American Idol 2012: What Should the Top 10 Sing This Week?

AMERICAN IDOL 2012: Hollie Cavanagh. CR: Nino Munoz / FOX

This week the American Idol 2012 Top 10 will take on the songs of Billy Joel. So what would you like to hear your favorite contestants sing? And even though their songs are already picked and rehearsed, it’s still fun to play the guessing games with what they might sing.

Here are my suggestions:

Colton Dixon: “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” It’s one of Joel’s more rock-ish songs and it’s got that nice name-drop break-down that could be quite the rewarding challenge to take on. I would’t be surprise, though, if we heard him sing “Keeping the Faith” as a message to American Idol producers on their recent advice

Jessica Sanchez: “Piano Man.” I want to hear a girl sing this intend of a guy. I think it could be a great moment for her. I could see her singing with just a piano… to the piano man, if you will. It could be quite good.

Phillip Phillips: “Vienna.” I think this song could be perfect for Phillip. He could put the guitar down for the night and just tear this up with this gruff, blues-y vibe. It’s kind of a sad song, but I think the emotion Phillip puts in his singing could really work with this.

Erika Van Pelt, “You May Be Right.” Another one of Joel’s more rock-ish hits, it would be a good match for Erika, I think. It has a great hook and that’s important on American Idol. She needs to nail it though to get out of that Bottom 3.

Elise Testone, “It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me.” Someone has to sing it. And since I think Elise needs to do something fun and upbeat to save her this week, this should’ve been among her choices.

Joshua Ledet, “Keeping The Faith.” This might be too obvious for someone who tends to come off as a church singer, but I think it could work for him. He might have to amp it up a bit to compete with last week, though.

Heejun Han, “Only The Good Die Young.” I’m not sure why, but when I heard the theme was Billy Joel, this song immediately lined up with Heejun for me. And it would be nice for him to do something upbeat after that Richard Marx snooze-fest last week.

Skylar Laine, “Uptown Girl.” The cheese factor is kind of high in this song, so it would be nice to hear it sang from the girl’s point of view. And a country angle might make it interesting.

Deandre Brackensick, “She’s Always A Woman.” I’m having a hard time thinking of songs for this guy. He kind of sings all over the place, so I think a song like this would give him a good chance to soften things and tone them down a bit.

Hollie Cavanagh, “Big Shot.” I’m not exactly sure this is the right song for her, but whatever she sings it needs to be more upbeat than her past two.

Billy Songs NOT to sing: “River of Dreams” because it’s lame and “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” for obvious reasons.

What would you like to hear the Top 10 sing?





  1. I think Heejun should do Piano Man and I don’t think We didn’t start the fire should ever be done honestly haha

  2. I like “Piano Man”…. And maybe she could also choose “My Life” or “Sometimes A Fantasy”. Anything as long as Jessica rocks it. This week is kinda tough. I hope she’ll nail this.

    • After last week’s comments from the judges, perhaps Jessica can do a slower song than My Life or Sometimes a Fantasy.  With just the piano to accompany her to further showcase her beautiful singing voice and her control over it.

      • Just because the judges said so, it doesn’t mean she should follow them. I wouldn’t even follow them since I find their comments not that appealing. But, I guess you’re suggestion is also perfect.

        Anyway, whichever song she does, I think she can showcase hers. 

    • jessica can do well with vienna (ariana grande has a beautiful cover of this) or lullaby(for a nice, tender moment with the audience for a change), elise can do and so it goes, there’s a beautiful female cover of it on youtube. Heejun can do movin out for a change, deandre may do well with innocent man.  I want to hear someone sing scenes from an italian restaurant but the problem is how to condense it to a  sing-worthy two-minute version. Joshua can do new york state of mind, phil can pretty much do any song he pleases since he does it in his own style anyway. 

      • He ha already  sung New York state of minde to move  to top 24                                                   

    • it’s  actually “Honesty” but I agree with your opinion.  She can also sing any of these 2 songs….

