American Idol Top 10 – The Songs Of Billy Joel, Lana Del Rey and Haley Reinhart Perform.

Oy. Next week the Top 10 sing the songs of Billy Joel. Really? Really?? Nigel, I’m begging you, clear songs for these kids to sing that aren’t covered in dust!

In other news: Season 10 alum, Haley Reinhart will sing her single “Free”, essentially wiping the floor with Lana Del Rey who will appear via tape to sing her single “Video Games”. Lana taped her performance after tonight’s results show.

Read the press release below

Shannon Magrane was eliminated tonight on American Idol after she received the fewest votes among the finalists. On Wednesday’s dramatic performance show, in which contestants sang songs from the year they were born, it was revealed that Jermaine Jones was disqualified. On tonight’s results show, Demi Lovato sang her latest hit “Give Your Heart A Break” and Daughtry returned to the IDOL stage and performed their megahit “Outta My Head.”

Next week, on Wednesday, March 21 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), the Top 10 – DeAndre Brackensick, Hollie Cavanagh, Colton Dixon, Heejun Han, Skylar Laine, Joshua Ledet, Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez, Elise Testone and Erika Van Pelt – will take to the IDOL stage to perform songs of Billy Joel for America’s votes!

Tune in the following night, Thursday, March 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) to the live results show to find out which Top 10 finalist is sent home. In addition, Lana Del Ray will take the stage and perform her latest hit “Video Games” and Season 10 IDOL finalist, Haley Reinhart will return to perform her new single “Free.”

  • http://twitter.com/thebluemartini Nicole P.

    …at least it’s not a theme we’ve had before! (I don’t think…) But yeah, it’d be nice for more modern themes. 

  • Jade Rhys

    We had it in season 2

  • http://twitter.com/elfstar89 Erika Fernandez

    Snore.  As a 23 year old I can only name Uptown Girl off the top of my head.  Ughhhh can we please get themes that are both current and give these contestants a wider list of song selection. 

  • breakdown

    I knew Lana was there tonite. Figured she’d probably record her segment. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Guilherme-Santos/100000846666929 Guilherme Santos

    So Nigel is doing the show for himself only, his own amusing.. Ok, hope he can get enough ratings with this. Damm you Nigel! Know your audience!

  • Jade Rhys

    Id love to hear DeAndre do River of Dreams though.

  • happyhexer

    This is only my third season watching Idol and even I’m tired of the same old retread songs.  I’m old enough to love and appreciate these older songs, but not ALL the time!

  • Anonymous

    Predictions:

    1. Deandre will do “River of Dreams”.
    2. At least 8 of the Top 10 will manage to find ballads to sing. 
    3. Heejun, Jessica, Elise, and Hollie will get in a brawl over who gets to sing “New York State of Mind”.  Idol will try and play it up for ratings with the “Who gave whom a black eye?  Tune in later in the show to find out!”, but will be thwarted by TMZ putting leaked backstage footage on their website over the weekend. 

  • Anonymous

    Predictions:

    1. Deandre will do “River of Dreams”.
    2. At least 8 of the Top 10 will manage to find ballads to sing. 
    3. Heejun, Jessica, Elise, and Hollie will get in a brawl over who gets to sing “New York State of Mind”.  Idol will try and play it up for ratings with the “Who gave whom a black eye?  Tune in later in the show to find out!”, but will be thwarted by TMZ putting leaked backstage footage on their website over the weekend. 

  • Karen C

    I think this might be much harder for the women than the men.  I can’t think of one song by Billie Joel that fits a woman’s voice without a lot of rearrangement. I also don’t think they should have themes where the songs are from one artist, more general themes are better.  

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DU5XIRBRABQ4TWGEVFG56L47DY aak m

    It’s time to step it up and show some artistry then I guess haha

    let’s go girls

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MV64BS4FSISCASL4P656RXAFYQ Kayla

    Billy Joel, seriously? Ugh.

  • Anonymous

    We dreaded the Whitney/Stevie week and it turned out to be a nice surprise for a lot of us. Maybe this week will be the same.

  • too-cool-for-school

    Are these kids even going to know any of his songs? Yikes.

  • http://twitter.com/MrPrezFlyWithMe Nicole Dixon?

    I am actually excited about this theme. Only The Good Die Young is like one of my all time favorite Billy Joel songs. 

  • Anonymous

    I’m old enough to love and appreciate these older songs, but not ALL the time!

      Cosign! I’m old, but I like new music too.

  • Anonymous

    One day Idol is going to have a theme that forces the contestants to only sing current music. Of course, when that happens, I’ll fall over dead from the shock, so I won’t see the show.

    Billy Joel is a great songwriter, but he hasn’t been relevant in at least 20 years. The Idol contestants are probably more familiar with his daughter than they are with him… (sigh)

  • Anonymous

    Is Billy Joel an overused artist on idol? Season 2 was a long time ago. Almost all the viewers won’t remember.

  • Valentin432

    Not sure if you’re joking or not since you’re pretty knowledgeable about idol, but there has been 20th century theme just last year and there have been a few similar themes sprinkled around on previous years.

  • Anonymous

    Billy Joel, really idol, is this how you are going to bring up ratings. What’s next, the best of Neil Diamond or Paul Anka. 

  • Valentin432

     Billy Joel has been sung 11 times on Idol http://www.whatnottosing.com/artists.asp?id=153

    He’s not really overused IMO because most of those were in season 2.

  • Valentin432

    I think this is a terrible move.
    I have no problem with Idol paying tribute to great american songbooks like Dolly Parton or Billy Joel but after two weeks in a row of Whitney/Stevie  and songs from the year they were born (or way before that), the contestants need to sing some current songs.

  • Anonymous

    I’m really hoping someone covers Vienna – it’s definitely one of my favorite songs of all time. If anyone’s interested, Xenia recorded a wonderful cover of it on youtube, and it’s well worth checking out! 

  • Anonymous

    can’t they clear Bob Dylan songs? he has a tribute album today. OR The Doors theme.

  • larc

    I’m old, but I like new music too.

    I am too.  And I like good music regardless of age.  Billy Joel has written some good music, IMO.

  • Anonymous

    They haven’t even sung yet and I already feel tired and old. I don’t think singing these songs will help showcase these kids as current recording artist. 

  • Anonymous

    Oh please Heejun pick a good song. And don’t sing New York State of Mind. You did that in Vegas and it was really good, but I don’t want to hear any repeats.

  • Kylee

    Weren’t people just complaining about too much Adele on idol? She is about as current as you can get(even if she was wayy overused lol). We also had Reed singing Moves Like Jagger, Colton singing Paramore, Jennifer Hudson, Sara Bareillis, Hunter Hayes, and Carrie Underwood. Also during Hollywood Josh was shown singing “Jar Of Hearts.”

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think that the theme is a problem because it is possible to make any song sound current, but this is precisely what the show doesn’t do. Most of arrangements are dated and overbearing generic. 

    Many ‘moments’ in the past came from old songs that were given a fresh twist.

  • Incipit

    “We dreaded the Whitney/Stevie week and it turned out to be a nice surprise for a lot of us. Maybe this week will be the same.”

    You have a point, S10fan. IMO, the Whitney/Wonder Week had better performances, on the whole, than the YYWB theme. The difference, for both, may be that we are dealing with good songwriting. (not an “Endless Love” in the bunch for Iovine to fixate on) Songs with good bones translate well, in the hands of an artist who knows what to do with them.

    DavidC just used Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out” – (Anthony’s Song) as one of his rotating covers on the 2011 tour for TLM, and it had a great reaction – check youtube. The first live performance at Penn State – the sound isn’t bad at all, just a little uneven. The song starts at 1:14 in, if you want to skip the banter.

    Looking up the track record – Billy Joel’s tunes have had eleven outings of 9 different songs on Idol – and IMO, a lot of his best tracks have never been used. The AI list of cleared songs has 22 of his songs on it.

    I would love some one to do “My Life” – such a sassy song – or “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, if they can handle the rapid fire lyrics – maybe “It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me”, although “Honesty” and “Just the Way You Are” would be ironic. Heh.

    There are pages of other recent artists covering Billy Joel – even Jason Mraz covering “The Piano Man”. This has possibilities, I think…if chopped and screwed arrangements can be avoided.

  • sf3456

    Another rehashed theme.  Good lord.  I predict more snoring next week.

    But if anyone does “Why Should I Worry?” from Oliver and Company, I’ll toss them a couple votes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=195101108 Stefan Wind

    I love Billy Joel and wasn’t watching during Season 2, so I welcome this theme. It’ll be a good challenge to have the girls sing them. Remember how well David Cook did with Dolly Parton and Brooke White did with Neil Diamond back in season 7.

    More importantly though…Haley Reinhart will be performing “Free” on the results. Can. Not. Wait. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Damien-Roberts/1284868807 Damien Roberts

    Predictions:
    1. Phillip sings “We Didn’t Start the Fire” *blah*
    2. “New York State of Mind” and “Piano Man” will be the two most fought over songs.
    3. Another teenage contestant goes home as the older contestants will surely be able to sift through this songbook easier than the younger kids.

  • Anonymous

    Not to say they can’t have Billy Joel but they should in the words of Jimmy “mix it up.” You can’t have Whitney/Stevie, Year You Born (which means songs at least 15-16 years old) and then Billy Joel – who was popular in the 80’s. 

    If they had mixed it up – 
    Top 13 -Year You Were Born
    Top 12 – Billboard Number 1s from 2000
    Top 10 – Billy Joel

    then it would be more acceptable.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not really a Billy Joel fan. He’s written some good tunes, but has also veered into hack territory imo.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_77XKRQPX563XAN5ZA27W3JAONE S

    These songs choices are to help old faded musicians sell their tired old songs, and not to enhance the contestants. 

  • happyhexer

    Hmm.  I really like Billy Joel, but I don’t want to hear “Just The Way You Are” or “Honesty,” although I suspect someone will pick the obvious.  I’d really like to hear someone cover “Goodnight Saigon.”  David Cook, are you listening?  Not sure it would be a good song for Idol, though.  Hard to get a flavor in 90 seconds.  And not sure it would show off anyone’s vocals.  The song calls for simultaneous restraint and passion.  With maybe some anger and poignancy thrown in for good measure.  But I’d also go for “Still Rock And Roll to Me,” “Only the Good Die Young,” or “My Life.”  Those songs, handled right, might work.

  • Anonymous

    I think that there should be a rule of no repeating on songs from Hollywood onward. Everybody should “learn” that week’s theme songs equally.

  • Susan

    “She’s Always A Woman” totally sounds like something Heejun would sing lol.

    To be fair, they should make the men all do songs by a female singer one week!

  • Anonymous

    It’s happened before…recent seasons the men have had to deal with Shania Twain week, Dolly Parton week, and (gulp) Mariah Carey week.

  • Anonymous

    Hilfiger needed on aisle 5!  STAT!
    Who dressed these kids???

