American Idol 12 – “Music of the American Idols” – What Should the Idols Sing?

AMERICAN IDOL: Clockwise From Top Left: Lazaro Arbos, Amber Holcomb, Paul Jolley, Curtis Finch, Jr., Janelle Arthur, Kree Harrison, Devin Velez, Burnell Taylor, Angie Miller and Candice Glover.  CR: Michael Becker / FOX. Copyright: FOX.

Here are my picks for the American Idol 12 Top 10 Idols this week. The theme is “Music of the American Idols” and includes songs the winners covered on the show and their post-Idol music.

I tried to mix it up a little, creating unlikely pairs. I’m pretty certain it will be a sea of Carrie and Kelly covers with a little Fanty and Ruben thrown in, but it doesn’t hurt to try!

Janelle Arthur – “Little Sparrow” by Dolly Parton (performed by David Cook Dolly Parton week) – Janelle played Dolly Parton when she was a little girl, so it seemed natural to pair her with the legend.  David Cook’s “Little Sparrow” is an unappreciated gem, in my book.
Candice Glover – “Collard Greens and Cornbread” by Fantasia – This tune has a lovely throwback vibe an opportunities to show off big vocals.
Kree Harrison – “I Know You Won’t” by Carrie Underwood (Bonus: Kelly Clarkson has covered this song).  I think Kree could kill with this heartfelt ballad.
Amber Holcomb – “No Air” by Jordin Sparks – It was a duet with Chris Brown, originally, but it doesn’t have to be.
Angela Miller – “Sober” by Kelly Clarkson – The melody is right in Angela’s wheelhouse. Plus, the song’s theme of overcoming adversity has spiritual overtones.
Lazaro Arbos – “The Vision of Love” by Kris Allen – Lazaro is an inspiration to his fans, so why not sing an inspirational song. Here’s one that doesn’t make me want to claw my eyes out.  Bonus points: The music video had a bullying theme.
Curtis Finch, Jr. – “In The Midnight Hour” by Wilson Picket (Covered by Phillip Phillips Songs from Now and Then)
Paul Jolley – “Country Comfort” by Elton John – (Performed by Scotty McCreery Elton John Week)
Burnell Taylor – “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke (Taylor Hicks covered Great American Songbook week)
Devin Velez – “I Need an Angel” by Ruben Studdard – It’s a gospel song–maybe Devin can translate part of it into Spanish

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  • davedpg

    Can’t help but think that Janelle should do Dream Big by David Cook if she’s allowed. It was originally a country song, so the judges could credit her with changing the song up.

  • girlygirltoo

    My one hope is that they do songs by most of the  winners, rather than just have everyone cover Kelly or Carrie songs. My other hope (I lied…I have 2, lol) is that they do songs that were released post-Idol, rather than covering songs that the winners covered during their season.

  • b_james

    Paul should do “Falling Slowly”.

    And I’d love to see Angie take on “Battlefield”.

  • David Facenfield

    here’s hoping that each of the top 10 perform a song by a different winner… be it a post idol song, or one they covered on the show as a contestant… that way 10 different winners get mentioned on show.

  • Kesia Monteith

    Candice–Do something from Phil Phillips album. I’m NOT a fan of P2, but Candice is a big fan of last year’s contestants (since she was on that season before Vegas cut), so to answer to her critics of wanting her to do something out of the ordinary, an uptempo folk jam from P2 would catch people by surprise. And I know she is capable of adding her own twist to it.

    Amber–First Time I Ever Saw Your face performed by David Cook. I know it’s another ballad from her, but she can have a real moment with this song, me think. She should keep it angelic, and avoid runs as much as possible. Just a harp and piano with a single violin while singing this would be amazing!

    Kree–Why Don’t You Try by Kelly Clarkson. My top 10 fave Kelly tracks, ever! I think Kree’s soulful tone would be beautiful to hear if she sang this.

    Burnell/Devin–Kris Allen’s Teach Me How Love Goes. My fave song off of Thank You Camillia. Either one sings this, and I’ll root for him all the way to the finale. :D

  • Pat S

    MJ, please make a sing-off spoiler topic please! I want to discuss the sing-off potential now that we’ve deduced who it is!

  • Sassycatz

    I was hoping that this theme would also include the two contestants vying for a spot on the Idol tour. That way there’s at least an opportunity to cover all the winners. 

  • Lobilobi

    i hope someone does “ain’t no sunshine” by Kris Allen, i love it so much

  • Larc

    Drat!  Too many songs I can think of that seem right for this top 10 were sung by Idols other than the winners.  It would be great if the theme also included those whose debut albums sold most.

  • Wally.

    Angela – Halleujah (Lee)/Permanent (David Cook)
    My two suggestions for Angela. Would love this.

  • Sassycatz

    Well, Angela’s bud, Colton Dixon, sang Permanent at his initial Idol audition, so I suppose there’s a chance she’s familiar with it.

  • NatSasic

    I think your choice for Angela is SPOT ON. I can even imagine what it would sound like. 
    I’d like to see Kree do something with a bit more edge; I feel like they’re trying to pigeonhole her into country, so she should deliberately go for something a little more out there – maybe Pat Benatar’s Heartbreaker (Jordin), Light On (David Cook) or (and this might be a little crazy) Queen’s Fat Bottomed Girls (P2).

