American Idol 11 Top 4 – California Dreamin’ Song Picks

This week the American Idol Top 4  theme is California Dreamin or songs by California artists. The second song pick is “Songs I wish I Had Written” .

Both themes are broad and open to interpretation–it’s practically a “pick whatever the hell you want” week, which  may not be a bad thing.  For the 1st theme, I’m going to assume that any California base artist is game. For the second theme, I’m going to pick something that seems to represent who each finalist will be as an artist once they are on their own

Hollie  Cavanagh – #1 “Different Drum” by the Stone Ponies – I can totally imagine Hollie rocking some Linda Ronstadt #2 “Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato  – Could be a moment

Joshua Ledet – #1 – “Dance to the Music” by Sly and the Family Stone – Would the audience in the Idoldome be on their feet, or what?  #2 – “Closer” by Ne-Y0 – My favorite Ne-Yo song.

Phil Phillips – #1  “These Days” by Jackson Brown. I’m gonna grant Phil permission to sing one of my favorite songs of all time, because I think he might actually pull it off.  If not…maybe a tune from The Grateful Dead.  #2 – What about something by Ryan Adams or maybe James Morrison?

Jessica Sanchez – #1 “Firework” by Katy Perry #2 – Beyonce or Rihanna.  Jessica can show both her pop and R&B sides in the same week.


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mj santilli

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  • Wally.

    I want Jessica to reprise the Prayer. Please and Thank You

  • Anonymous

    ooooh MJ, i would LOVE to hear Phil sing something by James Morrison. Yes, please!

  • Anonymous

    Jessica-Journey Open Arms or Etta James I’d Rather Go blind and for other song, AND I AM TELLING YOU!!!!! 

  • Kariann Hart

    MJ, I had mentioned Linda Ronstadt the other day.  I think Holly would do a good job with it.  Nice melody, too.

    So, could Phil pull off something by the Doors?

      I want Jessica to reprise the Prayer. Please and Thank You.

    Yes, that could be a moment for her.  I do not want her to sing two songs by a Diva.  I’d prefer she sang a song made famous by a guy!

    I’d like one of Joshua songs NOT be Gospel/R& B.  Something different would be nice.

    I saw the Beach Boys on the Jimmy Fallon Show.  Please do at least one tribute song for their 50th Anniversary!

  • Landon Cox

    I think Hollie would be able to work Firework better; she’s the oppressed one, remember?

  • No Thanks

    I’m kinda hoping Jessice tackles some Adam Lambert.  He’s been one of her biggest, most vocal supporters.  And they’re both from San Diego.

  • Lutrell Everett

    MJ, “Dance to the Music” is tailor made to the jam band product that  Phil loves to produce. He, more than any artist this year really connects with the band.

    Would love to see Josh take on a “mashed” approach with Sly’s, “Everyday People” and Sandi Patty’s,” Love in any Language”. It’s the message in the music for him.

    I’m changing up on Hollie a bit, feeling Bert Bacharach’s, “Don’ Make Me Over”. 

  • Anonymous

    I would love for Hollie to sing Firework. Don’t know about other song suggestions.

  • larc

    P2 will probably do better if he has picked obscure songs that nobody knows.  Then they won’t realize when he slaughters the melodies.

  • Tinawina

    I’ll be shocked if SOMEONE Doesn’t sing Firework. It’s such an obvious choice.

    All I know is they all better be shooting for moments this week.

  • Anonymous

    This is all I could think last night during The Voice!

  • Anonymous

    yes very much to Joshua singing Sly and the Family Stone. ANY Sly song would be right up his alley. 

  • Anonymous

    Is it bad that I hope Phillip picks bad songs out of his range? Just so that the other three can be the standouts of the night? Lol.

  • SamC

    Phillip, Jessica, Hollie and Joshua were the first four that were let into the top 13 on top 24 Results night. Same thing last year with Scotty and Lauren. So maybe a jessica-phillip finale with Phillip winning like Scotty since they were both the first in the top 13. Just speculating. 

  • Anonymous

     lmao sadly at this point the only way he will get eliminated is if he completely falls flat on his face and the other 3 all have Kelly Clarkson level moments.

    Or unless my WGWG voodoo doll works : )

  • Anonymous

    Hollie – “Faithfully” by Journey and “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera. I read Christina is one of her idols and the song should be meaningful to her.

    Phillip – Stone Temple Pilots “Interstate Love Song”. I think it will fit his voice. And something from Mumford and Sons.

    Joshua –  “Foolish Heart” by Steve Perry. I’ve been waiting for Joshua to sing “Without You” by Usher or “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley

    Jessica – California artist, I have no clue. For songs she wishes she could’ve written, I would think something from her idol Beyonce.

