American Idol 9 Top 7 – Inspirational Songs – What Should the Idols Sing?

UPDATE: Are you going to tomorrow’s dress rehearsal? I need a show spy to feed me song spoilers! If you will be at dress rehearsal and willing to help me out, email me at mjsbigblog at gmail dot com.

Good Graduation Songs
Good Graduation Songs

This week, the Top 7 will sing songs that inspire them, mentored by  R&B singer, Alicia Keys.  The list of songs they’ll be choosing from is HERE.

Alicia will be back on Wednesday to perform on the big Idol Gives Back special, along with Sir Elton John, Carrie Underwood, The Black Eyed Peas, Annie Lennox, Jeff Beck & Joss Stone and Mary J. Blige & the All-Star Band.

What do you think the Idols should sing this week?  I’m not very impressed with the list of songs–lots of dreck there. And please–NOBODY sing an Idol coronation song! Here are my picks, after the jump.

  • Crystal Bowersox – “People Get Ready” by the Impressions. I really love this song, and think Crystal would do a beautiful job. She could even let go of her guitar this week.
  • Lee Dewyze – “The Boxer” by Simon and Garfunkle – I’m not sure why this song is on the list, but I think Lee’s gruff vocals would be perfect here.
  • Casey James – “I’ll Stand By You” by the Pretenders – Casey could do it all acoustic-like and have another “moment”.
  • Siobhan Magnus – “You’re My Best Friend” – Queen – Siobhan could add her quirky little twist to this charming song. It could be a winner.
  • Michael Lynche – “Everyday People” by Sly and the Family Stone – This tune is right in Michael’s wheelhouse.  Or, he could do a twist on a woman’s song again–“I Am Changing” by JHud.
  • Tim Urban – “Over the Rainbow” –  Jason Castro and Kat Mcphee have had moments with this song already, but if Tim keeps it simple, he could once again win Idol viewers over with his charming innocence (even if his vocals aren’t all that).
  • Aaron Kelly – “Angels” by Robbie Williams. Hey, he’s on a roll with the Archie comparisons, so why not?

About mj santilli 33687 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!

56 Comments

  1. I know it will only invite comparisons to Clay, but I do hope someone sings my fav, “Bridge over Troubled Water.” Actually would love to hear Lee sing it on piano!!

  2. Okay, did some checking and I’ve come up with a full list. I actually think there are some really good songs mixed in with the dreck.

    Lee – World. Vocals are right in his wheelhouse, the song is good, and I think he could knock this one out of the park.

    Casey – Better Days. Another “moment”, coming right up. This fits him perfectly and it’s another good song.

    Siobhan – Anyway. I’ve gotten off her train, but holy hell I can see her just killing this. Got the power notes, the purity, this could be an incredible performance and put her right back in the game.

    Mike – That’s the Way God Planned It. If Mike could do a straight take on this, I would not hate him. At least for one week. Seriously, he could kill this.

    Tim – Dare You To Move. Really good tune that I think he could have another moment with.

    Aaron – Don’t Dream it’s Over. This is really his only choice to knock it out. Makes him current, relevent, and it’s not too old and gooey for him. He’s got the pipes to do this. I sure hope someone steers him to this song.

    Crystal – I’m going to stick with Hands as my first choice. There is so much on this list that she could kill, but I’d really like to see her strip down this song and rely on vocals. Acoustic only, no band. And power it on the bridge. Perfect closing to the show.

    There are other songs each of these kids might do well with, but this would be my list in a perfect world. Let’s see how many I get right. I’m putting my money on one, with zero a close second.

    Seriously people, YouTube these choices and see what you think. I made these choices hoping to eliminate any trainwrecks, by the way. I’d love to see everyone do a good job for once.

  3. I hope Casey does “People Get Ready” – he has the best electric guitar skills to pull this off, and his vocals would be great sung like Rod Stewart!

  4. Aaron will probably do “My Wish” and keep him here for Country week.

  5. And please–NOBODY sing an Idol coronation song

    That can’t be said enough. Those songs all suck.

    I like the bulk of your picks mj. I’m not a fan of Over the Rainbow at all. I loved Jason’s (and the rendition that was his inspiration), but that’s about it. I can’t even stand the original. I might just LMAO if Tim attempts that one, so actually, maybe I do like that pick.

