Wednesday, April 20, 2011

American Idol, Season 10: Top 7 Song Suggestions

Image courtesy of FOX

It happened. It finally happened.

After five female contestants were voted off in a row (excluding Casey Abrams' save), American Idol finally eliminated one of the guys. Now, that's not to say I wasn't incredibly sad to see Paul McDonald go, but if we're being honest he will do way better for himself when he's not forced to do covers and can start to show off his songwriting skills—make sure you check out his band, The Grand Magnolias, ASAP.

Who would've ever guessed that this would be our Top 7, huh? And after a fairly bland "Songs from the Movies" week that was coupled by maddeningly positive judges, I need to start getting some Idol moments to restore my faith in Season 10.

So, what should the Top 7 sing tonight and what should they avoid?

As always... WARNING: Stop reading now if you want the theme of the week to be a surprise!

American Idol is often criticized (with good reason) for showcasing music over two decades old. Motown and Elton John theme weeks are fun and all, but do they really show how these performers will be able to compete in the contemporary music scene? As if responding to these criticisms, the Idol contestants will be performing "Songs of the 21st Century" this week. Hallelu!

In compiling this list, I found it interesting how easy it was to find contemporary music for some contestants and how incredibly difficult it was to find suggestions for others. Does this indicate how their post-Idol careers will play out? Only time will tell. In the meantime, on to the suggestions...

Should Sing: "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay - Another opportunity to wheel out the upright bass, Coldplay's most recent hit certainly fits Casey's style and also speaks to his Idol experience, coming into the Finals as a frontrunner only to need the Judges Save in the second week. Go meta, Casey!
Should Not Sing: "Beautiful Day" by U2; "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers
Should Sing: "Someone Like You" by Adele - I'd love to hear Lauren put a bit of a country twang on this haunting ballad and actually connect with the heartbreaking lyrics. Plus, it'd help me forget she ever sang a Miley Cyrus song. Ugh.
Should Not Sing: "A Moment Like This" by Kelly Clarkson; "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood
Should Sing: "Butterflies & Hurricanes" by Muse - Not exactly the metal vibe James tends to go for, but I think he could really connect to the lyrics of trying to be the best and get his voice heard. The song has a lot of highs and lows that would give him a great opportunity to show off his versatility.
Should Not Sing: "Jaded" by Aerosmith; "Let It Rock" by Kevin Rudolf
Should Sing: "Gotta Get Through This" by Daniel Bedingfield - Honestly, how is Stefano still in this thing? I can't deal with his love of shmaltzy power ballads any more, so it's time to break out an uptempo tune. Look to the acoustic version of this song—great groove and great showcase of vocals.
Should Not Sing: "Hero" by Enrique Iglesias; "Billionaire" by Travie McCoy featuring Bruno Mars
Should Sing: "Dog Days Are Over" by Florence + The Machine - Jacob was the most difficult to find song suggestions for. First of all, I am hereby revoking Jacob's ballad-singing privileges after he decided to sing "Bridge Over Troubled Water" last week. C'mon! I think "Dog Days" is full of soul and would show us whether or not Jacob has a chance in the contemporary music scene. Plus, it's not a ballad.
Should Not Sing: "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera; "Apologize" by OneRepublic
Should Sing: "Firecracker" by Josh Turner - Scotty's cover of Turner's "Long Black Train" was a hit at the end of Hollywood Week, so why not try it again? "Firecracker" is fun and perfect for Scotty's deep country voice. I mean, I'd just like to hear him do that opening, low "Yeahhhhhhh." Let's just keep the girls from running onto the stage this time. Thanks.
Should Not Sing: "Need You Now" by Lady Antebellum; "Landslide" by Dixie Chicks
Should Sing: "Fighter" by Christina Aguilera - I'd normally insist that Idol contestants avoid Xtina like the plague (hello, Jacob), but I'll make an exception for growly Haley. This is perfect for her voice and it certainly applies to how she's had to fight to stay in the competition. Haley was (quite surprisingly) the easiest contestant to find suggestions for. I had a long list of great choices that fit her voice and personality perfectly. She hasn't had the best of runs this season, but could she be the one to have the most post-Idol success?
Should Not Sing: "Black Horse & the Cherry Tree" by KT Tunstall; "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga
What do you think the contestants should sing tonight? Are you hoping for some "old school" Lifehouse and Sugar Ray or more recent Gaga and Britney? And who do you think has the best chance at post-Idol success?
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