American Idol Top 10 Theme Is Billy Joel: We've Got Suggestions for Every Contestant!

billy joelLet’s hope they can handle “Pressure.” Indeed, American Idol‘s Season 11 Top 10 will tackle the Billy Joel songbook next Wednesday (8/7c, Fox).

The following night, Season 10 standout Haley Reinhart will return to perform her new single “Free” (hopefully without any treacherous comments from Randy Jackson and/or Jennnifer Lopez); Lana Del Ray will perform “Video Games”; and another finalist will be at risk of going home (unless the Judges’ Save is used).

American Idol Top 11 Results Recap: Did the Right Decision Get Made This Week? 

Here’s my dream set list for the Top 10. Ch-ch-check it out, then hit the comments and post your own!

Hollie Cavanagh, “The Downeaster Alexa
Joshua Ledet, “You May Be Right
Skylar Laine, “Only the Good Die Young
Elise Testone, “Allentown
DeAndre Brackensick, “An Innocent Man
Jessica Sanchez, “Just the Way You Are
Colton Dixon, “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)”
Erika Van Pelt, “And So It Goes
Phillip Phillips, “Don’t Ask Me Why
Heejun Han, “She’s Always a Woman

Your turn. Start the brainstorming prcoess below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Mellie says:

    Finally a good theme. I’ve never listened to a Billy Joel song I didn’t like, can’t wait to hear what the Idols come up with.

    • Mellie says:

      How did I miss the bit about Haley! Eeee, can’t wait to hear her some place other than my iPod!

      • They haven’t done Billy Joel in a long time. Should be interesting. There are a ton of great songs he has, so they should be able to do well. Piano Man, Just The Way You Are, River of Dreams, a ton of great songs to choose from. This week was tough, the next one should be better more cohesive. Hopefully there will be more Jessica and Phillip moments over the middle of the line type performances we got last night.

        • TheBeach says:

          I will be really surprised if either Colton or Elise doesn’t sing Piano Man…while sitting at the piano.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          I also thought Piano Man or even Scenes From an Italian Restaurant are perfect for Colton. I never get tired of “Piano Man”.

          • Mike says:

            If you want to see a butchering of “Piano Man” look no further than a you tube clip of Joshua Gracin butchering it in season 2! I hope this crop of kids can do Billy justice more than the season 2 bunch. lol

          • karenb says:

            LOVE Scenes from an Italian Restaurant. I think it would be
            difficult to reduce it down to the 90 seconds, though. I would
            be quite impressed, though, if some tried to tackle it.

        • john says:

          Hollie – Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)
          Joshua – She’s Got a Way
          Skylar – It’s Still Rock & Roll To Me
          Elise – NY State of Mind
          Deandre – Just The Way You Are
          Jessica – Only the Good Die Young
          Colton – Ballad of Billy the Kid
          Erika – Captain Jack
          Phillip – You May Be Right
          Heejun – Movin’ Out

          • AS says:

            @John…good choices!!! Erika needs to let it rip and Captain Jack is a great choice. Also think NY State of Mind is bluesy good for Elise.

      • Lee says:

        if Jessica sings Just The Way You Are, I hope she changes it up a bit and makes it more jazzy. Then she will have another moment. And maybe this time Michael will give her a solid A.

    • bytes says:

      so its billy joel them; here is my guess of the songs the top 10 will sing:
      1. elise = 2 bottoms so def she wants to be herself, she wanna be safe, so probably she will pick piano man (wish: new york state of mind)
      2. heehjun = will either go uptempo for uptown girl (asians love singing that in karaoke) or he will be do shes always a woman. (wish just sing, its enough for me to see him on tour).
      3. jessica = this time will think she wants to be safe so she might go to slower ones, she will pick new york state of mind or honesty (wish: no idea).
      4. deandre = he might sing just the way you are.
      5. philip phillips= most prob he will pick only the good die young.
      6. hollie = hope youll sing uptempo this time.. im rooting for you

      • WhatYaWant says:

        ‘New York State of Mind’ is a GREAT choice for Jessica Sanchez. It allows her to showcase her bluesy sultry side like her excellent Etta James cover on youtube. ‘Just The Way You Are’ is too limited for her.