    • it’s  actually “Honesty” but I agree with your opinion.  She can also sing any of these 2 songs….

  3. well guessing from DeAndre’s tweets he wont be doing ballads anytime soon,.
    said he’ll be doing upbeat song.  sounded really confident and happy about his song choice. woudnt be suprised if he sings ” In The Middle Of The night” or ‘ River Of dreams “.

    • I’ve got him singing “River of Dreams” too…..and he can put a Reggae Twist on it…..I think it fits him…..lame or not.

      •  Many fans have suggested ” River of Dreams” through twitter and  * In The Middle Of The Night * seems to be a toss up which would be better .
        My Personal Favorite song is Innocent Man , I  wont  mind him performing that song ,* well we’ll find out tomorrow*

    • In the Middle of the Night would be a perfect song for Deandre.  It has that almost  reggae  feel to it, which he performs very well.  He has to do a song he feels completely comfortable with…as opposed to last week.

      • “In the Middle of the Night” -IS – “River of Dreams” – – they are the same song….”In the Middle of the Night” is part of the chorus….

  4. It would be dope if Hollie did Big Shot.

    Phil needs to break out some Paul McDonald dance moves

    • Only the Good Die Young for Colton……

      “Come on Virginia, show me a sign, send up a signal I’ll throw you a line”

      • How about the song, She’s got away about her! I can see Colton behind the piano singing this!! Very passionate song..

  5. Branden : 
    “if we heard him sing “Keeping the Faith” as a message to American Idol producers on their recent advice .”   U couldn’t be less sarcastic !! LOL .

  6. whatever song they give to jessica,she can sing it,and she will nail it..i really believe in her talent..jessica FTW..i cant wait……

  7. The problem with songs like Vienna, The Stranger, Italian Restaurant, is how to condense them so they don’t sound lame…..Piano Man is a hard song to edit too.

    I like “Don’t Ask Me Why” for Elise — and “Shameless” for Skylar —

  8. The only ones I feel strongly about are :
    Colton – Piano Man
    Phil2 – You May Be Right
    Joshua – Shameless
    Hollie – The Stranger
    I don’t have very high hopes for the others.

  9. I found it kind of difficult this week to pair the
    contestants up with songs, especially for the female contestants. I think that
    it is going to be a tough week for them. In order for them to be successful
    they are going to have to make some big rearrangements to these songs and get
    their creative juices flowing. I hope that all of the contestants put their own
    spin on these songs, and we have some wow moments as a result. But, that could
    be asking for too much. Haha.

    Anyways, here is how I have broken down what I think the
    contestants should sing.

    Males :

    Joshua: I think he could have a great performance with Tell Her About It

    Deandre: I could see him doing For the Longest Time or The
    River of Dreams.

    Phillip: You May Be
    Right sounds right up Phillip’s Alley to me.

    Colton: If he decides to go soft, then I could see him doing
    She Is Always A Woman. If he decides
    to rock                 this week then I Didn’t Start the Fire, could be a
    great song for him. I could also hear Colton doing I Go To Extremes. But, I think one of the girls could do this song

    Heejun: If Heejun goes with his soft side again, And So It Goes would be an appropriate
    song for his voice. I could also hear him do She Is Always A Woman. If Heejun wants to do something comical then
    I could see him doing Uptown Girl.


    Skylar: She could definitely rock out to Big Shot. I can also hear her singing My Life

    Elise: I really want to hear her sing New Your State of Mind, I really think that it would be fantastic
    for her. I think she would also do a good job on Vienna. Also, Baby Grand could be a great for her, but I’m not sure
    if she can sing it, because I don’t see it on the approved song choice list.

    Erika: I think Erika would do a great job with I Go To Extremes. I can also see her doing
    Honesty or Vienna.

    Hollie: Call me crazy but I can really hear her singing Piano Man. That is literally the only
    song that I can hear suiting her voice. I think she may have a really hard time
    this week, unless she does something that’s going to surprise all of us.