  • Livi2

    Jacob Lusk’s assault on “No Air” in S10 has scarred me for life — I never want to hear any Idol contestant attempt it again.  I do share the hope that Amber will go up-tempo, and do something with a little more edge. Just please, not *that*. :-)

    I don’t see Curtis as a blues singer, and I doubt he has the grit in his voice to pull off Wilson Pickett.  However, I do think “In the Midnight Hour” would be a great song for Kree, given her fabulous performance of “Evidence.”  She did a country-diva ballad in the last competition round, so I hope she won’t go for another this week.  She’s a very credible roots-rocker, and if she emphasizes that side of her style, she could win the allegiance of some viewers who don’t really have anyone to root for yet.  (Another good choice for her could be “The Letter,” which Phil and Lee both did during their seasons — something in between Phil’s bluesy take and Lee’s folksier one would be right in her wheelhouse…)  I might even flip your picks and give “I Know You Won’t” to Curtis — a Carrie ballad would be technically demanding enough to showcase his skill without needing a lot of over-the-top embellishment (which hopefully he’d therefore have the sense to omit), and that one would also give him a chance to try to display some more authentic emotional connection.

    All that said, I love some of the other picks, especially for Candice, Burnell, and Janelle.  I’m not entirely sure Janelle can pull off “Little Sparrow” — it’s a more demanding melody than some of those she’s struggled with recently — but if she did it well, it would definitely boost my enthusiasm for her.

  • Lutrell Everett

    I’m a major Kris Allen fan, and would love for Curtis to cover his
    version of the Bill Withers’ classic, “Aint No Sunshine”. Curtis’
    strength is the blues leanings in his gospel projects. He really gets
    the emotion and feel right.

    Candice Glover, Patty Griffin’s, “Up to the Mountain”

    Kree, A soulful reading of Willie Nelson’s, “Always on my Mind” as performed by Fantasia.

    Angela Miller (at the piano), “The Boxer” as covered by Lee.

    Burnell, Taylor Hicks covered Stevie Wonders’ classic, “Livin’ for the
    City”, but I want his to do the Ray Charles version. It’s a gospel
    influenced, more gritty and soulful arrangement. He will have to step
    out of his comfort zone to do this one well, but the payoff could be a

  • Jason Scott

    Angie should do “So Small” by Carrie, she could have another big moment with it.

    I’d love to see Kree do something rather unexpected…and something uptempo.

  • Lutrell Everett

    Ironically, it is because I did feel the blues in Curtis’ performances that I selected, “Aint No Sunshine”. Great gospel singers can do Country, R&B and the Blues…it’s all about angst and hope.

  • ptebwwong

    In the Hollywood Reporter article where the top 10 were interviewed, all of the contestants didn’t even mention Kelly being a favorite past Idol of theirs or even a winner with the best voice. Most of these top 10 said Carrie or Fantasia.

    So based on that I’m not expecting anybody to cover a Kelly post-Idol song. I think some contestants might consider a song Kelly did during Idol if it suits them. But based on what was said by the contestants I’m expecting many Carrie or Fantasia songs from these top 10. 


    i’ll be an instant fan of whoever is doing a Kris Allen original song.

  • Lobilobi


  • julesb2183

    Angie – “So Small” by Carrie, “Behind These Hazel Eyes” by Kelly, “God Bless the Broken Road”
    Kree – “I Know You Won’t”, “When God Fearing Women Get the Blues

  • Latin2

    Paul should do Kris’s “Teach Me How Love Goes”. I love that song and I could see him doing that.

    I could see Kree doing Kelly’s “Mr. Know-It-All”

    I am kinda excited about this week. Idol needs more weeks like this.

  • Latin2

     I think if Paul did “Falling Slowly” he would have to put a lot of emotion and vulnerability into it change the perception by some of the judges that he is too theatrical.

  • Livi2

    I agree that great gospel singers often do have that kind of range — I guess I’m just not yet convinced that Curtis is one of them. :-)  Right now, I’d be more inclined to call him a great pop singer who performs in a gospel style, rather than a great gospel singer, precisely because I’m still getting more technique than emotional substance from his performances.  The blues take a lot of raw grit, and Curtis feels very polished-slick to me.  I hope he’ll prove me wrong in upcoming weeks, though!

  • aj rabin

    I like that you mentioned little sparrow for Jennelle. David Cooks performance of little sparrow is one of my favorite underrated idol performances to date.

  • aj rabin

    Angie singing Battlefield would be a grave mistake which her fellow Bay stater Ashley Rodriguez made when she sang it in Hollywood in season 9. I would like her to do something like Kellys Already gone

  • Incipit

    Janelle should do Dream Big by David Cook if she’s allowed. It
    was originally a country song, so the judges could credit her with
    changing the song up.

    Hmmm, Not only was it originally a country song, but it was written for a girl to sing – DC made a lyric change along with changing the tempo and accompaniment.

    She could do that one – and get credit for putting it back where it came from *snerk* – good idea, davepg…if she doesn’t do “Little Sparrow”. How’s her upper register for that one?

    I think she could pull “Dream Big” off, and have fun doing it – and the tone of her voice would suit that song. I like the tone of her voice, even if I don’t like country music.

    I just don’t want her, or any one of them, who can’t feel and convey the bone deep anguish and hope in the song to do “Permanent” – That song means something to me, and to many other people – Bad enough when Colton tossed it out there with no connection. That was a quick trip to the Sh!t List for him. Unless you can show that it resonates, just step away from that song. IMO.