    I agree 100% with your picks for Crystal & Mike. Those would be my first choices for them as well.

    The song list itself does concern me. Filled with cheesy landmines that could blow any of these performances into a million chunks of Velveeta. Hope the kids choose wisely.

  6. idolbeat:
    04/19/2010 at 10:32 am
    I hope Casey does “People Get Ready” – he has the best electric guitar skills to pull this off, and his vocals would be great sung like Rod Stewart!

    Me too. Oh yes, me too.

  7. Hey MJ!
    It is funny you suggest The Boxer for Lee. I absolutely love this song and totally agree. Not only do I think the vocal will be good for him but also the guitar. One thing that has not been stressed is Lee’s exceptional guitar abilities and perhaps it is because he is so good that it seems effortless.

    The other thing that makes this interesting is that there is a recent article that I read recently (cannot remember the source) in which Lee was leading a chorus of The Boxer with the other idols behind the scenes and he mentioned his recent draw to Simon and Garfunkel. I am hopeful!

  8. Lee was in Vegas practicing the Boxer with Andrew and a vocal coach. Probably a duet for Idol Gives Back and not his competition song.

  9. Ya know you are still tired when you see “Robbie Williams” and mistake it for”Robin williams” .Then wonder the guy is funny but did not know he had a cd.

  10. Actually, I’m hoping the group sing this week is a medley of Idol Coronation songs. Awesome!

  11. weese:
    04/19/2010 at 10:44 am
    Lee was in Vegas practicing the Boxer with Andrew and a vocal coach. Probably a duet for Idol Gives Back and not his competition song.

    I would be just as happy with this scenario. My only question about the song as a competition performance is that the harmonies really make the song and I wasn’t sure how that would be handled. A duet for idol gives back actually makes a lot of sense.

  12. Those are great picks! I think a lot of them make sense and aren’t immediately obvious. Here are mine:

    Lee DeWyze – Dare You To Move
    Siobhan Magnus – Holding Out For A Hero (Slowed-down, Acoustic)
    Tim Urban – World

    See the rest and my alternate picks here.

  13. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

    TopCatDC:
    04/19/2010 at 10:48 am
    Actually, I’m hoping the group sing this week is a medley of Idol Coronation songs. Awesome!

  14. Actually, I’m hoping the group sing this week is a medley of Idol Coronation songs. Awesome!

    Now I want this really bad! That would be hilarious!

  15. Tim – Robbie Williams “Angels”
    Siobhan – Bette Midler “Wind Beneath My Wings”
    Michael – R. Kelly “I Believe I Can Fly”
    Aaron – Tim McGraw “Live Like You Were Dying”
    Crystal – Jewel “Hands”
    Casey – Chad Kroeger “Hero”
    Lee – Incubus “Drive”

  16. Tim – Dare You To Move. Really good tune that I think he could have another moment with.

    I don’t know about this. With the greatly truncated versions they have to do, didn’t David “Man of Many Moments” Cook even have trouble making a moment with this song?

    I suspect that Tim needs much more just plain pretty in the melody and more drama built into the structure of the song itself, in short chunks, to be successful. This doesn’t seem to me to be one of the contemporary songs that provide that.

  17. I’m on a Casey board where one of the posters is friends with Casey’s brother. (I know it’s true because we’ve seen pictures of him with the gift we bought that she purchased and had his brother give to him.) Now IF his brother knows anything, and isn’t just him speculating, the word is Casey is gonna “rock it” this week. Personally I’m not thrilled with that. LOL The songs that it’s been narrowed down to (by those board members) are Bon Jovi’s It’s My Life; Fleetwood Mac – Don’t Stop; and Hero by Chad Kroger.

  18. I agree idolbeat. I’d like to see Casey do “People Get Ready” I was listening to Rod Stewart’s version with Jeff Beck backing on electric guitar and all I could think of was how Casey could pull this off.

  19. Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler

    LOL I was just thinking I might shoot my TV if any one sings this song. Ugh.

  20. She has been picking very questionable song choices for the past few weeks so something tells me that this week would be no different for Siobhan. That’s why I think she’ll be singing that Bette Midler song.