    Jessica: I’ve had a really hard time even finding one song
    for her to sing. I actually don’t have a song for her. I think she will have to
    be extremely creative in what she does this week. I’m really interested in
    seeing what she will do.

    Other songs

    There were a few songs of Billy Joel’s that I could hear
    several of the contestants singing. The first song is Only the Good Die Young. I could hear Skylar, Joshua, Phillip,
    Colton, or Elise doing this one. I could hear any of the contestants along with
    Jessica doing something with Scenes From
    an Italian Restaurant.

    Final Thoughts

    I think this could be a really interesting week. Sure Billy
    Joel songs aren’t exactly new but it’s better then having Beatles week again.
    So, I am interested in what is going to happen. It could either be a really
    good exciting, interesting show. Or it’s going to be extremely dull and boring.
    I’m looking forward to it.

  10. Hollie Cavanagh would sings “Honesty” (Beyonce version) since she always pick ballads;
    Jessica Sanchez — She got a way or we didn’t start the fire
    I’m almost sure Heejun Han would sing “Just the way you are” or “Innocent Man”
    Philip Philips — It’s still rock & roll
    Colton Dixon — I go to extreme

    • When you get older you’ll appreciate him more.  I used to really dislike him when I was younger and then one day it was like…….”wow, this dude is really really good”…..

      It happens….

      • I LOVE YOU!!  baby, i’m 63 which to some people is really old!!  but i’m a die hard rock and roller who prefers the guitar to the piano.  billy joel, to me does have his moments…”uptown girl”, “keeping the faith”, “the longest time”, but that’s about it.  it’s the stones, adam lambert, and strangely enough, lady gaga  and duran duran who blast through my house.

      • I was with you until you got to Lady Gaga — then you really lost points with me…… sorry 😉

      • i won’t debate you on gaga.  i also forgot the who, beatles, and real down home chicago blues

    • Pr63….I don’t think 63 is old!!!!! Its only a number…..I wasn’t sure if you were born in 1963 or 63 yrs. young……….Namesake, we have a lot more in common than I thought…..LOL……

      • you’re right (as usual). and i’m still dancing around in skinny jeans and junior sportswear!!  music keeps us young!!

      • Pr63…………Music & Dancing keeps us young……..thats how we can fit into our skinny jeans…LOL

  11. I would love to hear Colton take on Big Man on Mulberry Street.  Not many may remember this classic however, if he performs it like I have witnessed Billy perform live, he could tear down the house!

  12. Colton should sing Say Goodbye to Hollywood and then afterwards, he should resign and go seek a Christian record label if that’s what he wants to do after the show.  Because American Idol is NOT supposed to be a Christian Music show which is what he is trying to do.

    • are we starting this again??  i’m not christian, but a member of the “hebraic persuasion” and i see nothing wrong with what colton is doing.  have we not heard of religious tolerance in this country??

    • It’s not like Colton has been ramming his Christianity down our throats, so go easy on him.  Christian and cool (or hot ) can go together, you know.

    • people are hating Christian for doing what they think is good, but people are ok with people singing about drugs, sex, hate,  violence and evil!!!!! 

  13. I really like BillyJoel’s music so whatever they sing is OK with me.  Either Elise or HeeJun should be going home.   I’m just hoping the judges don’t confuse these performers too much……Make it your own/don”t make it your own…They confuse me!!!

    • Hi Phyllis…Billy Joel is my fav singer too! So agree with you about the judges…none of them have a convincing comment…I still think Simon is the best judge!

      • Hi Tenisaddict…..He called it like he heard it…..Honestly…no Steven Tyler sugarcoats…….thats the way it should be…..Honest constructive criticism!!!

      • Sometimes, yeah.  But then there were the times he shredded someone just to be a pr**k, like he did with Siobhan.  I never forgave him for that, and so, I’ve never seen XFactor.

