This week, the Top 9 will ask themselves the question: "who is my idol?" and I doubt Phillip and Colton will be allowed to answer, "I'm my own idol." You gotta be an original while singing someone else's music! Anyway, the theme this week is nice and broad: Songs from Your Idols! So the Top 9 will choose someone they want to sing a song from, and sing it. Does it matter if they're honest about whether or not the artist is a real idol of theirs? Probably not.
As a jumping off point for my suggestions, I used the question on each contestants' fan page, "who are some of your personal musical influences?" Regardless of what they choose, I'm sure this week will spring back from the balladic dregs of Billy Joel week. Here are my picks for the Top 9:
Colton Dixon - "How to Save a Life" by The Fray
Colton lists his musical influences as "Daughtry, Paramore, 30 Seconds to Mars, Lifehouse, Evanescence, the Fray." Yup, that seems about right. I would like to hear Colton sing something from The Fray, like maybe "All at Once," but I could also see him singing "The Only Exception" by Paramore, since it's a bit more current and will keep him in the top.
DeAndre Brackensick - "The Girl is Mine" by Michael Jackson
DeAndre's musical influences are Eric BenÃ©t, Maxwell, Patti Labelle, but he sounds so much like Aaron Neville to me that I would love to hear him finally sing one of his songs. I don't know, though, all these choices are terrible! DeAndre, the lost soul. I think he should sing a ballad again this week, because clearly the up-tempo songs aren't really working for him.
Elise Testone - "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt
Elise's musical influences are all over the map: BB King, Tori Amos, Erykah Badu, Michael Jackson, Bonnie Raitt, Jewel, Lauryn Hill. Any of these would be great for her, too! Do you think she might sing Janis Joplin to appease the judges? Or maybe she'll make it far enough in the competition for them to pick it for her. Either way, I think this would be a good week for her to sing "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt because it really seems like she can't make the voters love her.
Heejun Han - "That's What Love is All About" by Michael Bolton
Well, Heejun has already sung the crap out of Michael Bolton's "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" so he can't choose that. And Jessica Sanchez was his style icon, so who knows what he'll say this week. He lists his influences as Michael McDonald, James Ingram and Bobby Caldwell, so I think, as strange as it may seem, a Michael McDonald or Michael Bolton song would be a good fit for him.
Hollie Cavanagh - "Come On Over" by Christina Aguilera
When asked who her personal musical influences are, Hollie said, "all the Divas ... Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, and Mariah Carey especially. ... And I can't leave out Adele." She has sung so many of those divas already! I'd still love to see her take on "Come On Over," though. I don't care if you think it's a terrible song. It's fun, and she needs to sing a non-ballad at least once.
Jessica Sanchez - "Irreplaceable" by Beyonce
When I saw that Jessica listed her influences as "Beyonce, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Etta James... etc." I stopped at Beyonce and was like "YES." I could also see Jessica singing a Jennifer Hudson song, though, her voice reminds me so much of J. Hud. Regardless, I want Jessica to give a more modern song another go and I think Beyonce is the perfect opportunity.
Joshua Ledet - "Please, Please, Please" by James Brown
I think Joshua misunderstood the question of musical influences, because he listed just, "my mother" on americanidol.com. So this could go anywhere, really. I think James Brown would be a good fit for Joshua.
Phillip Phillips - "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" by CCR
Phillip also misunderstood the question, perhaps, answering honestly, "My bro in-law, Ben Neil." The obvious choice here would be Dave Matthews Band. But is that one of his idols, or just who he sounds like? Phillip is so much into being yourself and being an original, that I wonder if he'll sing an original song or something. I have no idea what he'll sing.
Skylar Laine - "Hell on Heels" by Pistol Annies (Miranda Lambert)
When asked about her idols, Skylar had this to say: "Miranda Lambert and Waylon Jennings. Miranda is my Idol. I know every single song she has recorded. I grew up listening to Waylon and I still do every day." So she's definitely singing Miranda Lambert. Which song, though? Your guess is as good as mine!
(images courtesy of FOX)