  21. She has been picking very questionable song choices for the past few weeks so something tells me that this week would be no different for Siobhan. That’s why I think she’ll be singing that Bette Midler song.

    And so she’ll be doing an imitation of the schlockiest — but well sung — moments from the 70s and 80s, to follow up on her schlockiest, well sung moments of the 50s and 60s, from last week? Please, no.

    Truly, somebody needs to get hold of Siobhan and convince her that she needs to bring her *own*, contemporary sensibility to everything she sings. And that would mean *way* less melodic, more conversational, save the soaring melodics for just a few places in the song, consider for each song whether it might not be better to bag the “big notes” entirely. Etc.

    You can do it, Siobhan. Just relax and find phrasing and embellishing that’s more similar to the 2000s-era music that probably makes up the bulk of what’s on your Ipod rather than the originals (heck, 2000s-era music is the bare majority of what’s on *my* Ipod, and I’m old enough to be Siobhan’s grandmother.). You are of the contemporary world. NoW just start singing like it. You don’t need to showcase all your notes in every song. We all know by now that you have a lot of notes. We just want to hear them used judiciously in service of your communicating a song in a style that we can feel comes from your 21st-century heart. .

    Well, that’s *my* hope for Siobhan, anyway.

    Also hope that she stays well away from Wind Beneath My Wings because I think the bad temptations with that one might prove too great!

  22. chearts77:
    04/19/2010 at 11:50 am
    I agree idolbeat. I’d like to see Casey do “People Get Ready” I was listening to Rod Stewart’s version with Jeff Beck backing on electric guitar and all I could think of was how Casey could pull this off.

    I love anything Jeff Beck is involved in! He’s amazing! The problem is that there is a reason Jeff does the guitar and Rod does the vocal. Even if Rod could play guitar that well he would likely not sing and play at the same time. Having said that, I believe Casey is incredibly talented, and it would be awesome to see Casey sing and play this as a full performance (on tour, at the finale) but I am afraid as a competition performance in 90 seconds there would not be enough time to appreciate the vocal and the playing. I would hate for him to get critiqued about relying too much on the guitar (even though his guitar playing is likely scoring him plenty of votes as well as his voice).

  23. Lee- Hero or Calling All Angels

    Siobhan- My Heart Will Go On or I Am Changing

    Aaron- My Wish or Anyway

    Crystal- People Get Ready or Hands

    Casey- It’s My Life

    Tim- What The World needs Now Is Love

    Mike- this is tough, there’s so many songs I can hear him singing. I’m gonna go with You Raise Me Up.

  24. Lee is probably singing “The Boxer” then, it should be interesting to see how he makes it current.

    There are so many dreck songs on this list that I have to eliminate 3/4 of them and pick the least objectionable contestant to sing the rest.

    Casey “Drive”, He needs to sing more contemporary songs and he could do it with the electric guitar.

    Siobhan “Changes”, my favorite song on the list, so I hope someone does their own interpretation. She needs to connect better with the lyrics than she did last week.

    Aaron: “I Hope You Dance” Some options for him to go country. The easy road would be the Rascall Flats record but I think this is the better choice for him.

    Big Mike: “People Get Ready” He has had much more success sticking with Soul/R&B songs and I think the judges would love him if he sings this one.

    Crystal “You’ve Got A Friend”, I think she should do a slow ballad this week and that’s my favorite on this list for her.

    Tim “Go The Distance” Because this list was lacking bad songs and that performance would provide the comic relief of the night.

  25. Hmm. For some reason, I keep coming back to the idea of Siobhan singing ‘Over the Rainbow’. Yes, I know the song is already on the verge of being overdone, but I can’t help thinking she could really have a ‘moment’ with it.

    Tim could do a pretty good job with ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’.

    Crystal, Lee, Casey, and Michael just need to keep doing their thang, and they’ll be perfectly fine.

    Aaron… stay the heck away from ‘Angels’, and I’ll be satisfied.

  26. I have no problem with one of the finalists doing a song performed by a former Idol except when it is the same gender. Why allow room for comparisons?

    I thought Siobhan could do a terrific job with “I’ll Stand By You” by the Pretenders. I am excited to find out what she picks!