  • mjsbigblog

     Speculation based on twitter is speculation. We actually don’t really know who will sing in the sing-off.

  • HermeticallySealed

     HalleujahThat song just needs to be banished from any reality show. 

  • geekygirl

    I HATE this theme so much I can’t even get my head around it! I’ve kinda liked the top 40 because we’ve heard a few things not tackled before. My problem with most of these singing reality shows lately is that I am so BORED with the music they keep rehashing over and over and over.  I think Curtis should have been immediately disqualified for sing that vomit inducing drek by R Kelly.  I like the voices, just so bored with the music they choose. And now not only are we guaranteed a repeat rehash, but also performances to beg comparison!!! Can’t wait for the fan wars!  Is this really supposed to endear us to these contestants? Just in these comments alone I am reading “I loved … rendition of” so we are going to vote for someone who fell short of the mark?

    Maybe this is to help Randy’s critics… “you should never take on …..”  Hope someone replies “Well, you made us!”

  • fantoo1

    I can picture Kree covering Bonnie Raitt’s Something To Talk About.

  • Fan Dja

    Winner song’s only?  I’d like them to sing any song by any idol recorded after their season. 

    Casey James
    Melinda Doolittle
    David Archuleta
    Tamyra Gray
    Bo Bice
    Elliott Yamin
    Alison Iraheta
    James Durbin

  • mjsbigblog

     Oh…but they will. Because I imagine the short list of songs they have to choose from are littered with them. :).  In the end, I think the contestants will pick well-known songs, because they go over better. That’s why I only expect Carrie/Kelly originals for the most part.

    Even some of my picks are wishful thinking.

  • John M

    I think outside of a handful of Carrie, Kelly, Daughtry, and Fantasia songs most of the music idols have released are of pretty low quality. I think they would be better off singing songs the winners did on the show, instead of singing songs from the winners. 

  • shell29

    I LOVE the suggestion of Permanent for Angie-I think that would be a great fit for her. I also like the suggestion of Already Gone. I’m hoping the Idols stay away from Hallelujah-it’s just been done to death. I can’t see Curtis doing Wilson Pickett-I’m guessing he goes the inspirational Ruben route. I’ll be surprised if Paul doesn’t perform a Carrie song. It’ll be interesting to see what they all choose.

  • standtotheright

    I think outside of a handful of Carrie, Kelly, Daughtry, and Fantasia songs most of the music idols have released are of pretty low quality.

    I feel the exact opposite. Most of the music they’ve released is of at least average quality and all of them (even the ones I don’t particularly care for) have two or three great songs and even more decent ones.  Most music that gets commercially released is decent-to-good, honestly. AI alumni aren’t notable exceptions either way.

    I’m not expecting the current contestants to be familiar with all their catalogs, but I don’t necessarily consider show songs to be the better choice for every contestant.

  • standtotheright

    I think outside of a handful of Carrie, Kelly, Daughtry, and Fantasia songs most of the music idols have released are of pretty low quality.

    I feel the exact opposite. Most of the music they’ve released is of at least average quality and all of them (even the ones I don’t particularly care for) have two or three great songs and even more decent ones.  Most music that gets commercially released is decent-to-good, honestly. AI alumni aren’t notable exceptions either way.

    I’m not expecting the current contestants to be familiar with all their catalogs, but I don’t necessarily consider show songs to be the better choice for every contestant.

  • CB40

    THANK YOU mj! I also pegged Angie to sing Sober by Kelly. My other options were Save You (also by Kelly) or Light On by David Cook.

    My other ideas:

    Curtis: Living for the City
    Amber: I Can’t Live
    Kree: Also had I Know You Won’t

  • Sassycatz

    I think outside of a handful of Carrie, Kelly, Daughtry, and Fantasia
    songs most of the music idols have released are of pretty low quality.

    If you’re talking songs that were commercially successful, I don’t agree. Not everything that is pushed as a single and is played ad nauseum on radio is a gem.

  • ptebwwong

    Let me clarify on my previous post. I don’t actually expect any of these top 10 contestants to do a post-Idol song by any winner (let alone Kelly). I think they will pick songs done during Idol. If anyone does choose a post-Idol song by a winner I think considering these contestants it’ll be by Carrie or Fantasia.

  • ptebwwong

    Let me clarify on my previous post. I don’t actually expect any of these top 10 contestants to do a post-Idol song by any winner (let alone Kelly). I think they will pick songs done during Idol. If anyone does choose a post-Idol song by a winner I think considering these contestants it’ll be by Carrie or Fantasia.

  • John M

    Of course not everything on top 40 is a gem lol. I don’t know where you got that from my post. It still doesn’t negate the fact that music from idols is relatively low quality, especially compared to the songs they could pick that had been done on the show. 

  • FinalFantasy13

    I could actuallly see Paul picking I know you won’t which was your guys suggestion for kree.. Lol..

    I feel like we will be hearing a lot of fantasia or songs from fantasia run on idol, this week.. Not sure how I feel about that, never been a huge fantasia fan I’ll be honest..

    Oh and the suggest for Janelle was spot on.. I forgot David Cook sang that.