  • Anonymous

    I like this theme. I love several of Billy Joel’s songs and I don’t think you can say he’s been overdone on Idol. 

  • hcpoirot

    Maybe the Idol want to save money by clearing oldies songs for the singers to sing. They should do Lady gaga, usher. or even Justin Bieber songs more exciting than Billy Joel.

    No wonder the rating keep slipping.

  • Ringo

    The question is not whether Billlie Joel has been popular or is a good songwriter.  It’s whether his songs have been covered well by other artists in a unique fashion.  New York State of Mind is the only BJ song that I think fits that bill.  I think its because so many of BJ’s songs are the epitome of cheese, more appropriate for karaoke or Bill Murray’s lounge act on SNL.  And Billie tends to pack his songs with lots of trite lyrics.  It will be a minefield for diction-challenged Heejun and cheese-loving P2.  Er . . . on second thought, bring it on!

  • hcpoirot

    For the next few weeks (based on the current theme) we probably had Diana Ross or Lionel Richie or Bee gees songs.

  • http://twitter.com/KariannHart Kariann Hart

    Idol has had songs from the 1940s – Big Band, and The Pack Rats themes and there have been some outstanding performances.  The finalists didn’t know much of the music but it worked!

  • http://twitter.com/KariannHart Kariann Hart

    bridgette, Idol has already had Neil Diamond in Season 7, and it was my second favorite theme of all time!  Wonderful performances and RRHOF Neil Diamond!  Paul Anka has been a Guest Mentor in the past.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NDYOWBIIPZU6PBRHGOPT2ZZJXQ sweetmm

    I can already imagine all the praises for Haley and criticisms for Lana from Idol hard-cores.  I myself can’t appreciate Lana’s type of music and at the same time not a fan of Haley; so hopefully I can keep an open mind and ears…. and not comment when the day comes due to instilled bias of them. 

  • Incipit

    “They should do Lady gaga, usher. or even Justin Bieber songs more exciting than Billy Joel.”

    hcpoirot, maybe they ‘should’, if they can get the clearances, and are willing to spend for the rights – and see how that goes over, with the inevitable comparisons to something on the radio. If that’s what one wants to hear – just turn on the radio, KWIM? But I think TPTB knows their audience – they do have these Pop People on as guest performers, even if they have to be taped to sound like anything at all. Did you hear Selena Gomez? Are you interested in Lana Del Ray? I’m not….but someone may be.

    There have been some “current” songs used on open themes in the past – but those songs don’t get rated very highly at all. The performers have to have something to work with – unfortunately – few of the “current” songs are ‘singer’s songs’, most of them are stylized for the specific artist, and many are actually dreck, IMO. But I would be in the majority of the Idol audience that would tune out, if Gaga, Usher or the Bieber types of songs were what was offered.

  • Anonymous

    I want Joshua to sing “The Downeaster Alexa” (used in Hangover 2)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gG5H139_LaU 

  • Incipit

    ” Maybe 3 songs covered by vocalists who are non-marginal artists”

    Ringo, that’s a great list! Thanks. I’m not sure it makes your point for you, or how up to date it is though. I don’t even see the Jason Mraz cover of “The Piano Man” listed.

    Reading it – I wonder what your definition of “non-marginal” is – or more to the point, your definition of marginal. Do you mean niche artists, like Country singers Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, do you mean Jazz artists like Carmen MacRae, Italian alto saxophonist Fausto Papetti, (Yes, I have heard his work) or legends like Barbra Streisand, Peter, Paul and Mary, even Bette Midler? Do you mean groups like The Beastie Boys, or Me First and the Gimme Gimmes; is Pop your qualifier for non-marginal? Then I guess Beyonce qualifies for you from the list, IDK.

    But all these artists are on your short list of people who have covered Billy Joel – and for me – it makes the opposite argument. There are songs in his catalog with good bones, and known artists from all sorts of genres are covering/have covered them. I guess the above mentioned folks don’t share your opinion. Neither do I, but that’s cool. IMO.

  • Anonymous

    May be Fox is deliberately pitching Idol at the older range of the audience demo, like 35-49, and the X Factor at the younger end of the spectrum in order to avoid singing contest saturation amongst the viewers.

    People who were in their teens and early twenties in the 80s are still part of the demo and are likley to find a Billie Joel theme attractive.

  • Ringo

    Several artists covered a few songs, but most appeared to be “special interest” bands.  New York State of Mind and maybe Piano Man strike me as coverable songs of any great quality.  I am willing to eat my words, I just have not heard a strikingly good cover of a BJ song — just point me and I will give it a listen.

    The problem with artist themes is that you need a significant body of quality work that offers some choice, and that’s hard to build in 2 or 5 or even 10 years.  So you have to go back to at least the 90’s.  Plus, as other’s have noted, great artists may not agree to clear their work for Idol (oh, to have, say, a night of songs from Joni Mitchell or Neil Young or Van Morrison or Prince or Sting/Police or even Madonna or, dare I say, Nick Drake, or the O’Jays, or Isley Brothers or Luther V or Marvin Gaye or Laura Nyro).  Hell, there has got to be a great country artist with a significant body of work that is coverable other than Dolly and Shania.  But Billy Joel?  Gah!  How about allowing the artists to pick a song that they can sing well (without any input from Jimmy I)?

  • Anonymous

    I will never forget David Cooks version of Little Sparrow by Dolly Parton.  It made me realize what a fantastic writer Dolly is despite my never appreciating her as a singer.  Often, what seems like the worst idea on Idol is so surprising. It is weeks like this  when we get to see the innovative musicians emerge.   

  • Anonymous

    Could be a good theme considering Billy does have a large catalog of songs. Garth Brooks had one of his biggest moments coving Billy on the song “Shameless”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzP4zUG3wtc

    We also have seen in past years that giiving the idols the chanceto pick comtemporary music has always been a bit of a trainwreck.

  • Incipit

    “Billy Joel?  Gah!  How about allowing the artists to pick a song that they can sing well (without any input from Jimmy I)?”

    Ahh, Ringo – it always comes down to the subjective; if one doesn’t like Billy Joel much, there will be no “strikingly good cover” – since the listener is the one to say if it is good, to them. It’s OK – not a Zero Sum game – KWIM?

    “I wish” your last suggestion would work – but as long as TPTB insists on casting children who don’t know their voices, don’t have much knowledge of the history of their chosen profession, and have no idea what they can sing well, they just know what they ‘like’ – I don’t think it’s feasible.

    Children used to be so scarce on Idol that Randy could do his “Only 16, 17, Whatever” chant for maybe one of them a season, and they were usually rather aware kids, musically.

    But Idol has morphed – now it’s the rule, not the exception, and many of them are truly only incipient artists, talented kids who need help in many areas. We may not agree with the ‘help’ they get – (I frequently do not)- or feel as if they are over managed – but it takes someone with a little more self-awareness than those children have yet acquired to navigate the Idol Marathon course without that assistance, IMO.

  • Anonymous

    Is Idol purposely trying to alienate young people? I don’t know anything about Billy Joel… ugh, I’m so sick of this. I just want to hear these contestants singing if not current, than good songs. Say what you want about The Voice, but I really appreciate the fact that they sing songs that I know. Even the older songs they perform are cool, like that Nirvana song this week. 

    How are we supposed to know what kind of artists these people are going to be TODAY, if they don’t sing contemporary songs ?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_77XKRQPX563XAN5ZA27W3JAONE S

     lol…who would choose to sing “We Didn’t Start the Fire”?

    Here is the song with the lyrics;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m50p-XScreM&feature=player_embedded

  • Kirsten

    I remember when they had the Bon Jovi night in Season 6. I thought the girls were doomed. When Lakisha walked in and told Jon she’d never even heard any of his music, I thought she was double-doomed (triple-doomed because she’d spent the entire season picking all her songs from the Big Book of Big Diva Songs).  Then she showed up and blew the doors off the studio with “This Ain’t a  Love Song”.

    I thought the guys were doomed on Mariah night and then David Cook sang “Always be My Baby”.

    I was a fan of neither of these contestants and neither of these artists and those two songs have gone on to be two of my favourite Idol Studio tracks ever.

    I’ve started liking these bizarro themes because one or two contestants always find a nugget or two hidden among the collection and re-interpret it in a clever way that surprises me and makes me happy.

    So bring on Billy Joel! I think Jessica may surprise us.

  • Anonymous

    They never sang current music the first few seasons, and that was when Idol was massive in the 18-34 bracket. I think older people overestimate how much young people care about hearing “current” songs. I’m in my mid twenties, and when we go to karaoke, we don’t sing songs from the last 5 years, we sing songs from the 80s and early 90s because they are more fun to sing to and have better melodies. They will have a current theme at some point, they always do, but I don’t have a problem with a billy joel theme, I like his songs.

  • Ringo

    Ahh, Ringo – it always comes down to the subjective; if one doesn’t like Billy Joel much, there will be no “strikingly good cover” – since the listener is the one to say if it is good, to them. It’s OK – not a Zero Sum game – KWIM?

    Well, Incipit of course it’s subjective.  But I did enjoy Billy Joel songs sung by BJ in the past, and they appeal to me a little less so today.  And maybe I will be shocked as hell by one or two performances of songs I either don’t know of BJ’s or which are done exceedingly well.  I think anything that Erika does I will like, and I’m am liking Elise even more after last week.  (Those two, being my favorites, and in the bottom 3 this week, only underscores that it is subjective.) 

    But 2 or 3 coverable songs doesn’t make for a great night of entertainment.  And, again, I do appreciate attemts to point me to a prior great cover of a BJ song — that Garth Brooks version from certain 1 proves my point, I think.  Garth is a pretty good singer but I am not wowed by that performance or by the song.

  • Anonymous

    Okay, I like Billy Joel music and still have my vinyl record of Piano Man.  That being said, yeah, it’s not exactly current is it?  This is going to be a tough theme for the girls because it’s very… dude music.

    Every year I keep hoping the Powers-That-Be will license the rights to more current music, and every year they repeat the same old dull as dishwater themes with many overplayed, done-to-death on American Idol songs. I suppose Billy Joel hasn’t been done as a theme on Idol before but like I said, not current.

    How about a “Songs from the Road” theme? All songs about traveling or journeys.  I doubt they will because that would require their hired monkeys to think outside the box in compiling song lists.

  • Chris

    The teens will bang their heads but “Only the Good Die Young” could work for Joshua or Philip.

  • http://twitter.com/cheeseE1 EH

    I remember liking Billy Joel as a little kid and then being over him when he released “Uptown Girl.”  I think I was 11. 

    His piano ballads are OK (I actually really like “She’s Got a Way”), but we just heard two weeks of mostly ballads.  Billy Joel’s upbeat songs can be pretty cheesy.   I think Phillip could do “Don’t Ask Me Why” and I think Colton and Elise should be fine if they stick to the piano. 

    Billy Joel has a (pretty terrible) cover of “To Make You Feel My Love” on a Greatest Hits album, so the girls will probably fight to do the Adele version if the song is available to them.

