American Idol 2011: What should the Top 9 sing this week?

This week the “American Idol” Top 9 are set to take on songs of the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. No one is sure if that just means songs from any artist that has been inducted into the Hall of Fame or if it’s specifically from the Hall of Fame’s official “500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll” list.

At any rate, that is a very broad list of songs. And who knows what they’re even allowed to sing. So from the 500 songs list, I’m just going to pick what I would like to hear them sing. As I said, the list is very broad, so I’ll pick a couple for each contestant.

(In random order)

*Pia Toscano, “River Deep Mountain High” by Ike and Tina Turner. She actually revealed this during last week’s performance episode. So unless (who for some ridiculous reason apparently helped the contestants choose their songs) or the producers have forced her into something else, that should be what she’s singing. And that will be very interesting. It’s one of Tina’s most powerful songs (Ike doesn’t deserve any credit if you ask me). So Pia will finally give us something upbeat. And that’s a good thing. People are really tiring of the ballads.

*Scotty McCreery, “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis or “I Walk The Line” by Johnny Cash. We already know Scotty grew up an Elvis fan, so why not sing something by The King. But I now know Scotty’s formula, so chances are he’ll go directly to the couple of country singers who crossed over to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Like Johnny Cash. Either of this songs would be a great fit for him.

*Casey Abrams , “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals or “Lola” by The Kinks. It’s hard to imagine what Casey will do. He’s one of the more unpredictable contestants. I’ve always wanted someone to sing Lola on “Idolm” so why not? Surely “American Idol” is ready for a song about a hot cross-dresser who can easily trick straight men into kissing her. It is 2011.

*Haley Reinhart, “Piece of My Heart” by Janis Joplin or “I Fall to Pieces” by Patsy Cline. She’s been compared to Janis, even though I don’t see/hear it AT ALL, but I think it would do her well to sing that or another song by Janis. Her rasp and growl would fit it nicely. As for the other, that’s one of those 500 songs. Patsy isn’t in the Hall of Fame, but the song is on that list. So that may or may not be an option. At any rate, Haley has reminded me of Patsy (way more than Janis) so that could be a good song for her to take on.

*Stefano Langone, “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King or something by Prince. I’d like to see Stefano step out and shake things up. “Stand by Me” he’d do beautifully, but how about “When Doves Cry” or anything else by Prince? That would be fun.

*Lauren Alaina, “Imagine” by John Lennon or “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield. I’d love to hear Lauren keep things slow one more week. I was really impressed with her “Candle in the Wind” last week, so I could hear her treating “Imagine” the same way. On the other hand, I could easily hear her doing “Son of A Preacher Man.” That’s certainly a song to bring in some votes.

*Jacob Lusk, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel or “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke or “There Goes My Baby” by The Drifters. I’m not really sure what Jacob should be singing. I picked these because they can all be easily turned into gospel songs and that seems to be his thing. I think he needs to be sure to pick songs people know. He’s going to start hitting the Bottom 3 pretty soon, so song choice will become very important for him.

*Paul McDonald, “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield or “The Weight” by The Band. These songs might not do Paul any favors as far as how well the bands are known. They’re REALLY great songs, though, and would be right up Paul’s alley, but I think he needs to do something major to stay away from the bottom this week. It’s going to get a lot tougher for some of these guys this week and Paul is in danger. He needs to wow us. He needs to take care of his voice, too. It seems as if its starting to wear.

*James Durbin, “Baba O’Riley” by The Who or “Back in Black” by AC/DC or “Rock N Roll All Night” by Kiss. I’d actually prefer for James to slow things down. But he’s such an entertainer, slowing things down could be his, well, downfall. Maybe he should keep it upbeat. Any of these songs or artists would suit him. “Baba O’Riley” David Cook did on his season, so maybe its too soon for that. And Adam Lambert did the whole Kiss thing. Maybe James will surprise us. I think he still has very little to worry about though. For now.

What do you think? Have any song suggestions for the Top 9?