American Idol 2021 Top 10 Song Suggestions for Disney Week
On Sunday May 2, American Idol returns from the network’s Oscar week break to present Disney songs. And if I am being honest, I am a bit over the round, because the same songs are overdone, while the best Disney songs are overlooked. Hopefully, we get some fresh picks this time.
I did recommend a few songs that have been performed once or twice before, because I still think they could be moments. And I also chose some out of the box picks. However, I stayed away from Disney TV, teen movies, and Hamilton (which is now owned by Disney), even though these are all good options, especially “All I Want” or “Wondering” by Olivia Rodrigo from High School Musical The Series. I’d love to hear those, but those shows and movies have not been done on past seasons, so I doubt they are cleared. And they don’t necessarily fit the cartoonish/animated Disney round that Idol usually follows.
“Reflection” and “Part of Your World, both songs that would translate to a competition and are two of the most well-known songs, have not been done in an ABC season of Idol for Disney week. That’s shocking. Here are my song suggestions/predictions for the 9 current competitors and the potential comeback contestants for the Top 10.
Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid)
Almost There (Princess and The Frog)
For Alyssa, I have suggested two songs that I believe she could nail. She has a cover of “Part Of Your World” on Tik Tok, and it’s gorgeous. Her soft tones are so pretty. I re-listened to her “This is Me” cover, and I liked it better on second listen as I noticed some of the intricate things she added. like the soft riff on the word “drown.” I think she could employ some of the same softness with this song. There is also a Broadway version that may suit her. Plus, how has this iconic Disney song not been covered on Idol yet? My second pick is a more soulful song, “Almost There”. Jonny did this last season, but I want to see it more in its original soulful form.
Find Yourself (Cars)
Through Your Eyes (Bambi II)
The first song I chose for Caleb is one of the best Disney country songs I found. I think a ballad like “Find Yourself” could be an unexpected moment for Caleb. There is a hint of rasp in Brad Paisley’s voice that I think Caleb could play off and use further. The second song I picked is lesser known. It is also a country ballad and is by Martina McBride. I think Caleb would shine on this as well.
I Wan’na Be Like You (The Jungle Book)
Into the Unknown (Frozen II)
I want another side of Casey. I think going a little bluesy with minimal background and letting her voice do the talking would be smart. Although some might think about Fall Out Boy’s rendition, I would love to hear a stripped back version of “I Wan’na Be Like You” that is more blues rock. In an Instagram Live, Madison Watkins said she was planning on singing “Into The Unknown,” but I have heard that contestants are able to switch their songs, and I think it’s more likely for this round since there’s more time off in between. I think Casey could tear the house down with the Panic! Version. This version is modern with a rock edge, and I want her to belt those notes. This could be a moment!
All is Found (Frozen II)
Baby Mine (Dumbo)
I want Cassandra tackle something more tender and soft, as she has a lovely indie tone. “All is Found” is my top pick. Both the original arrangement and the Kacey Musgraves version could work. It could be made slightly bigger in a competition sense. Katy Perry sang “Baby Mine” in a Disney Sing-along and Alison Krauss’s version is gorgeous as well. And I think the lullaby quality of the song could work with Cassandra’s voice. I would love to see a folksier version of the song. I think it could be rearranged pretty easily to fit Cassandra.
If I Never Knew You (Pocahontas)
Life is a Highway (Cars)
There are some acoustic versions of “If I Never Knew You” that would suit Chayce well. I think it would be a good song to show some dynamics. More dynamics is something I’ve been looking for from Chayce. The other option would be to go uptempo which he has not really done. “Life Is A Highway” would suit his voice and change it up a bit, even if it does not have the most vocal moments.
God Help The Outcasts (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
A Dream is A Wish Your Heart Makes (Cinderella)
Please bring the Hunchback of Notre Dame to American Idol. I know in past years, people have suggested songs off this soundtrack, and I completely agree that this soundtrack has a lot of good songs and vocal moments. The song is a bit dramatic, but I think Deshawn could nail the song, especially if he just sang it simplistically with no vocal frills. “A Dream is A Wish Your Heart Makes” is jazzy and would suit Deshawn’s style. I think he’d sound good doing the Jessie Ware cover of this song.