  • abbysee

    Candice: Collard Greens and Corn Bread (good pick mj)
    Curtis: Trouble (Taylor sang season 5) potential to take it to church yet keep it modern, or I Need an Angel from Ruben’s gospel cd
    Devin: To Make You Feel my love
    Angie: So Small
    Burnell: After The Candles Burn, fan fave from Ruben’s debut cd or Wear Me from his last
    Paul: Maybe you should from Taylor’s last cd. Maybe Gone done by Scotty
    Lazaro: Footprints song from Ruben Studdards Love Is Cd. Inspirational, potential for tears
    Kree: I know you won’t (another great choice mj)
    Amber: Something to talk about Fantasia sang season 3,
    Janell: The Sun Will Rise from Queen Kelly’s stronger

  • Sassycatz

    It still doesn’t negate the fact that music from idols is relatively
    low quality, especially compared to the songs they could pick that had
    been done on the show.

    It’s not a fact. It’s an opinion. I just don’t happen to share it. ;-)

    ETA: And I drew that conclusion from your earlier comment because you picked Idols who have been more commercially successful on the whole.

  • Seth McHale

    I pulled the numbers from Twitter for the different finalists (I hope this hasn’t already been done this season) 

    Amber 6,474

    Angie 39,675

    Burnell 13,096

    Candice 10,006

    Curtis 5,794

    Devin 7,648

    Janelle 10,031

    Kree 14,474

    Lazaro 24,962

    Paul 9,406I know it hasn’t meant a lot in past seasons, I am only bringing it up because the totals seem really low at this point. Didn’t Jessica and P2 have almost 100k by this point?

  • shell29

    MJ, I really like your song choice for Candice. I would love to hear her sing that one.

  • jpfan2

    Any reason why the posts are showing up out of order?

  • Sassycatz

    Looks like it’s displaying in a tiered structure where all replies are under the initial post and you can’t tell what was the latest post.

  • mtthew

    i like these suggestions better than slezak’s. i wouldn’t suggest little sparrow for janelle though. i’m having trouble picturing that in my head working out very well.

  • irockhard

    Discussion -> Oldest, then scroll.

  • Karen C

    I think Kree would do well with Lie by David Cook

  • BigNLiddle

    I just hope we get SOME KIND of uptempo song this week

  • Incipit

    “Any reason why the posts are showing up out of order?”

    Good to know it’s not just me, jpfan2. The format has gone whack – posts all out of order, some kind of up/down triangle rating I’ve seen elsewhere, and a Discussion/Community/My Disqus/share? option after the posts? I’m not even sure the html will work with this format – but I’ll give it a try. Hope it gets back to normal soon. Do Not Like this.

    ETA: The HTML did not work.

  • Jonathan Frahm

    It’s not like “Hallelujah” is overdone on Idol; it’s only been performed a total of three times, and we haven’t seen it for (ironically) three years anyway. So, yeah, Angie would sound really good on that. She actually has a YouTube video up of her performing it with her brother:

    “Permanent” – Another solid voice. Holy goodness, y0. She’d sound awesome on that!

  • jpfan2

    I really doubt they’ll do one sing for each one of the winners. I think most of them will pick something by Carrie or Fantasia!

  • Eilonwy

    Eh, most Idol winner albums are hiding at least one track that’s quite good, beloved by fans, and never released as a single. Some have several of these hidden treats.

    Pick an Idol of the opposite gender, do a little research on that Idol’s fan site(s) to identify that song, and there you are — doesn’t take a ton of knowledge of the Idol’s catalog, just formulating the right research question and doing the work in a hurry (and hoping TPTB will get the song cleared).

  • Incipit

    Sassycatz, I’m not even sure where a ‘reply’ post will end up in their tier – but I’m trying to reply to you. Probably better for me to go away and let Disqus fix their bloody FUBAR. I’ll just get cantankerous if I stick around and fuss with it. IMO. It won’t even let me do a ‘return’ to the next line. Very Broken.

  • fantoo1

    I don’t think they got to 100k until April, besides it’s apples and oranges-by the time of the top 10 last year they already had a few weeks of being in the finals, so they were able to gain more since they had more amount of time.

  • mjsbigblog

    It’s not broken. Just different. Sorry, DISQUS went ahead and implemented their new version without telling me.

  • ali_359921

    I like it …

  • forwarddad

    This new format of posting is very odd. I would like Candice to sing an uptempo song. Really hope she doesn’t get caught in the Pia scenario.

  • girlygirltoo

    I disagree. I think there are some amazing original songs released by the former Idols. Many of these songs are album cuts rather than singles.

  • girlygirltoo

    No one should ever cover Hallelujah on Idol again. Talk about a played out song

  • Livi2

    Candice’s performances have so much more vocal color and raw emotion than Pia’s ever did.  Pia’s mid-tempo “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” was forgotten amidst all the complaining about “constant ballads,” precisely because came across in the exact same way her ballads did — always technically perfect, and the purity of her voice was beautiful, but there was no drama.  Conversely, I feel like Candice is going to come across as dramatic no matter what the tempo of her material.

    That said, an up-tempo song would be great, no argument — but at least for me, she’s not in danger of losing my votes for the same reason Pia did, even if she does stick with ballads, and I hope that will be true for other viewers too.

    (On the other hand, I suspect Aubrey did get the Pia treatment in the semifinals, and if she’s in the sing-off, I really hope she’ll deliver something more exciting to earn herself the spot on tour.)

