AMERICAN IDOL 2012: Colton Dixon. CR: Nino Munoz / FOX

This week’s American Idol 2012 theme is “Now and Then.” What that actually means is, it’s going to be very hard for me to pick song suggestions for them. OK, that’s not what it really means, but it’s what I’ve translated it to.

So, what I’ll do is pick some songs for the American Idol Top 7 and those picks will represent the kinds of songs they should be singing, and not necessarily the songs I picked. Unless they end up singing those songs, then I’ll take full credit. Ha.

Colton Dixon

Now: “We Are Young” by Fun. I think it’s important for Colton do do a popular song right now. And what better song than one that’s all over the radio, commercials and Glee (and isn’t an Adele song!).

Then: “My Girl,” The Temptations. Basically, he just needs to keep catering to the female vote. A song to a girl or about a girl will keep him solid.

Hollie Cavanagh

Now: “I Want You to Need Me,” by Celine Dion. I think Celine is right up Hollie’s alley. She might want to take on something younger though to get some extra votes. But I’d like to hear her do this song.

Then: “Heat Wave” by Martha and the Vandelles. Yeah, this sounds like a generic choice at this point (meaning that song has been done a lot), but Hollie at least needs to do something upbeat to follow or precede a slower “now” song.

Joshua Ledet

Now: “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley. Joshua basically just needs to do something younger and hipper or he’s going to keep landing in the bottom now until he’s eliminated.

Then: He can choose pretty much anything and be right in his element. These are the kinds of songs he does best. I’d like to hear him do some Drifters though, if it were up to me. “There Goes My Baby,” perhaps.

Skylar Laine

Now: “If I Were a Boy,” the Reba version. Most people will know Beyonce’s version, but Reba McIntyre did a country version that would be right up Skylar’s alley.

Then: “Midnight Train To Georgia.” Sylar is a good story teller with her music, so this would be a great song for her. I’d love to hear a country version of this.

Phillip Phillips

Now: Phillip is probably going to sing something obscure, but he really needs to do something popular. I’m going to go with an acoustic version of “Smooth” by Santana and Rob Thomas.

Then: I have a feeling it might be more like “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” but I’d rather it be something more like “Stand By Me.”

Jessica Sanchez

Now: I keep wanting to go to Beyonce for her, but that’s probably not a good idea. Like “Irreplaceable.” So maybe Mary J. Blige would work. Like “Be Without You.”

Then: Is it too obvious/cliche to go with “Respect” by Aretha Franklin for her? It just seems like a song she’d be great at. Regardless, it needs to be high energy and full of soul.

Elise Testone

Now: I can’t believe I’m going to suggest this, but I could kind of hear her doing “Soak up the Sun” by Sheryl Crow. But I think she needs something a little edgier.

Then: “Knock on Wood.” She should stick to the classic soul version and throw in some of the disco touches from the 1970s cover. Elise just needs to have fun and stop trying to have another moment. She should just let it happen if it’s going to happen.

What kinds of songs would you like to hear the American Idol 2012 Top 7 sing this week?

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