  14. Heejun should sing Empire state of mind! Did yuu hear his version of it in the top 42! It was GREAT! 🙂 

  15. Billie Joel is going to ba a challenge for many of these artists, but a good song is a good song, it is just how you interpret it.  Frankly, I don’t like artists doing iconic songs like “Piano Man” because you try to hard to compare them to the originals. So here I my recommendations.

    Colton-Best suggestion for Colton is “You May Be Right”.  This is a rocker that fits his style.

    Deandre-I think that the song that would fit Deandre the best is “The River of Dreams”.

    Elise-I like “And So it Goes” for Elise.  I know Billy sings it very lightly, but I think Elise could turn it into something special with her rasp.

    Ericka-I think “All About Soul” fits Ericka the best.

    Heejun-“She’s Always a Woman” fits HeeJun’s crooner style. 

    Hollie-Either Hollie or Jessica would be best suited with “Just the Way you Are”

    Jessica–And the other one should song “Lullaby (Good Night my Angel)”

    Joshua-This is one I struggle with, but I am thinking “Tell Her About It”  The good news is, like Jessica last week I think he is bulletproof this week.

    Philip-While it is a lot to tackle, “We Didn’t Start the Fire” seems a natural selection for Philip.

    Skylar-A bit obscure, but I think that Skylar should tackle “You’re My Home”.  Probably as close to country as I could find.

    • No one, repeat, NO ONE should sing We Didn’t Start The Fire.  Too much to remember without a tele-prompter and virtually no melody.   And IMO You May Be Right is better suited to Phil.

      • I agree — plus if you can’t do all the verses, leave it alone…..

        I also think iconic songs can be successful — Haley had a “moment” with Bennie and the Jets……

        and you can’t get any more Iconic than “I Will Always Love You” can you?

      • Seeing I already gave  You Maybe Right to Coltin I can’t give it to Phillip as well.  After looking at the list again I think maybe it is time for Coltin to reign it in a bit with either “The Entertainer” or “And So It Goes”

    • I sure hope HeeJun doesn’t do some of the harder ballads  like “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” or “Goodnight Saigon” or “Honesty” — he needs something with a little tempo….

  16. I think Jessica should sing “Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears.
    IF, can nail that she will bring the house down.

  17. Cleared Billy Joel songs for Idol — the 10 songs will come from this list:

    And So It Goes Billy Joel
    Big Shot Billy Joel
    For The Longest Time Billy Joel
    Honesty Billy Joel
    I Go To Extremes Billy Joel
    It’s Still Rock N Roll To Me Billy Joel
    Just The Way You Are Billy Joel
    Leave A Tender Moment Alone Billy Joel
    Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song) Billy Joel
    My Life Billy Joel
    New York State of Mind Billy Joel
    Only The Good Die Young Billy Joel
    Piano Man Billy Joel
    Scenes from an Italian Restaurant Billy Joel
    She’s Always A Woman Billy Joel
    She’s Got A Way Billy Joel
    Tell Her About It Billy Joel
    The River of Dreams Billy Joel
    Uptown Girl Billy Joel
    Vienna Billy Joel
    We Didn’t Start The Fire Billy Joel
    You May Be Right Billy Joel10/128

    Leave A Tender Moment Alone Billy Joel
    Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song) Billy Joel
    My Life Billy Joel
    New York State of Mind Billy Joel
    Only The Good Die Young Billy Joel
    Piano Man Billy Joel
    Scenes from an Italian Restaurant Billy Joel
    She’s Always A Woman Billy Joel
    She’s Got A Way Billy Joel
    Tell Her About It Billy Joel
    The River of Dreams Billy Joel
    Uptown Girl Billy Joel
    Vienna Billy Joel
    We Didn’t Start The Fire Billy Joel
    You May Be Right Billy JoelLeave A Tender Moment Alone Billy Joel
    Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song) Billy Joel
    My Life Billy Joel
    New York State of Mind Billy Joel
    Only The Good Die Young Billy Joel
    Piano Man Billy Joel
    Scenes from an Italian Restaurant Billy Joel
    She’s Always A Woman Billy Joel
    She’s Got A Way Billy Joel
    Tell Her About It Billy Joel
    The River of Dreams Billy Joel
    Uptown Girl Billy Joel
    Vienna Billy Joel
    We Didn’t Start The Fire Billy Joel
    You May Be Right Billy Joel

  18. Would love to hear  Deandre Brackensick sing an Arron Nevilles song… his voice reminds me of his music…”love letters” would sound great….