    I’m not thrilled with the theme, but it could be Neil Sedaka so I won’t complain too loudly.

  • Incipit

     

    ” I think anything that Erika does I will like, and I’m am liking Elise
    even more after last week.  (Those two, being my favorites, and in the
    bottom 3 this week, only underscores that it is subjective.) “

    Hey cool! I also appreciate Erika and Elise – and I wouldn’t be mad if one of them did “My Life” – probably leaning towards Erika – just for the lyrics, and the rock. And it’s a great F.U. Song. That too.

    “I don’t care what you say anymore, this is my life.
    Go ahead with your own life, Leave me alone.”

    I wasn’t surprised at what happened last week – the fans of Heejun and Deandre scrambled to vote them out of danger after those two performances – Shannon’s fanbase wasn’t large enough to save her – and the jeopardy moved on up the chain -where the children have the larger voting blocks. It’s a reality of the Idol voting system – if enough people don’t back up their favorites with votes, they’re gone, regardless of the talent level.

    But I’ll enjoy them both while they last. *wink*

    Also. Not a country fan – so Garth Brooks is out of my dialing area – but I’m not trying to convince you of the merits of Billy Joel, in any case. Single artist theme weeks are always going to be a crapshoot, IMO.
    ~~
    IKWYM, Gangreen29 – I am related to a 35 yr old who knows all the lyrics to “We Didn’t Start the Fire”. It’s impressive.

    “we sing songs from the 80s and early 90s because they are more fun to sing to and have better melodies.”

    She would definitely agree with you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kathleen-Moore/100001271239732 Kathleen Moore

    I’m surprised no one suggested “Travelin’ Prayer for Skylar.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8hCAscxNwY

    This is Dolly Parton’s version of it from the Grammy’s, cut down to Idol-length 1:38.  Both Dolly’s and Billy’s studio versions exceed four minutes, but much of that is instrumental.

  • http://twitter.com/Sassycatz Sassycatz

    Kris Allen did a very good version of To Make You Feel My Love during his season. Isn’t that a Billy Joel song, although he did a Garth Brooks cover version?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDNqA9znBPU&feature=fvsr

  • Anonymous

    Kariann, You make a good point about the “standards”.  As long as the contestants are allowed to make a song their own, the standards never go out of style and a fresh treatment of them can be quite interesting, but then they’re standards because they are timeless.

    I still think Billy Joel songs are a bit specifically masculine, and finding songs that will work for teenage girls may be a bit tough. Some of Billy Joel’s most popular hits are songs that are (a) long – which will be difficult on a show that lets the kids sing 90 seconds, (b) have many tricky lyrics to trip people up, (c) have mature themes, and (d) hard to gender-switch.

    I’ll be happy to be wrong and occasionally, something really special comes out of these whack themes.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_77XKRQPX563XAN5ZA27W3JAONE S

    Ah, that brings backs memories.

     lol Randy Travis “look” at Kris.

    XD

    That sure was pretty, as pretty as Kris.

  • http://twitter.com/gleekiest_gleek The Glee Fanatic

    Billy Joel… really??? I wish they can have them sing more modern themes. Of the top of my head, I only know 2 of his songs – Uptown Girl and Only the Good Die Young… and that’s because they were covered on Glee…

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I’m a fan of Billy Joel, but for me, the main problem with Idol since UMG entered the picture is too much “advice” (=control) from Jimmy/his producers.  It seems to me that we had a lot more musical “moments” (and trainwrecks?) on Idol before all of this “advice”, and I thought that the contestants were able to show more of their musicial sensibilities without the meddling of Jimmy/the producers.  Now, we have fewer “surprises” and I think that is a big reason for my lack of interest.   

  • Anonymous

    “To Make You Feel My Love” wasn’t written by Billy Joel, he did sing a version of it. It was written by Bob Dylan. If its songs he performed rather than wrote I guess it would work. So dated tho.

  • Anonymous

    Is it really that hard to creat a good, interesting theme? They have a really good cast, but those kids won’t have an easy time this kind of songs. It got to the point that even the overdone “movie night” would be a good idea.

  • Allison

    I like Billy Joel. I don’t listen to him that much any more but he has many great tunes and melodies. Billy isn’t into writing pop songs (or any songs at all) right now, so he’s fallen off the radar of many people.
    Still he isn’t an overused artist on Idol, and the Season 2 night of his music had some real stand-outs: Clay’s uptempo “Tell Her About It” and Kim Locke’s soulful “New York State of Mind” were moments. It’s been 9 years – think Billy will show up this time? I hope for a good evening.

  • http://twitter.com/Sassycatz Sassycatz

     I know. I was looking at a page of Billy Joel’s disography and it was listed.

  • http://twitter.com/HaleysShindig HaleysShindig

    IMO, will be more than Idol “hardcores” making the obvious comparison and contrast between the two. I have a feeling the Entertainment rags will be all over this. I like Lana, have her album, but in no way does she have the vocal or performance chops of Haley, or any of the Idols past or present. Having said that, I love the fact Lana knows that about herself as well and is pretty humble about the whole thing. 

  • GS61

    Now I really feel old. I met Billy Joel in 1982 and It doesn’t really feel that long ago. lol.
    He was another great song writer, like Springsteen, from the 70’s and 80’s. Their lyrics always told vivid stories. I really loved them both.

    If Colton does Piano Man, I’m throwing something at the TV!
    Making me laugh, though, is visions of Heejun singing Captain Jack. lol.

  • Anonymous

    Yay!  I LOVE Billy Joel. I predict a strong week for the boys, well maybe not Hee Jun.  But the rest should be solid on this week. Esp p2. I think Jess, Elise, and Erika should kill this week.  Curious to see what Hollie and Skylar will do. I’m looking forward to Wednesday! 

  • Anonymous

    Billy Joel?  Seriously? 

    …and I will be skipping the guest performances as well.  I’ve never heard of Lana what’s her name and have no desire to see Haley. 

  • Anonymous

    Many ‘moments’ in the past came from old songs that were given a fresh twist.

    I agree. Good songwriting in the hands of a talented artist can become magic. Billy Joel was a great songwriter. I’d much rather hear one of these kids take on “She’s Always a Woman” and do something current with it then have them slog thru that horrid Demi Lovato tune we had to listen to last night.

  • Anonymous

    There are songs in his catalog with good bones

    I love your phrase, Incipit and I agree. Yeah, BJ had his share of cheese, but he had some solid tunes too. I think there’s also a variety of songs – upbeat, ballads,etc so the kids have some room to wiggle into whatever they want to highlight about themselves.

  • Anonymous

    First of all, I think current music is not the saviour of AI. I never watched much of Australian Idol before it was cancelled (the singers on the whole were not very good, IMO) but there doesn’t seem to be the song clearance issue in Australia, and contestants would routinely sing all kinds of very recent songs. They almost always sounded exactly like the original (only not so well sung) and were pretty ho-hum. The best nights that I saw on Australian Idol were when the contestants updated older songs in some rather surprising ways. The Rolling Stones week and (would you believe?) ABBA week were hugely entertaining, in a good way.

    Secondly, a Billy Joel theme may have been an interesting prospect in Seasons 7 or 8, back when the contestants were allowed to live or die by their own choices and all the cast were not teenagers with no knowledge of music history. Some would be inspired and inventive, and some would be hilariously bad, but overall it would probably be entertaining and some download-worthy covers might result.

    But I’m not expecting that this year, with Jimmy Iovine’s paws all over the performances. So far whatever he has suggested in terms of song arrangement has seemed to be rearrangement just for the sake of it rather than a way to make the song more current or interesting. And telegraphing it all in the video package kind of ruins the surprise.

    Lastly, I agree with those who have said that Billy Joel songs are very blokey. I really like some of his lesser known songs, but I can’t imagine a girl singing the lyrics.

    But hey, it could have been Motown week. We should all remember that.

  • Anonymous

    It seems to me that we had a lot more musical “moments” (and trainwrecks?) on Idol before all of this “advice”, and I thought that the contestants were able to show more of their musicial sensibilities without the meddling of Jimmy/the producers. Now, we have fewer “surprises” and I think that is a big reason for my lack of interest.

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Last season I just didn’t get engaged with the show and I’m finding it’s true this year too. I think Incipit’s point about the influx of children who aren’t fully formed as artists also add to my disinterest. But the initial success of The Children from last year probably means we’re going to see more of the above rather than less.

  • http://twitter.com/ladymctech ladymctech

    Great top 10. I may have to go to this year’s concert. Billy Joel week may turn out to be kind to Heejun. Didn’t he do New York State of Mind in Las Vegas?

  • Anonymous

    I think everyone’s being way too hard on the Billy Joel theme. Billy Joel has enough hit songs to fill up THREE greatest hits albums, all of which are incredible.

    Off the top of my head, these are some Billy Joel songs for these Idols to choose from, with MY PICKS for the contestants first:

    –Piano Man – COLTON DIXON
    –The River of Dreams – DEANDRE BRACKENSICK
    –Keeping The Faith — ELISE TESTONE
    –To Make You Feel My Love (Bob Dylan cover) — ERIKA VAN PELT
    –Tell Her About It — JOSHUA LEDET
    –Pressure — PHILLIP PHILLIPS
    –Just the Way You Are — HOLLIE CAVANAGH
    –We Didn’t Start the Fire — SKYLAR LANE
    –She’s Got A Way — JESSICA SANCHEZ
    –New York State of Mind — HEEJUN HAN (he slayed it in Hollywood, why not a repeat?)

    ==========================
    –Scenes from an Italian Restaurant
    –Innocent Man
    –Only The Good Die Young
    –The Longest Time
    –It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me
    –Summer Highland Falls
    –The Stranger
    –The Entertainer
    –Uptown Girl
    –Captain Jack
    –Allentown
    –Movin’ Out
    –My Life
    –Big Shot
    –She’s Always A Woman
    –All For Leyna
    –Downeaster Alexa

  • http://twitter.com/ladymctech ladymctech

    I think with more modern music, especially if it’s heard frequently on today’s radio waves, there are two problems. #1 – You are more likely to compare the Idol contestant to the current artist, and frequently end up disappointed in what the song sounds like on the show. #2 – Do you really want to hear some of the stuff from today? Ke$ha, for example?

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I tend to prefer contestants who “know who they are” as singers/musicians vs. contestants who are talented, but very maleable, many of whom are very young.  I can see Jimmy/the producers liking the maleable ones because they can be molded more easily into what they want them to be (which I think often happens in the music industry, especially today). 

  • Anonymous

    Lana Del Rey has amazing songs. Haley not so much. So I’m going to bet that Lana ends up making a much bigger impact that Haley tonight.

    I bet this group goes with the boring ballads except for P2 and Skylar. New York State of Mind is perfect for Heejun. Too bad, that means we’re stuck him for another week while a better singer gets the boot.