  27. i don’t care what they sing, but OMG i’m so excited for the guests! yay! (well i hope Tim does well though)

  28. I think I’ll skip this week. I just can’t bring myself to sit through (another) show filled with horrid song choices.

  29. Oh God, I hope Tim doesn’t sing “Over the Rainbow”. I can’t handle him butchering another song Jason had a “moment” with and then inexplicably getting a hug & praise for it.

  30. I love The Boxer, but how in the world is that an inspirational song? It’s about a guy with few real friends and no hope. And he doesn’t get them by the end of the song. ???

  31. Did Katie say she was going to sing OTR? Can another contestant take it after she got voted off???

  32. I love The Boxer, but how in the world is that an inspirational song? It’s about a guy with few real friends and no hope. And he doesn’t get them by the end of the song. ???

    It could be interpreted as a song about not giving up. Continuing the fight.

  33. It could be interpreted as a song about not giving up. Continuing the fight.

    Uh, no. It about someone being stuck doing something he finds humiliating (“…every glove that laid him down, or cut him, ’til he cried out, in his anger and his shame, I’m leaving, I’m leaving”), but can’t get out of the situation (but the fighter still remains).

  34. Uh, no. It about someone being stuck doing something he finds humiliating (“…wishing I was gone, going home …every glove that laid him down, cut him, till he cry out, in his anger and his shame, I’m leaving, I’m leaving”), but can’t get out of the situation (but the fighter still remains).

    I get what you are saying. But I think you could take it as someone who feels like he is being beaten down, wants to leave, even threatens to leave but doesn’t. Not because he can’t but because he chooses not to.
    But honestly I dont think I would put it on an inspirational song list for an evening like Idol Gives Back. It is thought provoking however.

  35. Inspirational songs. Ugh.

    Someone warm up the tortilla chips I think we’re have Nachos.

  36. Inspirational songs. Ugh.

    Someone warm up the tortilla chips I think we’re have Nachos.

    Nachos or a big old-fashioned deli sandwich with a heaping side of schmaltz.

    This group could make Rolling Stones night into Lullaby Time in Los Angeles, so I don’t think there’s much hope for much edge, or contemporary feeling, or non-stereotyped passion, or even uptempo music from Inspiration Night.

    Please, folks, prove us wrong.

  37. anyway…considering idol always rehashes old songs…i wouldn’t be surprised to hear over the rainbow again…

  38. Not because he can’t but because he chooses not to.

    Certainly that’s a possible interpretation, and Paul Simon himself said that the song is largely about himself, therefore he could be saying he was doing something he found unpleasant but he still kept at doing it. However, the lyrics itself suggests the boxer had no choice (“…looking for a job, but get no offers”), it’s a job he took because that’s the only thing he can do. He wanted to leave (“…wishing I was gone, going home”), but can’t. He is stuck doing something he has done for years and he can’t change that.

  39. I do think Tim could do a great version of the song “World” by FIve For Fighting. His voice fits well to this IMO. He could have another moment. Hope he does well again. I am secretly rooting for him to last until Top 4.

    Lee should do well with “Dare You to Move” and Crystal should do “Hands” by Jewel.

    I bet Aaron is doing “My Wish” or ” Angels”. Heh.

  40. Katie said on Ellen that she was supposed to sing Over the Rainbow this week. Unless one of the other Idols had a burning desire to take that when she left, I think we will be spared a reprise.

  41. I think this is a GREAT theme.and I like most of the “dreck” on the list,so…
    When I think about idol,I think Somewhere Over The Rainbow.It’s the first song that pops into my head.I think Tim should sing that.I think Siobhan should we are the champions or something else by queen.I can’t wait for IGB
    Someone should definetly sing i’ll stand by you and hero

  42. Lee- I really like Michael Slezak’s suggestion of Hands by Jewel for him. He could really put a new edge to it and make it his own. I think if he goes for one of the obviously rock songs on the list, he’ll be labled as predictable and a copycat.
    Crystal-– Bridge Over Troubled Water, a soulful and acoustic version similar to the Eva Cassidy cover
    Siobhan- The Impossible Dream… I think it will give her that ‘moment’ that she has been lacking lately. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AijRBQf-ato
    Tim- Show Me What I’m Looking For by Carolina Liar
    Aaron- Flying Without Wings or I’ll Stand By You… He could put a country spin on either of those
    Casey- It’s My Life
    Mike- I’ll Be There

  43. Miss Chaos:
    04/19/2010 at 1:41 pm
    Did Katie say she was going to sing OTR? Can another contestant take it after she got voted off???

