'American Idol' Top 7 'Now and Then' Song Suggestions
'American Idol' Top 7 'Now and Then' Song Suggestions
This week, TVLine has announced that the theme is "Now and Then." If it were songs featured in the movie, Now and Then, I would be elated, but this is not the case. "Now and Then" apparently means Billboard hits from 2000-2012 and "soul" songs from the past. It's so broad, in fact, that the contestants can pretty much sing whatever they want. Really! "Soul songs from the past"? What does that even mean, other than they want to ensure Joshua a spot in the Top 6?

Each contestant will sing two songs this week, which means we have a pretty packed episode ahead of us. 14 songs! And no duets, thank god. Here's what I would like to hear each contestant sing in this very broad week:

Phillip Phillips

NOW: "The Space Between" by Dave Matthews Band
This may be as close to a 90's theme week as we get, so Phillip needs to take full advantage of the year 2000. Other options for Phillip include "Follow Me" by Uncle Kracker, "No Such Thing" by John Mayer, and "Wonderful" by Everclear. But come on, he has to sing a Dave Matthews Band song just to get it out of the way.

THEN: "Lean On Me" by Bill Withers
This song is a bit over-played, but I think if anyone can change it up and make it really cool, it's Phillip. He could also make us all quiver with a cool rendition of "You've Really Got a Hold on Me" by The Miracles.

Colton Dixon

NOW: "Stop and Stare" by OneRepublic
OneRepublic is a great fit for Colton, isn't it? Anyway, like I said last week, Colton's style is very current, so he has a lot to choose from this week and it's his week to shine.

THEN: "Twist and Shout" by The Isley Brothers
One can't be mopey and dramatic at the white piano all the time! It's time for Colton to have a fun, Ferris Bueller moment here. I think he could really have fun with this song, and when you have two performances, you need to strike a balance in tone.

Jessica Sanchez

NOW: "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera
Wouldn't this bring the house down? Yes, it would. I also suggested a Christina Aguilera song for Hollie, because I just really want someone to sing some Xtina! Jessica could also sing "If I Ain't Got You" by Alicia Keys. Ooh that would be stellar. 

THEN: "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Diana Ross and the Supremes
Jessica could sing something even more powerful than a Diana Ross song, to be fair, but this week she needs to sing two songs that are recognizable more than anything else. I think the obscurity of her choice hurt her last week and she can only ride out that bottom-two backlash for so long. Another amazing choice for her would be any Aretha Franklin song, although I kind of want Joshua to do that.

Elise Testone

NOW: "Love Song" by Sara Bareilles
Wouldn't this be great? I don't know if Elise cares for Sara Bareilles or not, and that will make a huge difference in her performance, but I think this song could really suit her vocal style nicely.

THEN: "Try a Little Tenderness" by Otis Redding
I love this song, and I bet Elise does, too. She's got a little soul in her! Again, it doesn't matter so much what Elise sings this week as much as whether or not she likes the song. So my recommendation is that she pick something she likes and is familiar with.

Hollie Cavanagh

NOW: "Come On Over" by Christina Aguilera
Really, Hollie could sing anything by Christina Aguilera and I'd be happy. This is the perfect time for that, and she needs to get out of the sleepy song funk. She took the edge out of a Pink song and it's time to get her groove back with another Xtina song. One that isn't a Disney song this time.

THEN: "Rescue Me" by Fontella Bass
This could be a great fit for Hollie's voice, and without the Save in play and given the last couple weeks of performances, she will need all the rescuing she can get. I'm just kidding! She's obviously doing alright for herself. But this would be a great song! I also think "Band of Gold" by Freda Payne would be good. 

Joshua Ledet

NOW: "I Try" by Macy Gray
Is this weird? Is it too weird a choice? I still want Joshua to sing a Cee Lo Green song, by the way, since he didn't last year. But maybe singing a smoky lady song like this Macy Gray hit could be cool. I don't know! What if he sang "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon? That would be really interesting.

THEN: "Respect" by Aretha Franklin
Wouldn't this be epic? The "Then" portion of the show is obviously where Joshua will shine. It's built for him!

Skylar Laine

NOW: "Landslide" by The Dixie Chicks
OK, there is no way Skylar will sing this song because it's really a Fleetwood Mac song so this is kind of cheating, if anyone is going to sing this song it will be Elise, and she has a whole book full of country hits to choose from, but wouldn't it be awesome? She can sing any Carrie Underwood, Reba, or Miranda Lambert song and she'll be fine/amazing. How about "Redneck Woman" by Gretchen Wilson?

THEN: "Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knight
It could be weird, or it could be spectacular. It's all in the arrangement with this one. Maybe she'll surprise us with a Kelly Clarkson move and sing "Natural Woman" by Aretha Franklin! Someone ought to.

What would YOU like to hear them sing? How do you like this theme?

(images courtesy of FOX)