Fifty Years of Motown – What Should the Idols Sing?

Is there a musical genre more overdone on Idol than Motown? Since we’re subjected to non-stop Stevie Wonder and other Motown greats throughout the auditions, Hollywood and semi-finals, do we really need a Motown week? I say no, but what do I know?

It’s cool the kids got to go out to Detroit to meet with Motown founders, Berry Gordy, Jr and Smokey Robinson–Robinson has appeared as a guest judge and has performed on Idol, but he’s never mentored. Gordy seems intent on imparting life-lessons to his young charges. We’ll see if he’s got useful advice for the Idols.

This should be a good week for the soul boys.   Michigan guy, Matt Giraud could have a breakout week singing the music of his home state.   Ever since Matt’s Coldplay debacle, he’s kept a soulful vibe and been gaining momentum.   Anoop Desai has a strong fanbase ready to support him. All he needs to do is convince others to come along. If he keeps picking the right songs and singing them well, he could be a surprise upset in this contest.   To a lesser degree, Kris Allen could also break away from the pack, but he’s got to assert himself more–if his performances stay at the caliber of his country week “Make You Feel My Love, ” he could go deep.

This week should be a cakewalk for the big voiced Lil Rounds, but stranger things have happened.   This week is Lil’s to lose.   I expect front-runner, Danny Gokey, to sail through this week.   He’s got something the people like, I don’t expect the crowd-pleasing Motown to be a challenge for him.   I have no idea what Adam Lambert will do this week, and that’s half the fun.

On the cusp:   Megan Corkrey will quirk her way through something. She could be in trouble this week.   Scott MacIntyre isn’t splitting votes with anyone at this point, he’ll pick a Motown song he can AC the crap out of, and probably advance to the Top 9.   Michael Sarver will go back to singing R&B, and will be splitting votes with Matt, Anoop, Kris and Danny.   If he’s not a standout, he’ll be in trouble. And young Allison Iraheta–I’m rooting for her.   Pick a great song, Allison, and go out there and tear up that Idol stage! I know you can do it…

As far as song choices are concerned, I’m not feeling very inspired, but I’ll give it a go.   Here’s my wish list.   It’ll never happen, but a girl could dream.

What do you think the Idols should sing?

Check out my list after the JUMP…

  • Adam Lambert – “Going to A Go Go” by the Miracles or “Dancing in the Streets” by Martha Reeves and the Vandella–Adam could bring out his inner club boy. Or, “My World is Empty Without You” by the Supremes, or “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” by Jimmy Ruffin. Dramatic!
  • Allison Iraheta – “Your Precious Love” by Marvin Gaye and Tami Terrell – Allison could tear this ballad up.
  • Anoop Desai – “My Girl”, “I Wish it Would Rain” or “All I Need” by The Temptations.   I think Anoop should stick to something ballady, but with a little oomph. David Ruffin is just the thing.
  • Danny Gokey – “I’m a Road Runner” by Jr. Walker and the Allstars.   Or if he wanted to get all messagey, “Living for the City” by Stevie Wonder
  • Kris Allen – “Can I Get a Witness” by Marvin Gaye or “I Was Made to Love her” by Stevie Wonder. He can bring his guitar and do it Mraz style.
  • Lil Rounds – “Shop Around” by the Miracles or “You’ve Been in Love Too Long” by Martha and the Vandellas (Cool feminist anthem covered by Bonnie Raitt in 1973)
  • Matt Giraud – “What Does it Take (To Win Your Love) by Jr. Walker and the All Stars or “What’s Going On” by Mavin Gaye or, if that’s a little too hot a topic, “Mercy Mercy Me.”
  • Megan Corkrey -“Walk Away Renee” by the Four Tops   – Check out Vonda Shepard’s version HERE. Or, how about “Don’t Mess with Bill” by the Marvellettes? Could be very sexy.
  • Michael Sarver – “The Tracks of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson.   Somebody’s got to do it, and I think it should be Sarver. He could handle the falsetto part beautifully.
  • Scott MacIntrye – “Overjoyed” by Stevie Wonder – This AC ballad would be perfect for Scott.   Plus there’s that whole blind thing.

Going through these Motown songs, I now want TPTB to devote an entire week to Marvin Gaye.   So. Much Awesomeness…

About mj santilli 35048 Articles
Founder and editor of, 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!