        • marie says:

          Jessica singing “New York State of Mind”? NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!
          But yes, it WOULD be perfect for Elise – it’s really bluesy, and she could just eat it up.
          Jessica would probably sing it with a big grin on her face (ugh).

          • Bobbi says:

            Jessica is perfect for “New York State of Mind”. I don’t understand why the above comment would projectt that she’d smile? Not her style for the non dance songs.
            Elise should do “Vienna” which would give the audience a chance to hear more of her range.

          • Mike says:

            Totally agree that Elise would be awesome on “vienna”…one of my favorite Billy songs. But, I don’t think it’s well known enough for anyone to attempt that one.

          • Christine says:

            Maybe Jessica should sing Piano Man.

        • ladyhelix says:

          If she’s a good enough actress (Jessica) she could pull it off. That song needs to be delivered with longing and depth of feeling (and perhaps by a singer that sounds like they have some “mileage”).
          Jessica would need to get into that New York State of Mind – not just sing pretty. I believe she could go there.

      • Templar says:

        OK here goes [easy on the criticism please].
        Hollie – The Stranger because she needs to do an up-tempo song
        Joshua – Tell Her About It
        Skylar – It’s Still Rock & Roll To Me
        Elise – And So It Goes
        Deandre – Just The Way You Are
        Jessica – River Of Dreams
        Colton – Piano man
        Erika – For The Longest Time
        Phillip – You May Be Right
        Heejun – Honesty

        • CinEnke says:

          WOW….I love the songs you picked…those would be perfect.
          Need to send you list to Nigel/Jimmy!!! :)
          Let hope the contestants are smart enough to choose these.

        • Christine says:

          I think Jessica should Piano Man and Colton should sing Big Shot.

    • Joseph says:

      I think Michael is missing some of the better songs that can allow a singer to connect with the audience ,
      I would really like to hear someone that can cover Captain Jack and do it justice, another great song would be Tomorrow is Today.

      • Joseph says:

        BTW , I agree with some of the others , Vienna is a no brainer if as a song that might allow a singer to connect with the voters.

        • Deej says:

          Vienna is a perfect song and my personal theme song :) Another great underrated song of his is Angry Young Man from Turnstiles. He usually opens his live shows with that and it always blows me away.

      • David says:

        Captain Jack is over seven minutes long. You think anyone could give that a fair shake in 90 seconds?

        • Mike says:

          Well, it’s a basic, verse/chorus/verse/chorus structure. Obviously, you would only be able to do one verse and chorus. Scenes would definitely be tougher to slim down to 90 seconds. I don’t think Captain Jack would be a good showcase for someone’s voice, as awesome as the song is!

        • Deej says:

          Plus the whole drug burnout theme may not be so wholesome as AI likes to be.

      • Deej says:

        Tomorrow is Today is my favourite track from Cold Spring Harbour. Absolutely stunning.

  2. Alex says:

    Glad Shannon left, she should’ve been voted off last week. Not sure how I feel about Billy Joel week. I hate it when the judges say “oh, you don’t touch (insert big artist here).” Then why do you insist they all sing their songs?! Drives me nuts. Can’t they just skip to pick your own song or Hot 100 week already?

    And Lana Del Rey? This is a “singing competition”. Shouldn’t they have people who can actually sing?

    • TheBeach says:

      Wow, tonight Demi Levato and next week Lana del Rey. That’s some amazing vocalists you’re giving us, Nigel.

    • Templar says:

      IMO Billy Joel is the exception to the Don’t Touch rule. Like Dylan, he’s not an exceptional singer, but a great musician/songwriter/performer. So, other singers can do justice to his material.

  3. TB says:

    Haley Reinhart will be on my TV again, and Nigel has to pay her this time. Is there any better news than that?

  4. darcy's evil twin says:

    You may be right…I may be crazy! But it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for…:-)
    LOTS of variety. There really isn’t any excuse for bad song choices next week.

    • Joy says:

      Assuming the producers actually let them pick from the whole catalog…

    • TheBeach says:

      Yep, lots of great songs that I remember well. Unfortunately, they were hits before the contestants were born…again :)

      • darcy's evil person says:

        What’s your point? ;-)
        Hey, Beach, we saw what happened when they picked songs from the year they were born – they ended up singing a bunch of covers of songs that were popular when I was a kid! Even Elise picked a song that was a Tina Turner cover and surely she could have picked something original from 1983.
        I don’t care how you slice it, dice it, or make thousands of julienne fries, Otis Redding is ALWAYS going to trump those bad rap songs. I hate to even call them “songs”.