  • Miz

    What I hope they do is choose cuts from albums that weren’t released as singles . I’d also like them to do stuff the Idols wrote or co-wrote so they get some cash out of it.

  • Jake W.

    I’m hoping Angie does Phil’s Home. I’m in love with her youtube cover of that song.

  • JosieX

    My favorite Carrie song (by far) is “I Told You So”. I think that song provides the opportunity to show strength and beauty of voice and the ability to connect emotionally through a song. I don’t care for many of Carrie’s songs (although I like and admire her and think she is an amazing singer) but I love that one, and I think it could be good for Janelle. Janelle wants to position herself more along the traditional country lines (vs pop country) I think, so a Dolly Parton song is a good idea too.

  • Sassycatz

    It creates more work for the reader. Instead of just picking up where you left off on the thread, you have to go through the entire thread looking for all of the newer posts. This set-up assumes you only want to follow one of the many discussions in the thread, which is an extremely narrow view of how people participate.

  • Ira

    I assure you, Fantasia’s recordings are among some of the best released by the Idol fraternity. Her 2006 CD, “Back to Me” was one of the best R&B releases in a decade. I just don’t think we have anyone, male or female that could cover, “Bittersweet”, the best of many gems. Her standout performance on the Luther Vandross tribute of, “Till my Baby comes Home” may be a nice opportunity for Curtis or ……….Angela. Yes, Angela who aside from Ms. Glover has the potential to really upset all of those artistic miscalculations floating around.

  • Joe Daniels

    Taylor Hicks, in my honest opinion, was a complete and utter joke. I hope to God that nobody uses him this week. If you should cover any song any American Idol winner has done. Choose somebody who has had success out of the show. Phillip Phillips, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, David Cook and that’s it. Haha.

  • curly_yenta


  • Damien Roberts

    I disagree, if they’re going to choose to sing from the former winners catalog they should go with something a little more obscure, not said winners big song of the season. Even if it was Lee, “The Boxer” was his big moment during his season, thus Angie should stay as far away from it as possible.

  • David Facenfield

    as interesting as it would be I think people are dreaming if they think any of this years top 10 are going to pick an album track or non top 40 hit by any of the winners…
    for their 1st week of performing they will want to pick something reasonably well known… they don’t yet have the fan base to get away with doing an unknown or obscure song…
    that’s why I expect they will all pretty much do a song a winner performed on their season of idol.

  • dabney c

    Me too. “Little Sparrow” was a beautiful arrangement after that whole conrtoversy over Eleanor Rigby and Billie Jean. It was also the week he got that super hot haircut, which made me completely insane. I found him sexy at his frumpiest, so that makeover just pushed me over the edge. :-D

  • Matt Fallmann

    Kree Harrison is the ONLY contestant I care about this season.

  • dabney c

    I’m not sure Amber has the confidence to pull off “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”. She’s still seems too unsure of herself for such a grownup, sexy song. I would give Amber something from Jordin’s list, like “Give Me One Reason” or “To Love Somebody”.

    Speaking of Jordin – how cool if Kree did “Heartbreaker” by Pat Benatar! I LOVE that song!

  • standtotheright

    for their 1st week of performing they will want to pick something
    reasonably well known… they don’t yet have the fan base to get away
    with doing an unknown or obscure song…

    The fact that there are so many contestants competing at this stage is why doing an winner’s more obscure track could (not necessarily would) work. Fans of that artist, assuming a good performance, would be likely to “supervote” for them, whereas even a solid performance of a winner’s “moment” song might not impress casual fans enough to collect a lot of votes, as things very rarely impress as much the second or third time. Less well-remembered performance songs are also an option. I think if some contestants see several fellow competitors picking the hoary chestnuts, then they might see an advantage in the less obvious material. It might just get enough votes to stay out of the bottom.

  • forwarddad

    Can’t do a coronation song.

  • dabney c

    Hallelujah should never be covered by anybody in the world ever again.

    And Permanent? Ugh, why do my insides rebel against that song for Angela? Maybe because Colton sang it (if I remember correctly) in his fake audition last year. Or maybe because I’d like to hear something a little less inspirational from Angela, and a little more down to Earth and *real* for a change.

  • Incipit

    “…for their 1st week of performing they will want to pick something reasonably well known… they don’t yet have the fan base to get away
    with doing an unknown or obscure song…I expect they will all pretty much do a song a winner performed on their season of idol…”

    Certainly would be wise to do songs the audience knows…but Angela seems OK with doing an original that no one knew at all – and a Colton song that only his fans would know – and the judges didn’t say a word about familiarity for the audience – so I think if the judges are not told to ding them for that – they could all get away with it.

    IMO, It’s just as whack as the whole stupid theme this week – may as well break every rule of common sense while they are at it…KWIM?


  • damo

    I think that Janelle should sing Independence Day (Carrie Underwood).

  • heartly

    Amber Holcomb – “No Air” by Jordin Sparks – It was a duet with Chris Brown, originally, but it doesn’t have to be.

    Serena Ryder actually released a great, slowed down and almost creepy solo version of this song that really works. I don’t know how an arrangement like this would work with this particular contestant, but it’s a good one.