Loyal Brave True (Mulan Live Action)
Zero to Hero (Hercules)
My biggest hope of the entire Disney night is that Grace sings the recent Christina Aguilera song, “Loyal Brave True.” It is powerful, cinematic, and would be a perfect moment. Grace’s version might sound a bit different too, as her voice isn’t as deep as Christina’s, but she definitely could pull it off. Many have suggested her to do Christina in past rounds and this would be the perfect round to bring it out. I know I will probably end up disappointed. I know “Zero to Hero” would be another uptempo number, but Grace would nail the riffs of Ariana Grande’s version of this song, and I think she could bring even more soul to it.
When She Loved Me (Toy Story 2)
Carried Me with You (Onward)
“When She Loved Me” is such a pretty song. Walker Burroughs did a solid version two years ago, but I think Hunter could bring a bit more flavor to the gorgeous ballad. The next song I have suggested is uptempo and would be a big risk, but I say go for it. “Carried Me With You” by Brandi Carlile is one of my favorite current Disney songs, and I think Hunter would sound authentic on it as it has the folk flavor that Hunter has. Tonally, Hunter would fit the song, but the tempo and pacing of the song is a bit challenging.
Spirit (The Lion King Live Action)
Speechless (Aladdin Live Action)
I have picked two modern songs for Willie, as I fear he will to stick to overdone songs. His Top 12 pick “Stand Up” was refreshing and a great performance. He did do a Beyonce cover earlier in the season, but he has a cover of “Spirit” on YouTube that is so raw and pure. “Speechless” is another good pick. The song is cinematic and is big, and I think could benefit from a bit of soul which Willie could add to it. Some versions have a beat to them, so he could make it more R&B and soul.
Arthur Gunn (Comeback)
The Bare Necessities (The Jungle Book)
Friend Like Me (Aladdin)
The two songs I picked for him are fun and high energy and songs I’d like to see Arthur-fied. “Friend Like Me” is interesting to begin with, so adding some Arthur rasp and his signature sound would sound good. “The Bare Necessities” is a song Maddie Poppe is known for nailing, but I think Arthur could do a very different version, making it a bit more bluesy. He could really make it his own.
Louis Knight (Comeback)
A Whole New World (Aladdin)
Go The Distance (Hercules)
I almost gave “A Whole New World” to Makayla or Willie, but I think Louis could strip this down on the piano and make it his own. It may be a bit tough in his range, but I would be intrigued to say the least. I think “Go The Distance” could work too. It is a simple ballad and could be rearranged. There are already some versions out there that sound very “Louis.” I think this pick would be a bit more likely than the Aladdin hit.
Makayla Phillips (Comeback)
How Does A Moment Last Forever (Beauty and the Beast Live Action)
Last, but not least Makayla Phillips. Did you know “Reflection” has never been sung on Disney week? It has been performed by Jordin Sparks, Ayla Brown, Jasmine Murray and Hollie Cavanagh. But recent contestants have stayed away from it. It is made for singing competitions. I would be shocked if it does not make a return to the Idol stage this season unless Makayla picks it and does not go through to the top 10. I think she could start soft on it and then belt it out. This song could be done by any of the belters this season (Willie, Alyssa, Grace, or even Cassandra). Another solid pick would be “How Does A Moment Last Forever” by Celine Dion. Makayla’s tone would be so beautiful on this powerful ballad.
Do Not Sing List
Colors of The Wind (Done two times already. It’s pretty but singers often oversing it)
Circle of Life and Can You Feel The Love Tonight (Do we need to hear these classics again? Probably not. The originals are almost in the TOO iconic to touch area)
Beauty and The Beast (This song is overdone during Disney week. Contestants have sung it twice.)
How Far I’ll Go and Let It Go (Same category for me, which is modern Disney songs that are both played to death and done way too many times)
Kiss The Girl (It’s too boring in my opinion. I just don’t think anyone can rearrange it impressively)
You’ve Got A Friend in Me (Overplayed and a bit boring as well)
Any songs by Phil Collins (His Disney songs are difficult. Plus, his voice is so distinct, that it is tough to tackle)