Image courtesy of AmericanIdol.com
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.
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.NAIMA ADEDAPO (Born October 5, 1984)
Should Not Sing: "I Want a New Drug" by Huey Lewis and The News), "The Longest Time" by Billy Joel
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.JACOB LUSK (Born June 23, 1987)
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
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.PIA TOSCANO (Born October 14, 1988)
Should Not Sing: "Alone" by Heart, "Lean on Me" by Club Nouveau
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.JAMES DURBIN (Born January 6, 1989)
Should Not Sing: "Candle in the Wind" by Elton John, "One Moment in Time" by Whitney Houston
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.STEFANO LANGONE (Born February 27, 1989)
Should Not Sing: "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by Poison
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.KAREN RODRIGUEZ (Born March 3, 1989)
Should Not Sing: "Bust a Move" by Young M.C., "My Prerogative" by Bobby Brown
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.CASEY ABRAMS (Born February 12, 1991)
Should Not Sing: "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler. Please, oh, please. No.
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.HALEY REINHART (Born March 21, 1991)
Should Not Sing: "Losing My Religion" by R.E.M., "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" by Bryan Adams
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?SCOTTY McCREERY (Born October 9, 1993)
Should Not Sing: "Something to Talk About" by Bonnie Raitt, "From A Distance" by Bette Midler
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.LAUREN ALAINA (Born December 25, 1994)
Should Not Sing: "Cryin'" by Aerosmith, "Cats in the Cradle" by Ugly Kid Joe
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.THIA MEGIA (Born January 1, 1995)
Should Not Sing: "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" by Elton John, "Endless Love" by Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey
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."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?
Should Not Sing: "Kiss from a Rose" by Seal, "You Are Not Alone" by Michael Jackson