    Yep. Katherine did it in season 5 after Mandisa was booted.

  44. Yep. Katherine did it in season 5 after Mandisa was booted.

    I’m pretty sure Simon chose OTR for Katharine (judge’s choice T3 week).

    Jason Castro copied the “Iz” Kamakawiwo’ole version.

    I imagine Katie would have copied Kat who was inspired by Eva Cassidy and Jane Monheit covers.

    Casey- It’s My Life

    I really hope not. I like the song, I love Casey’s voice and musicality but this would be asking for the judges to call it a “cover band” cover even if he nails it and blows the roof off the place. If he did an acoustic rock version it might work out okay but If Casey’s going to “rock it”, I hope he chooses something like “Drive” instead.

  45. I’d love to hear Siobhan sing something by Simon and Garfunkel (and count me among the few who find “The Boxer” inspirational, as I see it being about someone who is constantly being kicked down by life yet keeps getting back up). I imagine that anyone singing “The Boxer” would be leaving out that line about the “whores on 7th Avenue”.

    I assume Siobhan will be doing a slower song this week, because she seems to be alternating the tempo of her songs, and I think “Suspicious Minds” was of the “upbeat” variety. I also agree she’s going to be shooting for “A Moment”, and the best way for her to do that is to stick with a song she already knows and is comfortable with. To me, that means something she heard growing up, which probably included S&G. That said, I absolutely agree that Queen is right up her alley.

  46. Miss Blue:
    04/19/2010 at 10:31 am

    Lee – World. Vocals are right in his wheelhouse, the song is good, and I think he could knock this one out of the park.

    Casey – Better Days. Another “moment”, coming right up. This fits him perfectly and it’s another good song.

    I really like your entire list, but these two in particular are excellent selections.

  47. I only have one thing to say – if Tim sings “Over the Rainbow”, I am hitting the mute button. God help us all!

  48. Crystal– Dedicate a song to her son.I think she should do You’re the Inspiration, but she could rock a lot of these.
    Tim– Something as simple as possible. Happy Birthday would be ideal, but that doesn’t really fit the theme so We Are The Champions maybe.
    Lee– Please do Rainbow by Sugar Ray. If you haven’t heard it, look it up, I think it’s great for Lee.
    Aaron– WILL sing Rascall Flats’ My Wish, but I’d rather he change up something unexpected. Go the Distance?
    Siobhan– For God’s sakes do something uptempo and “screamy”. You’re fans (me) eat it up. Holding Out for a Hero could be a moment, or It’s My Life. There’s a lot here she could do well.
    Mike– In serious danger of becoming mousebait here, so my advice would be to tone it down, don’t oversing. I think Heaven Help Us All could be good.
    Casey– I’d say You’ve Got a Friend, but I really like the idea of Joey Ramone’s version of What a Wonderful World. Actually anyone who sings that one well is in for a lot of votes.

    P.S. If Tim sing’s Over the Rainbow, Castro(IZ)-style, and the judges do anything but skin him alive and feast on his organs, I will consider it an upset. :) Love always.

  49. But I think you could take it as someone who feels like he is being beaten down, wants to leave, even threatens to leave but doesn’t. Not because he can’t but because he chooses not to.

    Definitely Crystal then.

  50. I wanted to hear Katie sing “Over The Rainbow” but since she isn’t on the show anymore, I really want Siobhan to sing it now.

    Aaron will probably sing a country song – maybe “My Wish” as alot of people have been suggesting.

    No idea on what Crystal and Lee will pick but I can’t wait

  51. Aaron should definitely try and broaden his horizons. I suggest “Bridge Over Troubled Water” so he can dispense with the boring old David Cook, David Archuleta, and Kris Allen comparisons and move on to Clay Aiken comparisons.

  52. my pick :

    mike : flying without wings
    casey : dare you to move
    siobhan : amazing grace or a moment like this
    crystal : i’ll stand by you
    lee : livin on a prayer
    aaron: angels
    tim : dont dream its over, live like we’re dying

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