  • wordnerdarchie

    MJ, aj rabin, and dabney c, I say yes to Little Sparrow – David Cook style. That’s an awesome arrangement…. and this new posting format? I’ll never use the “reply” button again cause my comment gets lost in the thread. I’ll just mention the name of the person(s) I want to reply to. ;)

  • maymay

    The new comment style is not good. People will miss many comments. And all comments only show on one page. It is difficult to boowse and read.

  • Kesia Monteith

    I don’t understand why they would make it more complicated to read the comments. I miss the fact you could simply clicked on the name the poster is replying to, and the comment from that name he poster responded to comes up. Easy and simple.

  • Kesia Monteith

    Man, I feel for ya MJ. That sucks. You made the perfect comment section, now this. #lifeofablogger #notalwaysfair

  • mjsbigblog

    I’m going to put up a post tomorrow, and if there are enough people who don’t like the new comments, I’ll switch them back. The problem is “classic disqus” will never be upgraded or changed, and at some point it probably won’t be supported either.

  • Axxxel

    You may like a singer and their songs but it does not mean that those songs are suitable for your voice… So even if Fantasia is your idol, you may end up singing a Kelly song because the song suits you more.

  • Axxxel

    I think the boxer is a great song choice for Angie…

  • Damien Roberts

    I think she’d do fine with it, but I think it would be dangerous for any of them to sing a song that any former Idol is “known” for.

  • Trina

    Yes thank you! I said the same thing the other day. Unless the contestant happens to be a major, major fan of a winner that hasnt had any/many hits I just cant see them picking some obscure song. Maybe they’ll pick a song off an album that wasnt a single by say Carrie or Fantasia, but IMO they’ll go for a song that was a big hit, or something they performed on the show. I cant imagine any of them picking a Lee post Idol song or something from a sophomore album that barely sold 40,000 copies.

  • cheese1

    I’m finding it easier to come up with songs I don’t want to hear – Imagine (hi Lazaro!), Hallelujah, pretty much any big Kelly Clarkson hit (people seem to do better with Carrie’s songs), people singing duets with themselves (hi Paul! leave that Kelly/Aldean song alone) – so no Falling Slowly. I must be the only one who preferred Lee/Crystal to Kris on that one.

    Everyone is trying to be “not the worst” so I don’t think there will be any big surprises. It would be interesting if they assigned one of the first 10 idols to each contestant (had them pick a name out of a hat or something). Phillip is performing on Thursday, so they have him covered.

  • Kariann Hart

    I am in total agreement that thye should pick an Idol of the opposite gender. Right there, it starts off as something differemt!

  • dabney c

    Wow, why would disqus “upgrade” with something inferior? Maybe if they get enough complaints, they’ll bring back the positive elements of the older style. Too much to hope for?

  • Kariann Hart

    There were a few songs Fantasia did well, but overall I’d prefer they select a song from Ruben.

  • Kariann Hart

    This has been my complaint for weeks. Way too many ballads!!

  • Kariann Hart

    Incipit, your “strong” worked. This is different, but maybe not in a good way?

  • Kariann Hart

    Taylor Hicks was one of the greatest entertainers to appear on the show. It would be a challenge to sing one of his terrific performances. Oh, I think making $3,000,000 in one year might be considered successful. I say this with complete honesty, not anger.

  • hayes

    I’d actually like to hear Phillip’s Tell Me A Story with piano, so I’m thinking Angela.

  • Kariann Hart

    I just realized that if people don’t go back, they will miss my comments too. Oh, boy…

  • Kariann Hart

    As a fan of Taylor Hicks, I do hope someone will cover a song he sang on the show. Better yet, it would be great if a young lady chose one.

  • Lutrell Everett

    With all due respect to Lee, but his big moments,like hid Idol legacy have been all but forgotten. Angie will take ownership as she did with Colton’s song. This is going to upset some of those jazz purists watching the show,but Angie makes me think of the great jazz pianist, arranger and vocalist,Mary Lou Williams. Hopefully, Idol will not try to put her in a box.

  • Incipit

    Kariann Hart – ‘strong’ instead of ‘b’ for bold – does that mean ’em’ for emphasis instead of ‘i’ for italics? Those are all a different , and IMO, much less efficient code…so yeah – not in a good way.

    I must have read this particular thread dozens of times, each time just looking for a new post that the side bar tells me is here – but that I can’t find. Deja Vu for what an incredibly awkward, time consuming process posting was when Disqus first came on board with their Bass Ackwards system, until mj got rid of it. I haven’t even tried to tackle another thread…maybe if I copied the first line from the post in the side bar and entered it in ‘Find’ or Google – it would take me to the post? IDK. There must be some way to keep from just reading and re-reading the whole damn thread.

    As Sassycatz noted – this nested Disqus mess assumes that a person is only following one discussion on a thread. Maybe other places, IDK – it hasn’t been the way mj’s worked…but this is too much like hard work, just to find and answer a post. Especially when the question had already been asked and answered once…nesting or not nesting…NOT. And here it is again.

    ETA – OK ‘strong’ works – ’em’ does not – does Disqus have its own archaic code? If so, where do they keep it?

  • tigervixxxen

    My hope is if they do covers of covers then don’t pick songs that will easily fit themes that will inevitably appear down the road. (no Motown, Elton John, etc). I know I shouldn’t expect much but I’d like to hold out hope for interesting song choices.