        • TheBeach says:

          Just jivin’ with ya, Darcy. As another posted mentioned, I do hope they have access to the entire Billy Joel catalog and not a very restricted one.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Here, here. And please in the name of everything holy do NOT let Heejun anywhere near ‘Uptown Girl’.

          • Templar says:

            The fact of the matter is that singer songwriters from this century aren’t exactly thick on the ground. And those that are mainly write in Nashville.

          • My Alter Ego says:

            @ Templar: “The fact of the matter is that singer songwriters from this century aren’t exactly thick on the ground. And those that are mainly write in Nashville.”

            Altogether a revealing atatement, unfortunately.

  5. Miscellaneopolan says:

    Yay! Songs I know! Deandre for ‘The River of Dreams’. Erica for ‘You May Be Right’. I don’t what Heejun SHOULD do but he probably WILL do a quiet, breathy version of ‘She’s Always a Woman to Me’. Good times.

  6. Miscellaneopolan says:

    Looking forward to seeing Haley, too. I hope Randy gives comments about Free. “Screechy, not enough attitude, just not the right song choice for you.”

    • ben says:

      I can see it right now. J-Lo: “Hey, baby. Remember what we talked about last year? It’s all about singing the hit records. How can you expect us to connect with this song that none of us had ever heard before?”

      • marie says:

        While very conviently, this week she “connected” just fine with the song Colton sang which she said she’d never heard before!

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I would challenge anyone to name five Jennifer Lopez songs – and the songs from the movie “Selena” do NOT count!

      • My Alter Ego says:

        Meanwhile, currently the count for those who’ve listened to the song at Soundcloud is 60517 (PDT) and by the time it airs on AI 11, who knows what it will be.

  7. RodMod says:

    “Uptown Girl” is very near and dear to me. I am already skeptical of the person who chooses to that. But, if I had to choose, I’d like to see either Phil or Colton take a go at it. Or maybe even Elise. ;)

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      I think it’d be a better pic for Colton. Phil can do Big Shot or My Life. I wonder if Elise could handle something like We Didn’t Start the Fire. I think she could get a good staccato rhythm going. Or maybe The Longest Time (quite possibly my favorite Billy Joel tune); it would focus all the attention on her terrific voice.
      The real question is: who will bore us with the inevitable rendition of Piano Man? My money’s on Hollie.
      I’m really looking forward to next week now.

      • Deej says:

        The only problem I would see with Start the Fire is it’s not exactly melodically challenging. Great song but not enough to show off a person’s voice.

        • Templar says:

          Not to mention the fact that they are sure to screw up the lyric. Too much to learn in a week.

          • Miscellaneopolan says:

            Something tells me a musically astute person like Elise will be familiar with it. But Deej has a good point that it’s not really the kind of song that shows off one’s voice.
            I badly want Deandre to sing The River of Dreams. It would good but limited use of his falsetto and could allow him to connect with the audience. Hopefully the lyrics won’t prove too abstract.

  8. RodMod says:

    And OMG! If you have not already heard free there is a beautiful live acoustic version of it on Youtube that I’ve watched a GAZILLION times. And I heard the studio version as recently as yesterday and it’s already making it’s way up my own personal music charts! ;)

    I’m really excited for our Haley!

  9. Snsetblaze says:

    Good theme but I think Idol should do a Monkees theme. Whitney died and the girls sang her songs. Why not do a Monkees tribute because Davy Jones died? His death was unexpected. Hers was just a matter of time because of all her drug problems.

    • RodMod says:

      I don’t think you completely thought this out before you posted it. *Eagerly Awaits*

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I’m right there with you, Snsetblaze. The Monkees were accomplished musicians and some of the music is quite good. “Pleasant Valley Sunday” was written by Carole King. It would be fun to see Mickey, Peter, and Mike as mentors, although Mike may not participate – he has family money because his mother invented liquid paper, more commonly known as ‘white out’, so he’s been less inclined to tour. It also means some of the readers here will dislike him intensely, much like they dislike Shannon.