  • mmb

    I’m looking forward to the Billy Joel theme. He is a great songwriter with a terrific, large catalog of well known songs. Lots of choices and styles for the contestants.

  • Anonymous

    Billy Joel is in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He is also in the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. He has an expansive multi-decade catalog that includes rock, dance, doo-wop, new wave, ballads, blues, and alt-country tracks. He has a truckload of Grammys, AMAs, and Wold Music Awards. His songs were collected and arranged to create a Tony-winning Broadway musical. He still sells out arenas and stadiums every time he plays. He has given lectures on music composition and performance at places like Julliard and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

    Sorry if that’s not good enough for you. I guess you’d rather hear the contestants quack out Bieber tunes.

  • Anonymous

    Lana Del Rey has amazing songs. Haley not so much. So I’m going to bet
    that Lana ends up making a much bigger impact that Haley tonight.

    I am an Haley fan, and I agree.

  • Anonymous

    LOL. Lana Del Ray was a TRAIN WRECK on SNL, and Haley has live performance ability that you just can’t teach. Just watch her perform Wild Horses with Slash or Hit The Ground Running at the House of Blues. Haley is WAY BETTER than LDR in a live setting, which is probably why they had to pre-tape LDR to begin with.

    Haley FTW!

  • http://twitter.com/tinawinabina Tinawina

    I was kind of wanting a theme that would allow some more modern songs this week.

    But Billy Joel has some great, catchy songs. What these kids need most is good songs to sing. Since there are a lot of good singers left, it could be a great combination.

    I think this could be a really really good week for Elise and Erika, right when they need it. I think it will be toughest on Hollie and Jessica. There should be something for all the guys in the Billy Joel catalog.

    No word on the mentor yet?

  • http://twitter.com/HaleysShindig HaleysShindig

    The critics  think “Free” is a pretty amazing song. I have no doubt Haley will have a huge impact with her performance of it Thursday. 

  • http://twitter.com/HaleysShindig HaleysShindig

    My .02 on Billy Joel Theme? HELL YEAH! Love his music and think its a great theme.  

  • GS61

    I couldn’t agree more!
    I was at his house in Long Island back in ’82 (long story) and even then, only ten years into his career, he had gold albums (for every album and single back then), two rows deep and about 20 ft. long on his wall in his den.

    His early work in the seventies, before he went too commercial later on, were masterpieces.

  • Anonymous

    The pastor’s kid will NOT sing “Only the Good Die Young,” although it would be hilarious if he did. I can hear Joshua doing well on “My Baby Grand” or “An Innocent Man.”

    Phillip could kill on “You May Be Right,” “Sometimes a Fantasy,” or “Say Goodbye to Hollywood.”

    Memo to Colton: The song is called “Pressure.” Sing it!

    Deandre needs an uptempo song. He should try “Tell Her About It.”

    Elise should go bluesy. “Storm Front” would do the trick. She could also get her rock on with “The Stranger.”

    Heejun needs to get crazy. He should try it with “Big Shot.” This could be awesome or it could be a train wreck, but it definitely won’t be boring.

  • http://twitter.com/raya4 raya

    I don’t have a problem with this theme either, unless they are forcing the Idols to choose off of a song list of about 11 songs.  I think Billy Joel’s music is varied enough and his catalog extensive enough that they should all be able to find something that suits them.

    I don’t like it when the Idols are given narrow themes and very few songs to choose from, but I don’t always think giving them current songs is the answer either.  Then as others have said, we just get a bunch of overdone Adele covers or some such nonsense.  Some of my favorite nights on Idol have been things around themes related to not particularly current singers.  Also as has been mentioned, it’s not exactly as if early Idol was giving the idols modern themes either and demographics/ratings weren’t a problem there.

    Any advice on what to sing?  Not sure.  I think Hollie needs to step away from the power ballad and I would suggest Deandre go more uptempo since he seemed way more comfortable on stage when he got to dance around and etc.

  • Anonymous

    Billy Joel is great, but his songs are not great for the Season 11 Idols to be singing. Probably the majority of them have no clue who he is and at most, the only song they associate to him is Up Town Girls. I don’t mind the themes, I just wish they weren’t so limited to one artist hits. 

  • windmills

    I definitely understand the dated complaint when it comes to the theme and I definitely see the possibility of an adult contemporary ballad heavy snoozer night next week. But, with the right songs I also think Billy Joel night could be a surprisingly great night a la Whitney/Stevie night. It could go either way and I’ve decided to be hopeful.

  • iani

    I would have liked at this point, top 10 to hear “music from Idols” from Kelly to Scotty, music from winners and the most popular ones to choose from, a good way to advertise the show and its successful idols.

    And I agree with: “Billie Joel theme may have been an interesting prospect in Seasons 7 or 8, back when the contestants were allowed to live or die by their own choices…But I’m not expecting that this year, with Jimmy Iovine’s paws all over” just leave them to decide what to do with their choices don’t “karaoke” them or make them look inventive when they actually are not. I think the producers still think music from the 80s and early 90s is “actual” that bring theme after theme from that era; it might sound “actual” if they come with music-themes from popular artists 20 years ago and still hot artists today, and there are some. Billie Joel might be a surprisingly good theme, right now for me sounds like a theme to attract viewers over 45 that brings nostalgia and not to attract  young viewers especially with so many kids in this year group to watch and pay attention to presenting themselves more freely what kind of artist they might be.

  • Anonymous

    Let me start by saying I’m super-biased on this one :).  I’ve seen Billy Joel live roughly 17 or 18 times (sorry, I’ve lost count LOL).  So obviously, I’m a big lover of some Billy Joel tunes.  Yes, a lot of his stuff will seem quite dated to the youngsters, but the thing is, his catalog is HUGE.  There are very few people who’ve written more hit songs than Billy Joel.  

    There are a log of songs for the contestants to pick from, so they don’t need to go for the super-obvious.  A well written song can have multiple good interpretations.  I think it could be fun to see how the contestants update some of these tunes.  

    That said, I’ll be super-judgey this week :).

    But, with the songs of Billy Joel and some Haley Reinhart, it’s like someone made up this week of AI just for me!  (I need to take a moment before I start flailing and squeeing, because ya’ know, I don’t do that……giggle). 

  • Incipit

     

    “I don’t have a problem with this theme either, unless they are forcing
    the Idols to choose off of a song list of about 11 songs.  I think Billy
    Joel’s music is varied enough and his catalog extensive enough that
    they should all be able to find something that suits them.”

    raya he’s got the variety to choose from, no doubt – but Idol doesn’t. There are only 22 Billy Joel tracks on the Idol cleared song list that they released…22 songs for 10 people. (and really, not that unusual for Idol.) This artificial limit could be a problem, or it could force people to get creative. Well, as creative as Iovine will allow, anyway.

    Of course, if someone gets a song cleared that is not on the list, that will be interesting too. *snerk*

    Here are the titles they can pick from – as far as we can know:

    And So It Goes
    Big Shot
    For the Longest Time
    Honesty
    I Go to Extremes
    It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me
    Just the Way you Are
    Leave a Tender Moment Alone
    Movin’ Out – Anthony’s Song
    My Life
    New York State of Mind
    Only the Good Die Young
    Piano Man
    Scenes From an Italian Restaurant
    She’s Always a Woman to Me
    She’s Got a Way
    Tell Her About it
    River of Dreams
    Uptown Girl
    Vienna
    We Didn’t Start the Fire
    You May Be Right

    All very interesting. Heh.

  • Anonymous

    I LOVED Billy Joel, this was one of my favs:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=no5dsLEZRvo   and awesome about Haley, she can show Lana how to sing live, I am sure she will be pre recorded and auto tuned up the butt but cooooooooll so so so happy Haley is getting this chance

  • Anonymous

    Yes you are so right and it is so funny all the complaints before a show even airs like the Whitney/Steve week and that turned out very good.  Billy Jean by David, Adams Ring Of Fire, Billys songs can be made fun or creative and I hope that they do it!  I am looking forward to Ericka, Jessica, Holly, Deandre, Phillip’s takes

  • Chris

    I know OTGDY is edgy, but Lauren sang Evil. And we know Colton won’t sing it!

    It’s fun song, maybe we are just missing a bad boy capable of pulling it off.

    I like “For the Longest Time” for Deandre.

    Maybe a countrified “Allen Town” or “Movin Out ” for Skylar.

  • Anonymous

    The timing for Haley is great if Lauren got a 7000 boost for GP which has been out 5 months along with having an album out which has sold 258,000, Haley fans who have not had anything to buy but that holiday duet should be ready to buy anything so she should sell a bundle I am guessing.  Haley is not my personnel fav from last year but she is quite talented best of luck to her.

    I listened to the Lana link it was very good I had not heard her before very haunting.

  • http://twitter.com/HaleysShindig HaleysShindig

    I love that idea! 

  • Anonymous

    I actually wouldn’t be surprised if someone gets a song cleared that is not on this list.  A simple phone call from Iovine to Billy Joel would be all it takes.  Billy is the kind of artist who seems to love other people doing his songs.

    So, looking at this list, I’m surprised Just the Way You Are is on it.  BJ hasn’t performed that song live in over 20 years, and I’m pretty sure he hates it LOL.  Scenes from an Italian Restaurant is an awesome song – but way too long to work in this format.  

    Songs I think are good for the ladies: And So It Goes, For the Longest Time, River of Dreams, Vienna, Leave a Tender Moment Alone.

    I personally want Skylar to sing I Go To Extremes, because that’s like my theme song, and she’s got just the right amount of spunk to do it.  (I might need to tweet her!).

    I’d like to see one of the guys do She’s Got a Way at a faster tempo.  Maybe P2 with his guitar.  That’s a song that would translate well with a big change (at least I think so).

    Sacreligious Super-fan moment: I do not like Tell Her About or Uptown girl much at all anymore.  

    We Didn’t Start the Fire is just a ridiculously difficult song to sing (even though I know all of the words off the top of my head LOL).  And, if someone plans to do Piano Man, I’d say they better be ready to BRING IT.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WIHKL34XDORTS2UZP4SWUUTG3U randi

    I have to wonder if part of the problem is they can’t get newer music for as cheap as they can older music? 

    I mean a song that’s in the top 20 on CHR would be more expensive to license then a song that’s 20 or 30 years old I’m sure. 

  • http://twitter.com/raya4 raya

    Ugh.  I hadn’t seen the song list that was floating around yet.  Mind you I still think most of these kids could find something, but this is the problem I have with the themes.  Billy Joel has a huge catalog, but the Idols are expected to choose from only 22 songs or so.  I will be interested to see if any of the Idols manage to get anything cleared that is not on this list.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WIHKL34XDORTS2UZP4SWUUTG3U randi

    If I were a betting person…Colton will do We Didn’t Start the Fire…

  • Tess

    First…even though Idol presents the contestants with a piece of paper listing “cleared” songs for the week, an Idol is free to choose any song that can be cleared that fits the theme (see: Dixon, Colton).  Most of these kids, and that is ALL ages, just don’t have an awareness of songs.  It’s not as simple as going online and looking up, say, the year they were born and finding a song title…they have to find the song, too, and go through all the stuff to get sheet music and have it cleared.  Try doing that in a day.  Easier to take the AI catalogue and try and make one of those songs fit you.