  • dishwalla

    No one wants to be voted off. So I can see a mad dash towards those winners who have been successful and who are more current. Definitely Kelly & Carrie. I would also say Scotty & Phillip. They are not only more recent winners but whoever wins will be joining them at Interscope.

  • curly_yenta

    I do too, although they will have some mighty tough shoes to fill. Taylor slayed You Send Me, Trouble and just about every song he ever did on Idol. I pity the one that picks one of his songs… the comparison won’t be pretty ;)

  • Lutrell Everett

    I truly hope not MJ. This theme already had the potential of being a disaster from the viewer’s perspective, that would only make it even more of a snooze fest. Kris, David, Taylor and Fantasia have some really great songs in their collections…of course, you have to look beyond the singles…

  • Lutrell Everett

    Taylor was no joke. He was one of the few seasoned, working performers that knew who he was as an artist-before and during Idol. He won the old fashioned way, he earned it.

  • tigervixxxen

    Thanks for posting this. I know twitter stats is not an infallible indicator but I do think the info has value and is a good idea of popularity which does lead to votes. Of course performance order, comments, song choice, etc effect the outcome of the vote but with the numbers here I’d say Curtis, Amber or Devin will become the first casualty.

  • Incipit

    Just now saw this earlier post from mjsbigblog

    “The problem is “classic disqus” will never be upgraded or changed, and at some point it probably won’t be supported either.”

    Wow. mj, that is…disconcerting. They mean to force their nested, HTML – less mess on the users, eventually, or chase them away, sometime down the road? IDK what the benefits are to the owner of using this host -no doubt they exist – and they would be a valid concern, surely – but from the POV of this user, Disqus Bites Bricks, if it isn’t meant to operate efficiently the way it is needed to.

    But enough… I’ll wait for the thread tomorrow.

  • springboard2

    In theory, there is nothing that should stop the contestants picking anything they like because surely, 19 can get any song released by an Idol alum cleared, and songs previously covered should already be cleared.

    But since it is a TV show, and the producers are desperate for ratings, I am sure that they’ll have a list to chose from, with songs that the producers think will be good for ratings, and for the direction they want for this cast.

  • Jonathan Frahm

    It would be great if there was a cover of “Teach Me How Love Goes” or “You Got a Way” somewhere in the bunch!

  • durbesque

    An up-tempo song is good for the audience, but when a singer has only one song, it’s risky. There’s little chance to show off voice, depth, emotion….to create a “moment”.

  • mjsbigblog

    Yep. There’s a reason why contestants sing so many ballads.

    Mid-tempo songs are the riskiest of all, usually engendering the “that song didn’t go anywhere” critique from the judges.

  • Ria_

    Other than an a train wreck, the worst thing a contestant can do is sing an overdone song and do nothing special with it. They may get a pass for the week, but they won’t gain any momentum and they may lose a lot of momentum for a boring choice. The important thing is that they have a memorable performance. If a lesser known song suits them, then that is usually the best option. If it is a lesser known song from a winner, then it might be a song that a number of voters do know and will appreciated hearing on the show.

  • Ronny Dias

    I guess you mean from Randy, right?! ;)
    If I ever were on Idol and he said that to me, I’d have to bite my tongue so as not to kindly reply: Neither did you, dawg! :D


    How about?…

    Devin – Levon

    Candice – First Time Ever I saw your face

    Kree – Trouble

    Amber – Walk on By

    Janelle- When Will i be loved (or Always on my mind)

    Paul – Without you (or The Boxer)

    Angie – Because you Loved me

    Curtis – Baby I need your loving

    Lazaro – She believes in me

    Burnell – Smile (or You’re all I need to get by)


    Burnell’s deep voice would also go great with Treat Her Like a Lady

  • mmmtx

    Considering that each of the 11 winners probably sang at least 12 songs each on the show, that is a very long list of potential choices without even looking at their own music. So I am hoping for a wide variety of song choices for this upcoming Idol show.

  • suenigma

    Off-Topic: Are you a fan of Serena Ryder? I am OBSESSED with her right now.

  • girlygirltoo

    Those aren’t the only 4 who have had success.

  • ptebwwong

    I agree that liking a singer doesn’t mean it’s suitable for a contestant’s voice. However, I think many singers sing songs they’re at least somewhat comfortable with. Would somebody like Paul Jolley sing a David Cook post-Idol song if they were not even somewhat comfortable with it? I don’t think so.

  • kcostell

    50 votes to whoever manages to turn “No Boundaries” into something listenable!

  • Krisjonin

    I don’t think that’s a good idea, IMO. I believe it’s hard to beat Kris’s rendition of that song. His arrangement of that song is superb.

  • LongKissGoodnight

    Not obsessed (yet) but I LOVE her new (for US market) single – Stompa. %)

  • Karen C

    Actually Kris ended up doing a pretty good version, it was maybe a year or so after he was on the show, when his first album was out. It was kind of an acoustic reggae version, and it was the first time I really liked it.

  • Karen C

    I agree, sometimes it is worse to do an overdone song, or one that was a real moment on the show. If there is a less known song that suits them, or that they arrange to suit them, and they have a memorable performance, this will really show them as an artist. Kind of like David Cook with the Neil Diamond songs, he picked lesser known songs that he could rearrange to suit him.
    And if any of the contestants are going to be in the music business it is important that they can have a memorable performance even if the song isn’t known, because that will be what they have to do with original material. Like Angie was able to do with her original song.

