The theme for the Top Eight is “Songs From The Year You Were Born”. It could also be called “Songs from My High School Years”, as most of the contestants were born in that time band.
Although they did this theme last year, I have to wonder why they were unable to find a mentor two weeks in a row.
No, Ryan Seacrest giving a tour of his radio station (and showing them how to push buttons) does not count as mentorship, even in the world of American Idol.
Birthday: December 20, 1986
So many songs to choose from, Noop Dawg.
I passed on “Everybody have Fun Tonight” by Wang Chung and “Addicted to Love” by Robert Palmer. “Word Up” by Cameo might be a hell of a lot of fun, but it or the previous two probably sends him home.
No, it’s time to slow it down again, and sing “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper.
Birthday: June 22, 1985
He’s probably going to do something safe (and lame) like “Sad Songs (Say So Much)” by Elton John. In fact, I’d bet good money that if he stays around long enough, we will hear him do an Elton John song.
The choice he should make, however, is “Born in the U.S.A.” by Bruce Springsteen. He should stand in the middle of the stage, just him, his mic and the mic stand, and belt his way through it.
Birthday: May 11, 1985
Picking for Matt is hard, as it’s still not clear what he stands for musically. Songs we considered, but passed on, include “Broken Wings” by Mr. Mister and “Every Time You Go Away” by Paul Young.
What he should perform is either “Don’t Come Around Here No More” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers or “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner.
I don’t really love either choice, unfortunately. Hopefully he can come up with something better, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Birthday: November 14, 1984
Ouch. This is a rough year for Lil to have to choose from. The obvious choices are either “Better Be Good to Me” or “What’s Love Got to Do With It”, both by Tina Turner. Neither of those is really working for me, however.
One thought I had was for her to do “Smooth Operator” by Sade. I’m not sure she can deliver on the subtleties of the song.
The wife had an interesting idea: “God Bless the U.S.A.” by Lee Greenwood. She’s certainly got the pipes for it.
Birthday: April 27, 1992
Another rough draw for Allison. In my opinion, the early nineties were a crappy time for rock. There wasn’t much going on other than grunge, and I’m not sure I can see her in that vein.
The first thought I had was “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. While it’s not clear that this would appeal to a very wide audience today, she should give it a run through and find out how she sounds.
The safe pick for Allison would be “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” by Guns N’ Roses. I have no doubt she could do a great job on that.
What I’d really like to hear her sing is “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton. It would be good to see her do something slower, but she needs to keep her edge.
Birthday: April 24, 1980
Danny, Danny, Danny… You’re starting to bore me. You’re probably going to do either “Any Way You Want It” or “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin'” by Journey. Heck, “I’m Alright” by Kenny Loggins would be an improvement over either of those.
I’d like you to do something that shows a different side of you. “Turning Japanese” by the Vapors and “Hey You” by Pink Floyd came to mind, but they are probably too strange and too dark, respectively.
No, you should perform “Don’t Stand So Close to me” by the Police. Please, please do this.
Birthday: June 21, 1985
While “Alive and Kicking” by Simple Minds and “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears For Fears came to mind, there’s no question that the song for him is “Private Dancer” by Tina Turner.
The wife and I agree he should perform “Heaven” by Bryan Adams. I think the odds are rather good that he does.
Birthday: January 29, 1982
I think Adam most likely performs “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell, but “Centerfold” by the J. Geils Band might be fun.
The wife thinks he should perform “Open Arms” by Journey. His unique take on songs might make for something interesting.
I’d like to see him do a song that to my knowledge has never been performed on American Idol. The ultimate one-hit wonder of the 80’s: “867-5309/Jenny” by Tommy Tutone.
What do you guys think?