    Second…I may go to all the wrong bars but I very, very rarely encounter entertainment (other than karaoke) that does current stuff.  Bands almost always play classic rock, country picks top tunes from years ago, wgwg play Dillon or acoustic versions of classic rock, female singers pick the Diva’s of old.  Current music is sung by the artist that records it and in a few covers by current artists while they tour.  Most current music is spun by DJs in clubs…but live, not so much.

    Third…A great song is a great song whether it was introduced 50 years ago or 10 years ago (I have a hard time even listing a dozen classics that have been recorded since 2000).  Billy Joel’s music is classic.  You still hear it on the radio today, it is still theme music in movies and TV shows, it is still covered by numerous, numerous piano players at piano bars.  And, based on the young adults I know, they LOVE finding vintage music to download to their I-pods and phones.  Why do you think there are still billboard lists for catalogue music.  

  • Anonymous

    We will see how well autotune works on a trainwreck then Haley can show her how to sing live, thats what I am looking forward to, dont know any of Lana’s songs and dont care to after seeing her live on various shows, she is pathetic and shows you that money can buy you a career in music and how sad this industry has become in some ways with all the gadgets to make a bad singers voice sound good, she isnt even attractive, I dont get Lana

  • Anonymous

    I find it incrediblay racist that Elton John would be given a theme again. . . .

  • Chris

    I was thinking the girls will fight over the ballads like Honesty.

  • Anonymous

    What? Elton John, its Billy Joel? and last week it was two black people as the theme, maybe you are joking and I just dont get it?

  • Anonymous

     

    I dont get Lana

    I don’t get her yet either.  We’ll see if she changes my mind this week.

    I would have liked at this point, top 10, to hear “music from Idols” from Kelly to Scotty, music from winners and the most popular ones to choose from, a good way to advertise the show and its successful idols. 

    Iani, this is a super-fabulous idea that I can totally get behind.  

    I have to wonder if part of the problem is they can’t get newer music for as cheap as they can older music? 

    This show has huge ad revenues.  It’s one of the most profitable shows on TV.  So, they can afford newer music.  Why they don’t ever buy any, is a mystery to me.  Although, those Adele songs couldn’t have been cheap to license.  Clearly, sometimes they’re willing to spend the money.  I’m perpetually confused by some of their decisions.  

  • GS61

    That’s a whole lot of lyrics to try and edit down for time.
    I’d get a better laugh with The Entertainer. (Yeah right) lol

  • http://twitter.com/Sassycatz Sassycatz

    I would have liked at this point, top 10, to hear “music from Idols”
    from Kelly to Scotty, music from winners and the most popular ones to
    choose from, a good way to advertise the show and its successful idols.

    That would be very cool.

  • http://twitter.com/tinawinabina Tinawina

    So for the semis, they could do anything they wanted and we got a good mix that way. In fact, complaints were that there was too much Adele.

    For top 12, we got Stevie (60s/70s) and Whitney (80s/90s)

    This past week should have been basically songs from the 90s, but they cheated. LOL

    So now we are back to 70s/80s. But I am looking forward to it because like Steve/Whitney week, there are a lot of good catchy songs to choose from.

    I think next week they need to to pick an open theme so some of them can go modern. Either that or do a 00s theme.

    It seems like when Idol wants to give the kids a catalog of strong songs to pick from, they always go back the same things…Motown, Stevie, The Beatles, Billie Joel, Carol King, etc. Who would be some more modern song catalogs they could tap into? I can’t really think of any, which is probably the problem.

    Maybe they could get Beyonce’s catalog? I’m at a loss here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1397704245 Anita P. Barber

    I’m thinking that maybe they’re (Nigel) trying to EDUCATE the younger audience on the artists from earlier decades.  There are lots of classic songs out there.  Being a music teacher makes me tend to think that way.

  • Tess

    Count me out…way out…on the music from Idols theme week.  Rarely have any Idolettes even come close to doing justice to a song from Idols they have used. And talk about jumping into a fire….Bubblettes, for a large majority, “know” the music of their favs and wouldn’t judge a contestant fairly when doing a cover…just not human nature.

    Can someone please let me “know” of an Idol moment that has resulted from any of them covering a “current” song (come on Haley did GaGa and Adele got done this year so the music is out there).  I, personally (over 11 years), can’t recall any but then I’m not into a lot of the “current” stuff.

  • Chris

    After Jessica was blasted for not keeping up on Turn the Beat Around, I would be surprised if someone tried We Didn’t Start the Fire. It’s an accident waiting to happen.

  • Helen Granberry

    “Even the older songs they perform are cool, like that Nirvana song this week.”

    Ouch! This must be what our parents felt like when we called the Beatles “old”.

    I agree though, more contemporary songs, please. I will say that some single artist nights with solid catalogs have been excellent (Elton, Dolly, Michael Jackson, Beatles). Even some with so-so catalogs like Bon Jovi. Bon Jovi night in Season 6 was spectacular. One of the best nights of Idol ever, despite Season 6 being the weakest season.

    That said, The Voice does a much better job getting a wider variety of songs cleared and Idol needs to step it up.

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree.  Unless someone is previously extremely familiar with that song (and at their age, I can’t imagine any of them would be), choosing it could be a huge mistake.  It looks easier than it is, and Billy Joel himself (who’s been singing it for over 2 decades) always comments on how hard it is for him to do.

    To attempt to master that song in a matter of days would be foolhardy.  But, I might just laugh my ass off at someone willing to try :).  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eric-Mitchell/515077335 Eric Mitchell

    The Idol’s I have loved the most are ones who can rearrange a song to it them. Like Haley doing Bennie and The Jets or Kris Allen doing She Works Hard for the Money. This is where great idols step up.

  • larc

    There are only 22 Billy Joel tracks on the Idol cleared song list that
    they released…22 songs for 10 people. (and really, not that unusual
    for Idol.) This artificial limit could be a problem, or it could force people to get creative.

    As stingy as Idol is with getting songs cleared, they will probably rely on those 22 Billy Joel songs plus everything he ever covered that they already have cleared.  It’s evident they would far rather stretch a theme to expand its limits than lay out the bucks necessary to keep it authentic.

  • TwigLA

    Sassycatz, your error made me go back and watch all the Kris Allen performances from Season 8. Good to be reminded why he won and deserved it. Really great stuff.

  • Tess

    Disclaimer….this is from Wikepedia.

    There are 56 songs listed in Billy’s songwriting catalogue.  And he has released 13 albums so there maybe another 40 songs he has covered or aren’t catalogued.

    It would be foolish of American Idol to clear a 100 songs in the off chance that a contestant would choose 1.  If they wanted to sing one of 56 I am sure Billy would clear it….the other 40 would have to be cleared by the writer or whomever holds the rights.  That would be more problematic.

    If we were to take “songs from birth year” and have Idol clear them prior to the Idolettes choosing…that could be thousands and thousands of songs and hundreds of man hours.  Song clearance isn’t an easy proposition. Ask Ellen….she got caught up in a law suit or two.

  • http://twitter.com/KariannHart Kariann Hart

    Oh crap. Forget it. That was a Bob Dylan song that Billy Joel popularized. Oh well. Back to square one.

    See, that goes to prove  Folk/Folk Rock can be changed and made to sound great.  Why can’t they use that theme which really covers the 1950’s – 1990’s.  It hasn’t been done yet.

    I agree, there hasn’t been as much originality by the finalists since Jimmy has arrived.

    Thank you, mshepnj for your response!

  • larc

    Then let the contestants choose what they want to sing from the total list and clear only those songs they want to sing that haven’t already been cleared.  Simple.  In the case of Billy Joel songs, Idol could easily get feedback ahead of time on what they would be able to get cleared if needed.  All that should be checked out before they even commit to any particular theme.  But it would mean Idol would have to shell out for songs not already cleared.  I think that’s a sticking point with them, especially since some songs are available only as part of a package.

  • Incipit

    “Songs I think are good for the ladies: And So It Goes, For the
    Longest Time, River of Dreams, Vienna, Leave a Tender Moment Alone.”

    SpenserJ2, those are options – but I would be tickled if some of them went a little less predictable. There’s no reason a woman can’t sing “My Life”, or “You May be Right” – or even “Movin’ Out”…for instance. They don’t have to be stuck in Ballad Land – it all depends on their interpretive skills, if they can sell it.

    Sure would be interesting to see, anyway.

  • http://twitter.com/pokepikalem Le Viet Anh Nghi

    Hey all, at least we know there is def a show-stopping performance next week. From your truly Haley Reinhart. 

  • Tess

    It took weeks for Adam to have Whole Lot of Love cleared.  He asked (when he was first in the finals (10) in case there was a rock week.  AI paid for that one…Simon had to get his U2 song cleared (via direct phone call) for Judges choice.  I just don’t think it is as easy as someone may think.  And, by the way, The Voice and X-Factor assign songs (at least through battle rounds for The Voice (and it isn’t “live”).  Big diff!

  • Anonymous

    You asked for someone to let you know if an idol ever had a moment covering a current song. I would say that Kris Allen covering Heartless certainly qualifies as a moment.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t mind old songs. I liked the 50’s theme for the Las Vegas round, it fit the venue and the kids appeared to be challenged. The result was some terrific performances.

    I just wish Idol would be a little more creative when they come up with themes. I feel like we’re always getting Nigel’s taste in music when these ideas are conceived. lol.

    After Whitney, Stevie and Songs From the Year They Were Born, I was hoping for a theme that was a little bit outside of the box, and I was ready for something a little more modern.

    But that might be asking for too much. lol.

    Having said that, history has proven that the most predictable themes can turn up some gems. This is a super talented cast, so, really, anything can happen.

  • Tess

    I’ll give you that one (though it wasn’t on my personal top 10 list).  OK, one out of a thousand performances.  Were getting there.

  • http://twitter.com/TylerWV TylerWV

    Whoever dressed Josh on Wed. night should’ve been taken out back and flogged.

  • Tess

    Everyone always talks about more modern themes that incorporate more modern songs….do you have some examples of what you are thinking.  Maybe billboard top 10s from the last 10 years?

  • http://twitter.com/tinawinabina Tinawina

    Well Kris & Heartless and Haley & Rolling In The Deep/You & I were already mentioned, but just from the last few years I would go with  Scotty & Gone, Archie & Apologize, Kris & Falling Slowly, Archie & Angels, Naima & Umbrella… there’s probably more.

    ETA; As far as themes, sticking with the 2000s as a decade would be interesting, as would themes based around the catalogs of say Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Pink, Usher, etc. You could also do a pop-rock night, a teen pop night… those could draw heavily from the last 15 years or so.