  19. Although I don’t want anyone to do piano man, somebody will do it, and if anybody does it should be Jessica, and maybe Elise.  Any other contestant would butcher the song, in the bad way.  Not saying these two are the best (imo Jessica is) but im just saying they are the only two that are either a.good enough or b.has the right kind of voice to sing that song without making me plug my ears.

  20. I think:
    DeAndre should sing Innocent ManJessica should sing Tell her about it
    Hollie should sing For the Longest TimeHeejun should sing Uptown GirlPhillip Phillips should sing Only the Good Die YoungJoshua should sing AllentownErika should sing PressureElise should sing Just the Way You AreSkylar should sing We Didn’t Start the FireColton should sing My LifeYeah that’s it!

  21. i know only two songs of billy joel and that is uptown girl and honesty…
    its too predictable if philip will sing uptown girl, i want to song to be sing by heejun (to test him). haha. honesty should be sang by jessica or hollie. 🙂

  22. Those are some lame song choices. 🙁  Surely these contestants can come up with better choices.

  23. Good luck to Heejun tomorrow… I wish they will have an opening song for Thrusday and they should Honesty and other songs of Billy Joel… heheh

  24. Aside from “Piano Man,” I think the other good song choices for Jessica are “Honesty” and “New York State of Mind.”  Any of these songs will bring out the best in her.  This week, she will rule AMERICA again.

  25. Ugh, I’ m really sick of these old singer themes. If I never have to listen to a Stevie Wonder. Billy Joel, or Elton John theme again it wouldn’t be too soon. How bout some 80s, 90s, and 2000s. They don’t cover those years nearly as much as the earlier decades which doesn’t make sense to me considering their trying to capture an 18-49 demo.

    • Jason, I am an “old timer” myself and I very much agree with you. Some of the song choice selections need to be more current or the show very well could lose it targeted audiance. Surely they can strike some sort of compramise. Or is American Idol saying there are no songs of this past decade that are worthy? Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel … are you serious? I grew up in the era of those songs. I hated them then and they are moldy as cheese to me now. and I just know “Disco week” is coming soon as well. Urgh.

  26. HOLLIE- can belt out a song but is too limited. and dresses like she’s already 40 years old. does not own the stage when she performs.
    SKYLAR- I find her voice unique for at least ten seconds of the song but got irritated afterwards.
    ELISE- uh, ATTITUDE QUEEN. her voice quality is like of Haley Reinhart. but i like Haley more than her. maybe because the latter has more appeal.
    ERIKA- nothing especial. she can sing. eeeeeh…
    JESSICA- can sing – ballads, power ballads, R&B, soul, up beat, name it. oooooozing confidence on stage (like a pro!). and stylish!

    PP- looks like he’s having constipation every time he sings onstage. okay, i’ll admit he’s cute. that’s all.
    JOSHUA- the toughest contender of Jessica.
    HEEJUN- above average singer. extraordinary humor. looooove him! Hooray for this guy!
    COLTON- also cute. Cuter than PP, actually. but, he’s nothing but an Adam Lambert wannabe for me.
    DEANDRE- He’s okay. Falsetto is amazing. and the hair.If America is smart enough, it’s a girl’s year for AI.

    •  Heejun is above average singer? *cough*cough*cough*

      And yeah…PP”s body gesture while singing makes me feel uncomfortable. It’s likes Sheldon”s ( of BigBang Theory) up there Lol!

