American Idol Season 20 Top 10: Disney Song Suggestions
American Idol is headed to Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif as they prepare for Disney week performances on Sunday Night (May 1). This theme especially suits big-voiced singers like Nicolina Bozzo and Christian Guardino as well as theatrical Jay Copeland and quirky Leah Marlene.
For the last 3 seasons, “You’ll Be In My Heart” has been a song choice. I don’t expect it will be picked again, as no one song has been performed in all 4 ABC seasons. I have suggested a few first-time songs as each Disney night has featured never-before done songs. Once again, I left off any Disney Channel (with Pooh Corner as an exception) or Disney-owned movie songs, but did include Pixar as some of these have been picked before. I tried to think out of the box while trying to give legit song suggestions that have a chance to be covered by the top 10.
Little Mermaid: “Part of Your World”
As I said last year, neither of these songs have been done and both could be moments for a dynamic and powerhouse vocalist like Nicolina. She’s covered several songs from The Little Mermaid before on social media. A mixture of Lea Salonga’s angelic “Part of Your World” and soulful Christina Aguilera’s rendition of “Reflection” would be perfect for her. These two songs are two of Disney’s biggest hits, so fingers crossed someone takes them on. Nicolina would do well on either one. Hopefully, she returns to ballads for Disney week as that’s where she truly shines.
Mulan (Live Action): “Loyal Brave True”
Pinocchio: “When You Wish Upon A Star”
Christian would be perfect for the runs and soul of “Loyal Brave True.” His voice is very technically sound like Christina Aguilera, and he has the ability to do a lot of adlibs. “When You Wish Upon A Star” is more crooner, and Christian could pull off Bublé esque crooning. The simplicity of the song, if Christian could be more restrained, could be a moment. The Pentatonix version may be a good starting spot for Christian to make it more soulful.
Hercules: “I Won’t Say I’m in Love”
Hunchback of Notre Dame: “Someday”
There are many fun arrangements of “I Won’t Say I’m In Love,” and they are pretty animated like Jay is sometimes. A mix of Ariana’s and The Cheetah Girls rendition would suit Jay perfectly as they have pop and soul elements. If Jay returns to upbeat numbers, this song would be a perfect way to go. Another argument is that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Jay sounded so good on “Lilac Wine,” that another powerful ballad may work and All-4-One’s theatrical R&B ballad “Someday” or another Hunchback track may be a good choice. This song suits Jay so well! I hope we finally get this soundtrack to Idol as it is one of Disney’s best.
The Little Mermaid: “Kiss The Girl”
Cars: “Find Yourself”
“Kiss The Girl” would be a stunning choice for Hunter. Brent Morgan who is known for cinematic piano versions of songs has a really cool version that would be an interesting choice for the singer. The song could show that she can drop the guitar for a ballad and deliver a powerhouse twang-infused moment. Just her standing in a spot, with no guitar, with pure vocals would translate into the moment she needs after a few performances indicating that she may be coasting. “Find Yourself” is more of a song that is right up her wheelhouse. I could see Mike Parker or Noah Thompson sing this too as it’s a pretty simplistic and versatile country track. Brad Paisley’s track would be the same old for her, but it suits her.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil: “You Can’t Stop The Girl”
Aladdin: “A Whole New World”
What is better than giving past mentor, Bebe Rexha’s powerful pop song to season 20’s pop star Emyrson. This could be a moment. Emyrson could also return to her soulful leanings from her cover of Kehlani’s “Honey” by tackling “A Whole New World,” in the way Zayn and The Four’s Zhavia Ward modernized it for the live action Aladdin. This would be tasteful and if arranged right, she might be able to deliver a soft vocal which is key as some fans have critiqued her for harsh sounding high notes.
Aladdin Live Action: “Speechless”
Tangled: “Something That I Want”
Naomi Scott’s Speechless would be wonderful for Leah’s tone and range. It is one of the best modern Disney songs. On “Heal” Leah showed that she’s got a very elastic voice that can stretch, attributes that “Speechless” could highlight. The song is full of emotion, and Leah would be the best at conveying it. “Something That I Want” is a song I had chosen for Ava August last season, but Leah could have loads of fun with it too! Grace Potter’s “Stars” was an Idol staple for a while, so I don’t see why this pop/rock song that is catchy couldn’t be covered on Idol. These two suggestions are very different, but Leah can make nearly any song work.
Pooh Corner: “Your Heart Will Lead Yourself”
Cars 3: “Glory Days”
Pocahontas: “Colors of The Wind”
I gave Mike a bonus Disney Channel song as it would suit him really well. Kenny Loggins is a versatile singer like Mike, and he dabbles in country, rock, and pop. “Your Heart Will Lead Yourself” would sit nicely in Mike’s range. “Glory Days” is a bluesy number with some rock undertones. Mike could show some versatility with this number and his raspy voice would suit this one well. “Colors of the Wind” is a more likely pick. The beloved song could be turned into a country ballad. Tori Kelly’s version, with some added country flourishes could work.
Onward: “Carried Me With You”
Home On The Range: “Wherever The Trail May Lead”
Brandi Carlile’s “The Joke” and “The Story” have been covered several times, so I could see “Carried Me With You” being cleared. The song’s Americana vibe would suit Noah best. Slowing it down may make it sound even more country. The other pick for Noah is Tim McGraw’s “Wherever The Trail May Lead.” The tune would have been even more suitable to Dan Marshall, but Noah’s rasp would work on this country ballad really well.
The Lion King (Live Action): “Spirit”
The Princess and the Frog: Never Knew I Needed
I suggested Beyonce’s “Spirit” for Willie Spence last season, and it would be refreshing to hear rather than several of the overdone songs from the original movie. Lady K would eat this song up too, with all her soulful runs and adlibs. Another good option would be Ne-Yo’s contemporary R&B number “Never Knew I Needed.” “Almost There” has been sung a few times on shows and is the most well known off of this soundtrack, but some of Lady K’s pre-show originals sound similar to this Ne-Yo number. Especially with her being in the bottom last week, tackling something that she would record post-show could pay off.
Bonus: Encanto: Surface Pressure
I had to include one Encanto number. I’m not sure this would pay off, but Lady K is the most likely to tackle the second biggest hit, “Surface Pressure” off of this soundtrack. Jessica Darrow has a really cool jazz rendition, similar to something off of Postmodern Jukebox, and it could work for Lady K.
Mulan: “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You”
Moana: You’re Welcome”
The Jungle Book: I Wan’na Be Like You
For anyone who didn’t know, Fritz has been involved in many theatre productions. He’s even written musical theater music and performed them in competitions. There’s some really cool acoustic versions of “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You.” The pick would show a fun side, and he could transform the song. Another good option would be “You’re Welcome.” We usually hear “How Far I’ll Go,” but Jordan Fisher and Lin Manuel Miranda’s rendition of “You’re Welcome” with a few changes could work for Fritz. I initially had “I Wan’na Be Like You” for Tristen Gresset, so I decided to throw it in. Fritz played an electric guitar in his performance of “Golden,” so this would be a cool side. Otherwise, maybe Leah could bring back her electric guitar for this one. Either way, it’s a super fun Disney track!
Let me know your song suggestions for this group. Do you agree with mine or completely disagree? Which of your favorites is missing from my list? Let me know. Comment below and tune in on Sunday to see what the top 10 sings.
American Idol Top 10 Disney Night airs on ABC Sunday May 1 8 pm ET/5 PM PT.