  • Anonymous

    A few years ago a certain Idol requested and was given permission to do a certain song, but when it came time to do it, he was told he couldn’t do it and it was given to another Idol. He had prepared that one and had to quickly come up with something else at the last minute.  Not mentioning names because it really doesn’t matter who it was.  The conversation has been about how Idol manipulates the situation. 

  • Anonymous

     Last year they had a “21st century” theme and a “Then and Now” theme which forced people to sing modern music (okay, Scotty dodged one of these weeks, but he nailed the other one).  They also had themes like “Personal Idol” and “Songs from the Movies” that let people pick modern songs if they wanted (Naima did Rihanna for the former, Lauren did Miley Cyrus for the latter). 

  • Anonymous

    I too don’t want the ladies to stay stuck in Ballad Land (I’m getting sick of that as well!).  River of Dreams & Longest time are both fun, mid-tempo songs (to my ears anyway).  I’m kind of looking at it from the perspective of making the songs gender neutral.  Some of BJ’s tunes are overly male-oriented, so that could get awkward for the girls.

    And, I’d love to see some of the Ballads, not stay ballads so to speak.  Some of them are really great songs that could survive a severe tempo change (and that would be fun for us viewers!).

    Oh crap. Forget it. That was a Bob Dylan song that Billy Joel popularized. Oh well. Back to square one.

    I missed this before you edited it, were you thinking “To Make You Feel my Love”?  I ask that for no other reason than to point out it is my favorite song of all time, with Billy’s version being my super-favorite.  Not that anyone needed to know that – just thought I’d share :).   

  • Anonymous

    Some of the current artist that I love to hear covered excluding Adele (I agree is overdone) would be Jessie J, Bruno Mars, Demi Lovato, Kathy Perry, Beyonce, Riahana, Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Jason Miraz, LMFAO, Christina Perri, Lady Antebellum (and lots more) Although I love their hits, they have some pretty good gems on their albums which wasn’t released as singles. Old songs are classics but sometimes, young people should sing young music. Its forward looking.   

  • Weng

    Phillip Squared should sing YOU MAY BE RIGHT! That would be fantastic!
    Colton should do Sometimes a Fantasy!
    Heejun can do ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG!

  • meyers77

    Billy Joel, Awesome! At least I can recognize these songs. 

  • http://twitter.com/bluinjewin Landon Cox

    My jazz choir did a cover And So It Goes that I always thought was pretty could and could offer an Idol moment with the right contestant…maybe Elise

    http://hansgrim.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/And-So-It-Goes.mp3

  • Anonymous

    ‘Piano Man’ is a natural for Colton.  PP and Joshua have the extended range for ‘River of Dreams’.

  • Incipit

    This is sorta kinda funny – here are posters trying to figure out how Idol could be more ‘current’ without turning off the majority of it’s audience, and on another thread – it’s announced that Glee is going to do a tribute to Tommy – The Who’s rock opera from 1969. They don’t appear to be worried about their demographic at all…or young people singing ‘old’ songs.  I’ll be looking for a resurgence of “Pinball Wizard”, if Glee can pull this off. *snerk* Maybe they’ll clear it for Idol?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MV64BS4FSISCASL4P656RXAFYQ Kayla

    I don’t think it’s actually the “age” of the act that is the final determining factor in whether people react negatively to using them as a theme. I mean, cmon the Who’s rock opera Tommy is infinitely cooler than Billy Joel. Sorry Billy.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think we should blame Jimmy for everything. He doesn’t have THAT much influence. He just gives them advice.

  • Incipit

    This is true, The Man who could be deciding if the record label will sign you after the show is over, or will be in charge of where your career goes if you win or place, just gives advice. He doesn’t have THAT much influence with these kids.

    OK, maybe it’s not true at all.  (Respectfully disagreeing here, S10fan.)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZERIRD76HXUDYIMSSLGH7J47XA Moli

    Could you imagine Deandre singing River Of Dreams using his ukulele ? It can be EPIC !!!!  

  • Incipit

    “I mean, cmon the Who’s rock opera Tommy is infinitely cooler than Billy Joel. Sorry Billy.”

    Infinitely cooler in theory, perhaps, Kayla. How many people can name more than one song from Tommy without looking up the tracklist, I wonder. I just think a lot of the negative reaction is knee-jerk – when you look at the facts – the 5 Star performances have all come from the ‘old’ themes, and even older songs, if there are exceptions – they will take some searching for.

  • Anonymous

    if Glee can pull this off. *snerk* Maybe they’ll clear it for Idol?

    I love Pete Townsend, but he’s pretty much a whore when it comes to letting people use his songs. Idol would have no problem if they wanted  it.

    I just think a lot of the negative reaction is knee-jerk – when you look
    at the facts – the 5 Star performances have all come from the ‘old’
    themes

    It’s hard for the kids to have “moments” with music they don’t get the opportunity to sing that often. Idol does a lot of old music.  But some examples have surfaced, like Kris’ “Heartless”. Definitely a moment. And even Adam’s “Mad World” was based on an updated treatment of the song.

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t mind at *all* hearing people try to make older songs — of any era — sound modern and sound like they fit them. And every time they do one of these themes, somebody manages to do it, seems to me.

    However, in the short time they have — and what with making Ford commercials and all that — I don’t see how anybody but the *most* seasoned musician, who sings in a pretty well-set genre, and, maybe, who even *knows* the song a bit beforehand, has much of a shot at doing that….. So that usually leaves us with a bunch of unfocused performances of the stuff, with a few standouts who wrestled their songs to earth.

    Guess that’s okay, really. But I stubbornly tend to like best the Idol nights when lots of people do a really good job! 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MV64BS4FSISCASL4P656RXAFYQ Kayla

    I actually agree that a lot of the very best performances over the years have been either taking older songs and giving them a twist or just singing the hale out of them in a different style than the original.

    But I maintain that there is old music that has an aura of badass, and old music that is just old and a bit cheesy. A lot of the great old music is referenced in the songs of current top pop artists which leads new people to discover it and lends it relevance despite its age. I just don’t think that’s happening with Billy’s catalog.

    LOL actually the first song that sprang to mind at Tommy was Tina Turner’s Acid Queen, probably not a likely song for either Idol or Glee.

  • Chris

    Well, somebody tweet him before he makes a bad pick.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MV64BS4FSISCASL4P656RXAFYQ Kayla

    That’s a good point usedtobelucy, I’m not sure that in Idol’s current incarnation that there is as much room for the contestants to “make a song their own” in the same sense that was more common a few seasons back, although I think it’s primarily because of the injection of Jimmy and his team into the mix. I just get the feeling that between him and the new band, the production is now much heavier handed in their involvement in what the final arrangement is. 

    And somehow a bunch of these newest Idols are in love with adding horns to as many arrangements as possible. Seriously, it can be nice when used judiciously with the right song, but most of the time a horn section immediately dates the performance.

  • Incipit

     I never doubted that Pete Townshend was for sale, in a manner of speaking. *wink* By “pull this off”, I meant make the songs from Tommy popular on iTunes. Then maybe they will clear “Pinball Wizard” for Idol, and it will actually be ‘current’.

    But it’s all me being facetious – No way can those songs be cut to fit Idol’s teeny tiny time frame for a song, and still make any sense. Well, “The Acid Queen”? Does it need to make sense? It can just be cool.

    OK, OK – I’ll stop *snerking*.

  • Tess

    And isn’t it sad that “modern” music is all about everything but “real” instrumentation.  That says more about how “kids” these days are more interested in playing computer games than learning how to play an instrument.  I realize that it is all about the “fake” today with electronic music but I do miss a wailing sax, and a melodic clarinet, and a violin that makes you cry.  Maybe that is why I think today’s music is really drekky for the most part. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MV64BS4FSISCASL4P656RXAFYQ Kayla

    What? That’s not what I said at all. I’m saying that horns specifically used the way they are in this season’s arrangements are not a current sound. I know Gaga tried to bring the horn thing back, but honestly I don’t think she was successful with restarting that trend.

    I have nothing against instruments, real guitars, fancy or retro drums, all sorts of strings, bring it on.

  • iani

    “This is sorta kinda funny – here are posters trying to figure out how
    Idol could be more ‘current’ without turning off the majority of it’s
    audience, and on another thread – it’s rumoured that Glee is going to do
    a tribute to Tommy – The Who’s rock opera from 1969. They don’t appear
    to be worried about their demographic at all…or young people singing
    ‘old’ songs.”

    Glee is a smart show, it knows how to keep it fresh and not boring its audience combining or inserting “current” or “old”  in the shows and keeping the tone of “educational”. AI has started to be known , for some years already, of constantly keeping themes sometimes twice older then contestants, it’s like watching only TCM or tuning to old-music channel.  It’s not about Billie Joel-theme in particular, it might be the best show of the season, it’s about lingering on the same old era when we are for more than a decade in a new one and this year for example 80% of contestants under 21. I enjoy old music, I am an old one, but it’s their time now not mine and they should enjoy their period of music they know and comfortable with.

  • Chris

    Haley should do well. You can tell from the posts there is pent up demand. My only concern is she’s launching so much later than planned and the buzz is around S11 idols. Every one is chatting about Jessica and Hollie, they are now selling on iTunes so her promo team and plan better be darn good.

  • RockiDreams

    I’m kind of looking forward to some Billy Joel songs and will be doing a lot of fast forwarding through the performances on the results show. 

  • Incipit

     iani, if I understand you correctly – you see the themes as a problem because the music is not from the same era as the contestants? It never has been, on Idol – even the first season, even before they were casting 80% children. (Is it really that high? Wow.)

    If Idol wants to change it, they certainly will – if it’s supposed to be about the contestants enjoying their period of music they know and are comfortable with – and not about the audience they have – I will wish them lots of luck in finding a whole new audience, and lots of new songs. But I don’t think they can. And for all the reasons that have been itemized on this thread, I don’t think they will.

    JMO.

  • ReginaFilange

    Billy Joel (and Dolly Parton and some of the other theme week artists)
    is a great songwriter. The kids shouldn’t have trouble finding a good
    song. Someone mentioned “Why Should I Worry” from Oliver and Company,
    and I think that would be PERFECT for Hollie, as she’s in need of
    something uptempo, and it could really get to her target audience. Plus
    the song sounds like it would fit her voice.  

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Interesting article on cost of ads for 2011 television shows:

    ” ‘American Idol,’ NFL Duke it out for Priciest TV Spot”

    http://adage.com/article/mediaworks/chart-american-idol-nfl-duke-priciest-tv-spot/230547/

    Watch out, Steven Tyler. The Green Bay Packers are rushing you.

    Long TV’s most expensive program for advertisers, “American Idol” is now
    neck-and-neck with NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” as the costliest
    prime-time show on this year’s schedule, according to Advertising Age’s
    annual survey of the costs of running a 30-second commercial in prime
    time.  The average cost of running a 30-second ad in “Idol” runs between
    $468,100 and $502,900, according to the Ad Age survey, while the average
    cost of a 30-second ad in NBC’s much-watched football contest is
    $512,367.