  • Jake Williams

    I want Jessica to do the following two:
    1. Katy Perry-E.T.  I love Jessica’s version!
    2. Etta James- I’d Rather Go Blind  Jessica’s version is incredible!

  • Gwen

    I love, love, love James Morrison. So, step away, Phil.

    Everyone needs to be phenomenal this week. Really, really good.

    I think at this point, since a frontrunner is so NOT obvious, stepping out of one’s comfort zone could be key. So maybe Josh does James Morrison and Phil sings the Sly song.

    I’d love to hear some really good jazz this season. Josh? Jessica?

  • Madred

    P2 could sing the ABCs and he’ll still be safe this week. He isn’t going anywhere. We must take a deep breath and embrace our fifth WGWG winner. 

  • Anonymous

    Taylor Hicks played guitar, so he would be the 6th.

  • Anonymous

    Jessica seems to pick songs that she hasn’t covered on youtube(I believe she made a comment in the beginning of the season about not liking to do the same thing twice?). I really hope tho that she does more current songs like stuttering cuz she needs to step it up big time this wk (and get the pimp spot! What the hell is going on with that?)

  • Madred

    I don’t recall Taylor playing the guitar in Season 5, just the harmonica. 

  • Anonymous

    Instruments were not allowed until Season 7, so Taylor did not play guitar on the live shows. A harmonica is small and hand-held, so it doesn’t really count. I remember Blake, Chris R, and other Season 6 guys expressing disappointment that instruments were allowed the season after theirs.

  • D Bab

    Phillip – Song 1 anything by the Eagles Song 2 Simple Man would be awesome.

  • Anonymous

    But he was still a guitar player.

    Nah, my point is, Scotty shouldn’t count as #4 because he never used it to flip the songs.

  • Jake Williams

    Everyone needs to harass Nygel on twitter and tell him that it would be nice if Jessica got the pimp spot for a change.

  • Anonymous

     “I’d love to hear some really good jazz this season. Josh? Jessica?:”

    I don’t know. Seems to me I remember jazz being voter poison a few times in the past.

    I’d like everybody this week to sing a song that voters will be happy with — so that it’s more likely they’ll be competing on the merit of their renditions rather than stupid “song choice.”

  • Anonymous

     I just hope Jessica, Joshua and Hollie kill it tomorrow.

  • Vote 4 JSanchezAI11

    @dizzyfeet i tell people to tell him about it lol

  • sdmama

    If Jessica covers WWFM, there will be a flood of complaint about special treatment for Adam, so for that reason, no.  He will be appearing on AI with NCOE anyway, right? 

    Kind of wish they have duet at the finale, but  I bet AI will bring a bigger gun for Jessica for finale. 

  • lisa

    sorry jessica has had the pimp spot since the show started,I would rather see Hollie get alittle more recognition for awesome talent.

  • bigd13

    More than likely they’ll try to get Beyonce to duet with Jessica at the finale, that would be the most obvious choice.

  • Anonymous


    This is an interesting week though, I noticed a pattern that dates back to season 4 starting with top 4 week:

    6 of 7 contestants who went 1st during top 4 week
    have gone last top 3 week.

       Exception: James,
    who was eliminated top 4 week.

    5 of  6 who made it to
    top 3 week and given the pimp spot  are
    finale bound.

       Exception: Melinda
    in season 6.

    4 of those 5 have gone on to win.

       Exception: Adam, who
    they wanted to win, let’s be real.


    So what does this all mean? Well, that I have too much time
    on my hands, obviously. But statistically speaking, whoever goes 1st
    this week has a good chance of winning. They’re almost assured a spot in the
    finale, and are pretty much a lock to make next week.


    Coincidentally, whoever goes last top 4 week has won only
    once. (Jordin in Season 6)


    So maybe you should want her to go first this week ; )

    I know that had nothing to do with song choices, but it’s interesting. (or maybe it’s only interesting to me heh)

  • Anonymous

    You must be mistaken, you mean Joshua. Jessica has not had the pimp spot and it’s about damn time she does

  • Tinawina

    The pimp spot doesn’t matter anymore. That ship as sailed. It’s way too late for that now.

    From this point on it’s about knockout performances. This race feels so tight that it seems like more than a pimp spot they need a watercooler moment tomorrow. Momentum is key right now. Somebody needs to have their “Heartless”!

  • Anonymous

    Phillip should sing something from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers since his range is limited like their lead singer’s. “Under the Bridge” maybe?

  • too-cool-for-school

    Phillip tweeted recently that Mumford & Sons won’t clear their songs for Idol. :( They would be so perfect for him if they did.

  • No Thanks

    Why would people complain of special treatment for Adam.  Did they complain when the contestants covered Carrie, Kellie Pickler, Fantasia and David Cook?

