American Idol 2011: What should the Top 7 sing?

This week on “American Idol,” the Top 7 will take on songs from the 21st Century. That’s an interesting non-theme. This could be quite a week with song choices. Maybe everyone will sing songs by “The Black Eyed Peas.” Let’s all hope not. Actually I hope there are no Peas, no Katy Perry, no Creed and no more Miley.

Despite the incredibly broad topic, I’ll go ahead and pick some songs that I’d like to hear the “Idol” contestants sing. And as always, feel free to add your own suggestions in our comments section.

In random order

*Lauren Alaina, “Jesus Take The Wheel” by Carrie Underwood. I really don’t like this song, and I’d be tempted to mute it, but Lauren could have a Kristy Lee Cook moment with this anthem and trick sappy Americans into voting for her all night long. She could ride that wave for two weeks at least. And being one of only two girls left, that would be a very smart move.

Way out there suggestion: “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry. OK, I know I said no Katy Perry, but this would be funny.

*Haley Reinhart, “Mercy” by Duffy. Haley’s been keeping things pretty upbeat and I think it would probably benefit her to slow things down this week. “Duffy,” while slower, is a still a pretty powerful song and with her soulful growls, she could have a moment with it. I also considered an actual ballad with “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera, but I prefer “Mercy.” Did she sing “Mercy” during Hollywood week sometime? That seems like years ago now.

Way out there suggestion: “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse. This suggestion isn’t really “way out there,” because I could REALLY hear Haley singing this song. I just don’t see Idol/Ford/Pepsi being OK with the “rehab” part of the song.

*Casey Abrams, “Smooth” by Santana and Rob Thomas. No one has done this song since Chris Richardson several seasons ago so it would almost be a fresh song. And I think Casey could add his soul spin nicely. He just needs to be careful with the weird angry singing. I’m not the only one who notices that. I promise.

Way out there suggestion: “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga. A cool, slow acoustic version.

*Jacob Lusk, “Forget You,” by Cee Lo Green. Actually this pick is as much “way out there” as the actual, “way out there” pick, but Jacob has never been easy to pick for. All I know is, he should do something fresh and not stuffy. And while he’s at it, he could try to be less arrogant. Maybe he doesn’t know what the unedited version of this song says.

Way out there suggestion: “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley. Again, it would be a lot more fresh for Jacob and if he doesn’t want to go home soon, he’ll chill out on the gospel music for a week or two. (Note: I know he’d never do either of these songs in a million years, so no need to point it out)

*Stefano Langone, “Apologize,” Timbaland/One Republic. I like Stefano, but he’s kind of boring. I imagine he’ll sing something at about this level, so I could hear him doing this.

Way out there suggestion: “Hot in Herre” by Nelly. Hey, that could get him some votes.

*James Durbin,”Mr. Brightside” by The Killers. I know The Killers aren’t hardcore enough for James, but this is a great song and he could rock it out. He can put out a metal album after Idol ends, but he’s not going to make America a nation of metal fans. So he needs to stick to popular music for a couple more weeks.

Way out there suggestion: “American Idiot” by Green Day. It’s not way out there at all, really. But could it be considered a jab at the name “American Idol”? Possibly.

*Scotty McCreery, “Amazed” by Lonestar. We all know Scotty will pick a country song, so he at least needs to pick one that crossed over to the pop charts. He has plenty of fans I’m sure, but only four people won’t be in the bottom. Anything can happen, so he needs to start thinking about earning more, new fans.

Way out there suggestion: “Because of You,” by Kelly Clarkson. I’m obsessed with the idea of a guy singing a woman’s song. It almost never happens. Scotty could take on a version closer to the version Kelly did with Reba McEntire.

What are your suggestions for the Top 7?