    While that might sound as if football has trounced the veteran Fox
    singing program, the tally is relative since “Idol”‘s prices tend to go
    up as the show reaches its finale. Ad Age’s survey, compiled using data
    from as many as six different media-buying agencies and other sources,
    found that some spots in “Idol” were going for as much as $640,000. ……

    ……Fox’s “X Factor” is the most expensive new program for advertisers,
    commanding an average of $320,000 for a 30-second spot for its
    Wednesday-night run. The Thursday-night episode of the series brings in
    an average of $283,034 for 30 seconds. The shows represent the fourth-
    and fifth-most expensive programs in prime time overall.

  • Anonymous

    So long as they stay away from the products of his Brinkley years, I’m good. lol

  • http://www.randrambles.com Rand

    Yay! Love Lana del Rey and Haley!

  • iani

     What I’ve tried to say is AI show in the last years keeps themes after themes in the ’60, 70s etc. and not intercalate old with current, one show more current, one show music from other decades. The “80%” is about this year group, they are maybe the youngest crop and they still sing songs from, already, too old TPTB’s list maybe from the first AI.

    “If Idol wants to change it, they certainly will – if it’s supposed to be
    about the contestants enjoying their period of music they know and are
    comfortable with – and not about the audience they have “

    Sure, they might realize they could have changed something when the show will be gone, they loose every year aprox. 2M viewers and soon it might disappear. They have changed a lot inside the show, for seen and unseen things spending million of $, but for the list-songs not too much to clear some new ones. I’ve read here many times complains like “the same old song sang x-times, even lists how many times, this is my first complaining and “uncomfortable” somehow.
    Maybe the message I’ve tried to send is not on the same wavelength of general tone and language and sorry for that, but it has been far from being mean, or making uncomfortable somehow or even faux-playing   “I’m your internet friend”.  

  • http://rmiriam12.tumblr.com rmiriam12

    There’s gonna be a fight over And So It Goes, eh?

  • Kesia Monteith

    I would lose my shit. LOL

  • tomr

    I’ll have to get my mute button finger ready for Thursday.  Could be some screeching/screaming coming our way.

  • Anonymous

    Based on the comments on this board, it looks like idol’s audiences are mostly of the older generation. Then it shouldn’t be a surprise how most of the kids struggle with album sales post idol (of course there are exception. You can count them with your fingers). 

    Usually it’s the younger demographic that’s spending lots of money now and to come and creating new cool culture. They will be the ones who will determine the history of music to come. What place will idol have in that history?

  • Anonymous

    Idol is a family show.  It brings the youngsters and us old people together, once a week.  I think it’s pretty genius to have the youth perform the music of the older generations.  It sure widens the viewing audience.  I have watched every season and if they switched to current music, they would lose me and they would lose a whole shitload of viewers.  I think this format works and that’s why they haven’t touched it. 

  • Anonymous

    The format has gotten old and that’s why they are losing viewers by the boat load. There’s a difference between being able to actually sing these songs and doing a karaoke version of them. 

  • Karen C

    Those are the ones I’ve liked too.  It will be interesting to see if someone can do this with the Billy Joel songs.

    I think some songs are timeless, and with the right arrangement can really work for someone, but some songs are more dated, or specific to a certain person, so that makes it harder to fit someone else.

  • Anonymous

    Although I really liked Kris Allens Heartless, it wasn’t very original. Its an exact copy of The Fray. I have them both on my ipod, and they both sound so similar that I often have to look to check which one is singing…

  • Anonymous

    I don’t totally agree with this statement about the younger demographic spending lots of money on music. I would say its the older fans that will legally buy music, go to multiple concerts etc, whilst the younger fans illegally download their music. And I say this from someone that knows a lot of teens..

  • Incipit

    “I would say its the older fans that will legally buy music, go to
    multiple concerts etc, whilst the younger fans illegally download their
    music. And I say this from someone that knows a lot of teens..”

    Yes, HKfan, especially about the illegal downloading. There are two most desirable markets for the advertisers in the Entertainment Industry, but the people with the most disposable income are not the teens. There is research on this – and even a name “Alpha Consumers”.

    “…many marketers look for alpha consumers who are part of the Baby Boom generation. One of the most affluent generations in recent history, baby boomers often have enough disposable income to consider purchasing high-ticket items.” Economist Michael Wolf

    Idol may be trying to copper their bets, with children in the cast, and the Pop Flavor of the Month as one of the performers on Results Night, but it’s a balancing act – if they can’t keep the Adult audience watching, their ad base erodes, as we have seen. Certainly there are many factors for the viewer drop off – but TPTB, as I have said, know who their core audience is.

    Also. The whole families who pay for the tickets to attend Idol Concerts each season – buy tee shirts and programs and souvenirs for the kids, and put that revenue into Idol’s coffers? That’s not funded by the teens or twenty somethings.

    “Successfully tapping into alpha consumers can make the difference
    between a product that builds a loyal consumer base and thrives or
    disappears from the marketplace entirely. “

    Idol is always tinkering with their formula – but messing with the music that audience prefers to hear? Not so much.

    IMO. Of Course.

     

  • Anonymous

    I wasn’t only referring to teens. More like ppl in their twenties and thirties. Those are also young who are listening to pop music. They would be more into current music and than someone in their forties and fifties. If I were to ask a colleague in their twenties if the listen to artist like Billy Joel, I will be shocked if the answer is yes. 

    I’m all for those who like classic singers but I feel that idol is neglecting those that do listen to current music and these are probably the ones that are buying the music in the industry today.  

  • Incipit

    “I feel that idol is neglecting those that do listen to current music and
    these are probably the ones that are buying the music in the industry
    today.  “

    jennyl2, couple of things here – First, people buying music is not Idol’s Prime Directive, that would be the label’s concern, after the winners are chosen, to create the ‘current’ music.  Although I am sure iTunes is a very nice revenue stream for Idol, people watching the show is where they get their ad dollar$ and the impetus for the sale of those performance on iTunes – and people buying tickets to the concerts is big money. The stats for the concert revenues have been done here several times. So has the average age of the Idol audience.

    And second. It’s not necessary to rely on feelings – there are facts. The music market is very, very interested in who buys the most music, they commission all sorts of studies that can be found online w/some googling. You may be surprised to know that their major source of revenue is not from high marketing-cost, manufactured Pop artists – with a limited shelf life – who generate a “quick buck”. It’s been commented on since at least 2005, “Baby Boomers Tops For Buying Music”  – it’s publishing – more precisely – Catalog sales of what you would not consider ‘current’ music..

    “With innovations like the I-Pod and Internet music sites, teens used to
    rule music sales. Now, it’s their parents who are keeping the music
    industry in business.”
    2005

    In 2009, more recorded music was being purchased by an older audience who
    clearly prefered the artists of the 60s, and 70s (The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Elton John etc) to those of the alternative rock and hip-hop generation. And whether it be the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin or the masses of back catalogs  record companies own,  the recorded music business is reliant on catalog artists for profitability.

    But don’t take my word for it – look it up on Google. Idol may be making the effort to include performers for the teens, and cast teenagers to appeal to them – but it is primarily considering the demographic that spends the most money – as any business would.

    JMO. Except for the parts that are facts.

  • http://twitter.com/HaleysShindig HaleysShindig

    She has over 50k listens on her soundcloud release which, when you compare to other Idols and Reality show competitors, she is killing right now. 

  • Anonymous

    Glee is a smart show, it knows how to keep it fresh and not boring its
    audience combining or inserting “current” or/with “old”  in the shows
    and meanwhile keeping the tone of “educational”. AI has started to be
    known, for some years already, for constantly keeping themes sometimes
    twice older than contestants, it’s like watching only TCM or tuning to
    old-music channel.

      They do a great job of mixing it up and are also not afraid of presenting songs the audience may not be familiar with.  For instance, the show recently featured a song by an unknown indie band called Fun. Not only did the tune sell a ton on iTunes, but the exposure turned “We Are Young” into a hit.

    There’s a fine line that Idol could walk if it chose to do it. In the meantime, Idol’s average demo grows older and older every year.

  • Anonymous

    Idol may be making the effort to include performers for the teens, and cast teenagers to appeal to them – but it is primarily considering the demographic that spends the most money – as any business would.

    In America, advertisers don’t care about consumers who are over 50, unless they are going for some niche marketing—like, say, on a Sunday morning talk show. It’s the key demo number 18-49 year olds that’s important to advertisers.

    American Idol has consistently had more viewers than The Voice week in and week out. But The Voice has had several weeks where they have had more viewers in the key demo, therefore “beating” Idol in the ratings.

    Older people may have more money to spend, but they know what they like and are less likely to be persuaded away, from say, the brand of toothpaste they’ve been using the last 30 years. Advertisers know this.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s a great Funny or Die NCAA Brackets clip for Idol and Glee fans featuring Matthew Morrison and HALEY REINHART!
     
    http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/5cd43bbf31/the-tournament-challenge-challenged
     
    Go Cats! ;)

  • Incipit

     jennyl2, I just saw your edit…without going into what new form of music or television delivery systems might be in use in ten to twenty years, or what the music industry would look like – I’d say that Idol has the more pressing task of staying popular right now. That means dealing with the circumstances as they exist, right now.

    Your point about the market in 10 to 20 years is well made – but, IMO, better directed at the Music Industry – because they are the ones who have been shortsighted. The discussion here touched on the question – what recent artists’ catalog could Idol use to freshen up the Theme weeks? I didn’t see any answers. Who has enough music that has stood up since even 2000, let alone for 20 or 30 years? I’m not even touching quality of music, or usability on Idol.

    But, since the late 80’s the Industry has been focused on the “quick buck” – and yes, they need to market to the teens of each generation, but they also need to keep releasing artists that are relevant to their target demographic as that same consumer grows older. The major labels have not managed to build significant artists with the
    longevity of many artists that evolved from the 60s and 70s. So, where are the catalog artists of the future going to come from to drive profits? (Like your Westlife example) If the industry continues to obsess with teens, tweens, and disposable music, will there even be strong catalog artists in the future, as your own generation ages?

    If the music industry doesn’t want to look very, very different in that 10 to 20 years – they might could wake up and smell the coffee. IMO.

    Sorry for the length – it’s one of my Hobby Horses. *snerk* @ Myself.

  • Incipit

     

    ‘”Older people may have more money to spend, but they know what they like
    and are less likely to be persuaded away, from say, the brand of
    toothpaste they’ve been using the last 30 years. Advertisers know this.”

    Exactly. They also know what kind of music they like, what sort of artists they will spend that money on – and they won’t be persuaded away. And Idol knows this. And they make up the majority of Idol’s demographic.

  • Anonymous

    Haley def has a rabid loyal fan base so she should do quite well selling to that group who has waited so long.  After that group like the other idols she needs to get her name out there which is a long slow climb we all hope our fav will blow up but it doesn’t really happen that way for too many artist. It will be fun to watch another one of the S10 kids start their journey.