  • Axxxel


  • Anny_nanny

    This form of discussion does not work. This is what happened with – in the last season there was a lot of answers, in this season the site is dead. Perhaps it is time to abandon the discussions on this site.

  • arkboy

    It was mentioned that No Air doesn’t have to be a duet. A girl named Risi Palmer did an absolute beautiful version of this song as a solo. So, it works just as well that way. By the way, Risi is an African American Country Artist. Not to many of them around, & she didn’t fare to well either, but she certainly did this song justice. I’m sure youtube has it

  • David Facenfield

    I’m not saying that they shouldn’t do something less well know (in fact as I said I think it would be very interesting)… however I just think at this stage of the game they are likely to pick a non original song (i.e. one performed on Idol already)… just a hunch…
    it doesn’t have to be one that’s been done lots of times… in fact that is where they can potentially have a moment… by picking some of the songs other people have mentioned that have only been performed once so far on Idol…

  • standtotheright

    IIRC, Twitter stats were actually a hugely fallible indicator and the lowest follower count didn’t necessarily track with who went home.

    (Yes, here’s the link. I suppose one could argue Twitter usage has changed dramatically since S10, but given that most younger people seem to prefer Snapchat I wouldn’t make that argument myself.)

  • usedtobelucy

    ‘David Cook’s “Little Sparrow” is an unappreciated gem, in my book.’

    Big amen to this. Never goes out of rotation on my iPod…. only wish it were longer.
    I like it as a choice for Janelle. Has interesting opportunities, including both opportunity for strong, spare drama that really reveals you as an artist a big opportunity for one to fall completely flat with it, I expect.

    MJ, you picked only songs that I *like* here. I’d really enjoy a show with this lineup of music. And it would test them, too.

  • ali_359921

    I was so sleepy … u r right … I just disliked my comment +_+

  • Krisjonin

    Totally agree with you on Kris’s new version of No Boundaries. Found his reggae version better than the original version. He made it even better and I love that version. Made the song more upbeat and very hip.

  • Sassycatz

    He did a studio version, which is very good. There’s a few copies of it on Youtube.

  • Kariann Hart

    I just hope it won’t be a boring night. Add some uptempo songs to that list of ballads. I hope someone tries “Billie Jean” or one of Taylor Hicks’ performances on the show.

  • girlygirltoo

    Even though it was a big hit for Kris, I’d suggest that the contestants stay away from covering LLWD. That song is a royal pain to sing live — it’s so wordy! There’s no room to breathe :)

  • heartly

    I’d say I’m a casual fan. I really only started listening to her Is It O.K. album and beyond without digging into her back catalog. Love the song she did with Melissa Etheridge called “Broken Heart Sun.” I need to search out her newest album and I’m liking her “Stompa” single.

  • Damien Roberts

    I agree that Lee is fairly forgotten, but I still don’t think its a great idea to pick a song that an Idol excelled at. Pick one where people will watch yours and say, “wow, Angie did even better than that version.” I’m sure a lot of people would prefer her version, but there will surely be those who don’t.

  • oneofmillions

    I really don’t know if Carrie Underwood is the best artist for Kree to cover. Kree is a different sort of country artist than Carrie – which is what makes her cool. I would hate for her to get stuck in a more generic country-pop lane and go nowhere(sort of like Lauren Alaina). I don’t think these shows(including X Factor) understand country music very well. They did the same thing with Tate Stevens. He auditioned with a really great Randy Houser cover, which turned out to be the best thing he did all season long because they kept having him sing all these generic pop-country songs. There is more to country music than this!!! Back in the 90s, women were realy surging to the forefront of country-music. There was a lot of folk, R&B, and bluegrass infusion into the sound of the female country singer….think Mary Chapin Carpenter, Wynonna, Michelle Wright, Kathy Mattea, Patti Loveless, Trisha Yearwood among others….something about Kree takes me back there. It is something that is missing in country music today. I hope she finds a distinctive country voice for herself and sticks to it.

  • Lobilobi

    that’s why i love it, i want to hear it again

  • Lobilobi

    omg i would die, i love this song it’s so beautiful and the story is wonderful

  • Lobilobi

    i love treat her like a lady but it’s uptempo and i’m afraid Burnell can’t do uptempo

  • Lobilobi

    you’re right but in Phillip’s case, he almost performed uptempo songs

  • Lobilobi

    you’re right but in Phillip’s case, he almost performed uptempo songs

  • usedtobelucy

    Thanks. Somehow I missed this.

  • MyDailyComment

    “In the midnight hour” could imply sex so I don’t see Curtis who is into God and gospel singing that.

  • dy

    Ah, I have to hear them sing it well first before I commit to that. But I will be impressed if Angie were to do I Need to Know, as was suggested in the other thread. I also think Kree could tear up Shut That Door.

  • dy

    I like your suggestion for Kree!

  • Goodvibes27

    Dude, go to one of Taylor Hicks’ concerts and see if you still think he’s a joke. In fact, I think it would be a great twist if one of the contestants took one of Taylor’s post-idol songs, which are as good as any out there but not widely heard. Think about it, they could sing a well known Carrie or Kelly hit song and be unfavorably compared to them, or sing one of Taylor’s songs like “The Right Place” “Places I’ve Been” or “Maybe You Should” -all great singers songs-and totally surprise everyone.