McDONALD (Born August 24, 1984)
Should Sing: "The Heart of Rock 'N' Roll" by Huey Lewis and The News - A song he can dance around the stage to that is more recognizable than his Ryan Adams song last week.
Should Not Sing: "I Want a New Drug" by Huey Lewis and The News), "The Longest Time" by Billy Joel
NAIMA ADEDAPO (Born October 5, 1984)
Should Sing: "Thriller" by Michael Jackson - She showed us last week she's got the moves, and Glee's Santana showed us this song can be a true diva moment.
Should Not Sing: "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" by Phil Collins), "What's Love Got to Do With It" by Tina Turner
JACOB LUSK (Born June 23, 1987)
Should Sing: "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" by Whitney Houston - Let's get Jacob a little more upbeat, and you know he's already sang this song a million times while dancing alone in his room.
Should Not Sing: "Alone" by Heart, "Lean on Me" by Club Nouveau
PIA TOSCANO (Born October 14, 1988)
Should Sing: "1-2-3" by Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine - An unexpected choice (a.ka. not a power ballad) that would be challenging to adapt, but well worth it if done successfully.
Should Not Sing: "Candle in the Wind" by Elton John, "One Moment in Time" by Whitney Houston
JAMES DURBIN (Born January 6, 1989)
Should Sing: "Smooth Criminal" by Michael Jackson - A way to use those high notes without just wailing, and to expand his repertoire out of exclusive rock 'n roll.
Should Not Sing: "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by Poison
STEFANO LANGONE (Born February 27, 1989)
Should Sing: "If You Don't Know Me By Now" by Simply Red - He's got the chops to pull it off, even if it would run the risk of being sleepy.
Should Not Sing: "Bust a Move" by Young M.C., "My Prerogative" by Bobby Brown
KAREN RODRIGUEZ (Born March 3, 1989)
Should Sing: "Express Yourself" by Madonna - Karen needs to sing another ballad like I need a hole in the head. She has the flavor and spunk to give this song the energy it needs.
Should Not Sing: "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler. Please, oh, please. No.
CASEY ABRAMS (Born February 12, 1991)
Should Sing: "Motownphilly" by Boyz II Men or "More Than Words" by Extreme - I know Casey would never sing a Boyz II Men song, but I'd love if he did an acoustic guitar version of it. Since that would never happen, I recommend "More Than Words" because it would give him an opportunity to show off his vocal talent without giving an wailing impression of Joe Cocker having a seizure.
Should Not Sing: "Losing My Religion" by R.E.M., "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" by Bryan Adams
HALEY REINHART (Born March 21, 1991)
Should Sing: "Groove is in the Heart" by Deee-lite - Okay, fine. I just want Haley gone. But this would be a fun song to hear, right?
Should Not Sing: "Something to Talk About" by Bonnie Raitt, "From A Distance" by Bette Midler
SCOTTY McCREERY (Born October 9, 1993)
Should Sing: "Ain't Goin' Down ('Til the Sun Comes Up)" by Garth Brooks - This song is really fast, but if Scotty wants to stay country and live up to his hero Garth, he needs to tackle this song.
Should Not Sing: "Cryin'" by Aerosmith, "Cats in the Cradle" by Ugly Kid Joe
LAUREN ALAINA (Born December 25, 1994)
Should Sing: "Stay (I Missed You)" by Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories - As much as I would LOVE for Lauren to sing "Shoop" by Salt 'N Pepper, this Lisa Loeb classic is probably a bit more appropriate for the Idol stage.
Should Not Sing: "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" by Elton John, "Endless Love" by Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey
THIA MEGIA (Born January 1, 1995)
Should Sing: "Strong Enough" by Sheryl Crow - Sweet and simple, this song would allow Thia to play around without adding a Bossa Nova beat like she did last week with "Smile."
Should Not Sing: "Kiss from a Rose" by Seal, "You Are Not Alone" by Michael Jackson
What do you think the Top 12 should sing? Do you think Karen Rodriguez is destined to sing "Wing Beneath My Wings"? And how likely are we to hear "Against All Odds" for the millionth time on Idol?
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