  27. My Song choice for them!

    Joshua Ledet- “The Entertainer”

    Hollie Cavanagh- “Goodnight Saigon” or
    “Uptown Girl”

    Elise Testone- “Vienna”

    Skylar Laine- “Honesty”

    Colton Dixon- “The Ballad Of The Billy Kid” or “She’s Got A Way”

    Jessica Sanchez- “Lullabye (Goodnight, My
    Angel)” or “Piano Man”

    Phillip Phillips- “Only The Good Die Young”

    Erika Van Pelt- “Captain Jack”

    Deandre Brackensick- “She’s Always A Woman To Me”

    Heejun Han- “Downeaster Alexa”

  28. I’m with you 100%
    (unregistered) wrote:        Ugh, I’ m really
    sick of these old singer themes. If I never have to listen to a Stevie Wonder.
    Billy Joel, or Elton John theme again it wouldn’t be too soon. How bout some
    80s, 90s, and 2000s. They don’t cover those years nearly as much as the earlier
    decades which doesn’t make sense to me considering their trying to capture an
    18-49 demo.

    • That may be because most of those songs aren’t public domain and would cost a lot in royalties.  Personally, I’d love a Bon Jovi week, rock, power ballads, country, inspiration.  Bon Jovi’s songbook has something for everyone.

  29. Does anyone know how it is decided which of the contestants goes to the mentors first…and pick their songs? Meaning…who gets first dibs on the songs?

  30. I am a huuuuge Billy Joel fan and have been since I was 7 or 8 years old… which is about the time my 13 year old son started listening to him and enjoying him also. 🙂 Let me say… I am TERRIFIED to see what happens tonight…. lol. There are so many great songs to choose from but not a lot of “typical” AI material. The ones with the big voices may have a hard time finding something to showcase their talents and the rougher, quirkier contestants may shine. All that being said, here are my picks:

    Hollie and Jessica: As the 2 “ballad” girls I think either of them would do well with Honesty or And So It Goes
    Elise: Don’t Ask Me Why or New York State of Mind
    Erika: Lullaby or All About Soul
    Skylar: Shameless is the obvious pick but I also think she could put a country twist on Tell Her About It
    Heejun: He could step it up just a little and try A Matter of Trust… but more likely we’ll see Just the Way You Are
    Deandre: I think he may be the one to best pull off the high notes in Innocent Man and I’m not a Deandre fan but this is my absolute favorite Billy song and I would love to see somebody to sing it well. Otherwise, as others have said River of Dreams with a reggae flair
    Joshua: Keeping the Faith or You May Be Right
    Colton: The only one I want to hear from him is She’s Always a Woman
    Philip: I think it would be great to hear him do the Entertainer but I doubt that would happen… how about The Stranger?

    Some of these match others I’ve read and some may be out of left field. I think a lot of his best songs weren’t well known or may not be suitable for family programming (such as Captain Jack :)). I’m hoping for a great show tonight!

    • Correction…. for Colton I meant She’s Got a Way…

      And it turns out a lot of my choices aren’t on the list. Oh well!

  31. I expect to get blasted for my comments on tonight’s show. If Idol and the Voice had a sing-off right now, the Voice would take over and Idol would be left in the dust. I was really disappointed tonight. Too many of the Idol contestants mistake singing with screaming and growling. It’s like comparing a theater with a zoo. As Barbra Streisand said to Rosie O’Donnell about singing, “Less is better.” Jessica is a good singer, but she starts out loud and stays loud the whole song. A gradual buildup would be more effective. The mentors have said this to several of the contestants this season. At performance time, the contestants tried to not turn on the volume, but soon fell back into the loud is better and lost the effect of building up to the end of the song. This was a 2-hour waste of time.

    • WoW!!!! Giselle I remember that interview when Barbra S. told that to Rosie O’Donnell.   Long time ago!!!!!! I still have the tape when BS was on the RO show……..Long long time ago…..LOL

  32. i think philip should listen to fleetwood macs big love song from lyndsey buckinham,that is his style of song beleave me his voice would make that song top ten in charts sorry if i butchered L.B name

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