  • Anonymous

    They also know what kind of music they like, what sort of artists they will spend that money on – and they won’t be persuaded away. And Idol knows this. And they make up the majority of Idol’s demographic.

    But this is NOT a good thing. How much Idol can charge for advertising is based on how many viewers they can attract in that key demo. Having an audience full of stodgy older folks who are immune to persuasion is not good news for the show’s bottom line.  FOX can’t be happy with the fact that the demo grows older every year. One way to fix it would be to mix up the music. The Voice certainly does this.

    Anyway. I feel like I’m getting a little off topic here. I don’t expect Idol to abandon the classics. I wouldn’t want them to. Just be a little creative. The show is at a place where it needs a shakeup. The music would be one place where they could tweak it a little.

  • Incipit

     I agree with you on that, mj. It would be a creative fix. But I also see their problem, with the quality, quantity and type of music available…and the music mavens amongst us may have suggestions for new artist specific theme weeks – or new themes that would incorporate music from this century without alienating the existing audience – I don’t.

    (See how I got back to the theme week topic there? *snerk*)

  • Anonymous

    Remember when Haley sang Gaga’s “You and I” last year, which was unreleased at the time? Instead of the judges praising her and appreciating her (and Jimmy’s) decision to delve into new material, instead they rejected it and said she should have sang a more recognizable song. I thought that was a very old-fashioned mindset to have.

  • Susan

    “”Maybe 3 songs covered by vocalists who are non-marginal artists”

    Ummm… that coversproject thing needs some serious fact-checking.  I don’t know what the hell made-up album that is, but yes Westlife did an extremely popular cover of “Uptown Girl” in 2001.  It was originally released as a charity single for the Comic Relief charity in the UK and later on their own album(s).  It’s probably their most popular song in continental Europe, or at least Germany — Claudia Schiffer is in the video.Hope you’re not considering a band that sold 40 million albums worldwide to be marginal. ;)

  • Karen C

    This is why I don’t get why they are using such old themes, even the theme of year when they were born, which should have been late 80s and 90s song, was mostly older songs that had been remade.  

    And I think a big part of the reason why the the show and it’s artists appeal to an older demographic is not only because we are more familiar with the music they are using, but also, we are more impressed with someone who really does a good cover of one of the older songs, and may even become a fan of that person.  Someone who wasn’t as familiar with the song might not be as impressed, especially if the song still sounds older to them.

    Having said this, I think some older music can be updated more easily, or else it is timeless. If they are going to do artist themes, I wish they would do a Led Zepplin week on the  show, for example.  I think that would work better for both the men and the women, and that their music is timeless, as well as some of the Beatles.    And if they did do some weeks with older music, don’t make it every week. 

    I think more specifically with Billy Joels music is that many of the songs sound more dated because with some of the songs, the lyrics refer to a certain time in history. Like It’s Still Rock and Roll to me( Everybody’s talking about the New Wave, funny but it’s still Rock and Roll to me),  We didn’t start the Fire, with references to history,  Allentown.  I think that makes it harder to update the songs.

    I would think it’s going to be hard for many of the contestants to find the right song for themselves.  

  • Valentin432

     For following this, I don’t think we can credit Glee for We Are Young success, the song exploded on itunes and radio long after it was covered on glee and that was mostly due to the commercial that was featured during the Superbowl.

  • Anonymous

    As a singer, I’ve actually found it’s easier to update an old song than a new one, most of the time. Newer songs are up-to-date or nearly so already, so there isn’t as much scope to change them, and the prospect of karaoke looms. Old songs are more of a blank slate, with more aspects that can be altered into a new mode. That said, I would never ever ever want to have to do this in a couple of days, over and over again, week after week after week. You have to be incredibly good, and not tired, I think, to pull this off, unless you’re just relying on the producers providing new instrumentation or something to do the job for you.

  • Anonymous

    I agree the themes are tired and boring. I don’t like the theme of “songs of a particular artist,” at all, and it only seems justified if the artist is going to be there to mentor, which I think used to be the case, at times.

    On the other hand, one purpose of using older, established songs is that it’s easier to judge singing ability using familiar music. The song is so familiar that you really are concentrating more on the performance. I’ve always thought this, even though I also favor using more new music, and more interesting themes.

    Basically I think theme nights featuring older songs are fine as long as they’re interspersed with creative, more exciting theme nights – hopefully featuring newer music. Or there are themes that work better in terms of letting the cast choose either older or newer material according to their own wishes.

  • Ringo

    So you found it harder to update updated songs?  Hmmm.  This seems self-evident.  But you can change up updated songs to make them interesting and entertaining and that, I think, is the key to a good Idol performance.  Give me something different, not necessarily more modern.  Tickle my auditory senses. 

    For example, check out this stripped down version of Pink’s Get this Party Started:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXQRI9quyvk  Or check out Corinne Bailey Rae’s Is This Love: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f1KEBW7VBA .  Like Adam L’s Mad World, they aren’t really updated, just different.  To me, different versions reveal the true beauty of a song, and often the genius of the performer.  That’s what I want, regardless of the theme.  And the theme is only so good as the room the songs give to the performer to work their own, individual and creative magic.   Is that asking too much?  More often than not, yes it is asking too much.

  • Anonymous

     Oh, I *completely* agree about what we want to hear!

    I was just trying to say that it’s undoubtedly really really hard to do that week after week in just a few days … and that, while a lot of us grumble frequently about the old songs they so often have to choose from, when you’re asking people to change stuff up in an interesting way — in a very short period of time — it may be more realistic to pose the problem using older songs a fair amount of the time. It’s just easier to do.

    For one thing, while I agree with you that there are some great stripped-down versions of new stuff out there, I don’t think we want everybody to just do stripped-down versions all the time, do we? (I actually wonder whether a partial cause of the WGWG epidemic isn’t that it’s a lot easier to make a cool new version a lot of things by stripping it down, while it tends to be harder to quickly make a cool new version by poppifying something or R&Bing it up, or whatever. So the WGWGs have an easier time looking way creative, getting a boost from their genre to do so.)

    Meanwhile, for some contestants who aren’t in acoustic-heavy genres, stripping things down really isn’t a suitable strategy for them to pursue, at least not frequently. And if you don’t have ‘stripped down’ on the table all the time, then it becomes extra-super-difficult for a pop singer to significantly change up a new pop song in four days. You have to think of a new way to pop it up that still sounds current.

    I want to hear great stuff too. And I sometimes think I want them to do more contemporary songs. But I just think we’re asking a *lot* when we ask this, especially of those who actually are pop singers or R&B singers, for example.

  • Mateja Praznik

    I guess if people want stripped down covers maybe the producers should just find the cast on YouTube and get them to Hollywood to do the show and deliver one acoustic cover per week.

    Wait, this sounds familiar … didn’t they have Andrew Garcia on the show during season 9?

    To be honest, I don’t think Interscope is looking for someone that does cool acoustic covers. They want someone young, charismatic, with a good voice. 

    And, the trick has already gotten old. Also, there is not enough time to completely re-arrange all songs every week. The show is more about singing and performing than re-arranging.

    Whitney and Stevie, then Billy Joel. No wonder the contestant post show struggle to establish themselves.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s a list of all the Billy Joel songs I know:
    “Allentown,” “Big Shot,” “Blond Over Blue,” “Don’t Ask Me Why,” “For the Longest Time,” “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,” “Just the Way You Are,” “Moving Out,” “My Life,” “New York State of Mind,” “Only the Good Die Young,” “Piano Man,” “Pressure,” “River of Dreams,” “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” “Tell Her About It,” “Uptown Girl,” “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” and “You May Be Right.”
    Who should sing any of these? And which ones should be avoided altogether?

  • Anonymous

    I completely agree except for your last paragraph (kind of).

    The thing is, with all the WGWGs and indie-type women they’ve brought on board the past several years, I think the show *has* become a lot about arranging, in the minds of many audience members. And I believe a lot of people vote accordingly. (I liked it back when it was about singing, myself.)

    Actually, it’s for exactly that reason that I wonder whether a mix of older and newer themes isn’t the better deal, though. If you’re mainly a singer, not an arranger, and you’re a pop type or an R&B type, it seems to me that it’s often a bit easier to mold an older song into your modern style a bit than to sing a new one in a way that seems fresh to an audience that — in recent years — appears to expect some level of “new arrangement” from everybody.

    When I hear criticism of Jessica for being karaoke, for example, it looks to me as if a lot of the audience really really is prioritizing arranging over singing. And I guess I wonder whether she and others who come in for that “he-she’s just a singer”-type criticism might fare better with some chances to *easily* “update” something, just by singing a quite old song in their natural styles, which are inevitably going to be more “modern pop.” …. Whereas if they are required to *sing* modern pop, then they’ll likely do a technically excellent version that gets dinged because it’ll sound to people like “mere” perfect karaoke. (not *sure* about any of this — but I do wonder whether the older songs might play some role in keeping the playing field more even for the pop people who don’t do those voter-pleasing stripped-down arrangements ….)

  • Anonymous

    “I think more specifically with Billy Joels music is that many of the
    songs sound more dated because with some of the songs, the lyrics refer
    to a certain time in history.”

    Good point. Plus, every Billy Joel song sounds exactly like every other Billy Joel song. To me, anyway.

  • http://twitter.com/EdwardGiordano EdwardGiordano

    People may not agree with this but I would personally love a 1980s theme, it hasn’t been done justice in quite a few years.  My favorite theme week regardless of the contestants, regardless of the country it happens in is without a doubt Queen, I wouldn’t mind if they do it again, seriously.

  • Ringo

    Ummm… that coversproject thing needs some serious fact-checking. I don’t know what the hell made-up album that is, but yes Westlife did an extremely popular cover of “Uptown Girl” in 2001. 

    Being a chauvinistic American, I am proud to say I never heard of Westlife before and I found the video to be cheesy to the oint of embarassing.  Then again, I am not much of a Jedward or One Dimension fan.  This kind of confirms my pointf or me that it’s difficult to do a meaningful, genuinely good cover of a BJ song, I think. 

  • judes

    Also Michael Johns in season 7 singing Dolly’s Its All Wrong But Its Alright-gave me “goossies”as JLo puts it.Dolly was impressed -so yes sometimes the best performances are when the idols are put out of their comfort zone.

  • judes

    I love Billy Joel -so I hope the Idols do him justice-haven’t read all the thread so i don’t know if the full list of his songs are here –
    http://www.billyjoel.com/ 

    I love the song Leningrad -which ironically Jermaine would have done well-but Erica would also be suited to this but I’d love it if she did Still RocknRoll To Me. Heejun -instead of New York State of Mind could do Miami2017[ I’ve seen the lights on Broadway]. Deandre could do You’re Only Human[2nd Wind].There’s quite a few songs Elise could do -some of the more jazzy style ones Billy does.