  • Jake Williams

    Now would be a good time for Jessica to whip out her rap skills. We all know she can rap based on her youtube videos. 

  • Anonymous

    I like how she keeps her fans guessing with her song choices and when you think that it isn’t a right fit you turn a total 180 when she starts to sing them ;)

  • Anonymous

    I guess you don’t understand what we refer to as “pimp spot” it’s performing last and closing the show. She has never been given that opportunity.

  • Anonymous

    Like dance with my father..didn’t see that coming and I think ive replayed the video 1000 times. Girl has a gift :)

  • Anonymous

    I have no idea what he will sing, but I am excited to see what Phil does this week! Hollie, too.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve said this on a couple boards but I REALLY think Hollie could have her “Heartless” moment this week by singing Young the Giant’s “Cough Syrup”. Yes children, I understand you’re all saying “oOOH THAT’S TAILOR-MADE FOR PHILLIP” but if Hollie showed a different side and didn’t even slow the song down, just sing it straight alternative, I believe it could send her to the finale. Sadz, because it’s more probable that she’ll pick some Katy Perry crap.

  • Anonymous

    You what would be a perfect song for Jessica to sing? Have you ever by Brandy….I. Would. Die.

  • Anonymous

    Being as AI used the word “BAND” in their tweet, I think we will probably see classics from 60s-80s.  Just my opinion, of course.

    American Idol?@AmericanIdol
    The #idol Top 4 will sing 1 song from a California band & 1 song that they wish they had written! Is there a song you wish you had written?

  • Anonymous

    This season has sorely lacked in the kind of surprising, off-beat song choices that made contestants such as David Cook and Kris Allen household names.  So, in this spirit, here are some California-flavored picks that, if done right, could create a buzz-worthy moment.   

    1.  Hollie:  “November Rain”, Guns n’ Roses.  Yes, I know that Axl Rose will never clear this, or any other of his songs for that matter.  In my fantasy world, though, this could be a moment for either of the two female singers.

    2.  Joshua:  “Easy”, Faith No More.  This really isn’t that much of a risk, but Joshua could do pretty well with this song.  At least it gets him outside of the gospel / R&B box that he’s been in since the beginning of the year.

    3.  Phil:  “Don’t Speak”, No Doubt.  I was tempted to go with Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On” here, but that would be too much of a joke.  This song can pretty easily be transformed into something that could be Phil-friendly.

    4.  Jessica: “Nothing Else Matters”, Metallica.  Yes, I’m serious.  Don’t laugh.  If Shakira can cover this song, so can Jessica.  She could have a serious moment with this one.

  • Krystal Gordon

    Okayy I was thinking the same thing this morning about Hollie singing fighter she could do so good with that song!!.

  • Joseph P

    Why the defeatist attitude, buddy?

    Teflon Phil may be with us until the end, but at this point, he’s too polarizing. The others are less so, while Hollie’s the least polarizing, which may work well for her.

    Think about her ad campaign this way:

    Don’t want your next Idol to be an Asian J-Hud/Beyonce mimic? Vote for Hollie!
    Don’t want a marginally talented WGWG to win? Vote for Hollie!
    Don’t want your Idol to take it to church every damn time? Vote for Hollie!
    Vote for Hollie, inoffensive yet insanely talented.

  • BonnieDee

    I love that idea!

  • Anonymous

    I agree with only 4 left the pimp spot and death spot dont matter anymore.

  • Anonymous

    yup. when they leaked the song list I kinda wished she would be singing the india arie song and that would’ve been a stellar moment but i guess she made the most out of dance with my father.

  • Anonymous

    she’s too bubble gum to have an alternative side. might turn off her tween voters lol

  • Anonymous

    you forgot to add:

    want your idol to be perfectly bland like tap water? vote for hollie!

  • Anonymous

    Wow MJ…love your choices for P2….I’m totally a Hollie fan but if this did come to fruition, I might just have to yell out “Let Phil sing!”  ;o)

  • Anonymous

     IMO…Week after week it seemed the judges tried to (negatively) take away from anything Hollie did ( sometimes too busy OTT promoting of some other contestants really mediocre performances). So with a California themed thought , I hope Hollie “Dreams a Big Dream” for herself tonight cause the one thing the judges CAN’T take away from Hollie are her DREAMS. Dream big Hollie…dream big!      

  • Tess

    Oh…I have no problem with tap water….and the tap water where I live is excellent.  You don’t have to buy that phony-over priced crap that they bottle up and sell as something wonderful when it is the same tap water I am drinking run through a processing plant to “purify” it to the point it has no taste.

  • Anonymous

    Ummm yeah, right.