    • Darcy Burke says:

      I usually hate themes with really old songs, but I love this idea. <3 The Monkees!

    • Eolra says:

      Agree! Whether during their “manufactured” years, or during the later years when they had more musical input, The Monkees put out some really great songs. Something for everyone really – from bubblegum pop to moody psychedelics….

  10. RodMod says:

    Come to think of it, “Uptown Girl” would make for an excellent group number. (Since it IS sang in unison/harmony!!)

    Now THAT would be a treat! @__@

    • RodMod says:

      The guys doing the lead while the girls echo with the background vocals! (Why am I psyching myself out! LOOL!)

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Uptown Girl WOULD be a good group number – on The Sing-Off.
      The group numbers on Idol are typically dreadful. Once you watch the group numbers on The Sing-Off you’ll never go back.

  11. Octodad says:

    How I read this article: Blah blah blah blah HAAAAAALLEEEEEYYYY!!!1!1!! blah blah blah.

  12. Rebecca Parker says:

    If anyone does “Vienna” they will instantly become my favorite.

    • Sara says:

      I think any of them could pull it off….I agree though. I will just die of happiness if someone does Vienna. Would be really interesting to see Skylar do it.

      Actually….. Anybody but Elise or Erika :/

    • Mark says:

      Rebecca Parker, I have put you in my personal “TV Line comments Hall of Fame” for the amazing words you put on my screen. :) :)

    • oncloud9 says:


    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      It’s a shame. Vienna, to me, is almost tailor-made for Elise. Of all the contestants, I think she would do the best job of connecting to the (very beautiful) lyrics, and I can just see her sitting at the piano and torching it up. But she won’t do it because she needs to do a hit if she wants to stay in the competition. I doubt anybody will do it, actually, but they should…

  13. Isaac says:

    I know they’d never do it, but The Downeaster Alexa would be really awesome. Philip maybe? Erika?

  14. Jason says:

    Since I’m clearly in the minority, the thought of a Billy Joel theme makes me want to go take a siesta. Zzzzzz. Way to wrangle in the 18-34 demo, Nigel.

    • Matt says:

      I don’t know, man. I’ve never met a person who doesn’t know and love Billy Joel songs.

      • Reb says:

        Ummm, me, dude. Can’t stand Billy Joel, especially the post Glass Houses part of his catalog.

        • Anthony says:

          You can’t stand ‘The Nylon Curtain’ album?
          It must be difficult for you to hear and feel anything
          Since you obviously have no ears and no soul.

          • Deej says:

            The Nylon Curtain is a masterpiece, not only as an album itself but as a Beatles homage. I dare anyone not to hear Scandinavian Skies and not thing of Sgt. Pepper.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            “Nylon Curtain” was critically acclaimed (produced by Phil Ramone) but something of a commercial flop (by Billy Joel standards, anyway). I was young and working with a bunch of people my age and I can remember us all saying we weren’t sure what Joel’s problem was – not to mention Bruce Springsteen, who released the “Nebraska” album at about the same time. Two guys that were huge stars with tons of money releasing the most depressing albums known to man, LOL.
            Soon afterwards Joel released “An Innocent Man”, which was far more commercially successful and Springsteen released “Born in the USA”.

        • Mike says:

          I love Billy Joel (my favorite artist since basically birth, since my parents played him all the time and took me to a concert at 8 lol). But even I can appreciate the comedy in movies like Stepbrothers where there is a Billy Joel cover-band called “Uptown Girl” that plays strictly 80’s Doo-Wop Billy Joel. (i.e. the Innocent man album) That is hysterical!

          High School and College were pretty rough being a Billy Joel fan, but you can always find a legion of people that appreciate good music from a talented singer/songwriter! Plus singing/playing “Piano Man” on a piano STILL kills at parties. :-)

    • Paige says:

      Amennnnnnn to that! I have always been faithful to idol but the themes they choose are not exactly exciting. They should have more exciting options like The Voice.

  15. JAson S. says:

    God no!!! Not another ballad from Heejun!!! Here’s my picks

    Joshua Ledet – All For Leyna

    Hollie Cavanaugh – Just The Way You Are

    Heejun – Uptown Girl

    Phil Philips – Pressure

    Deandre – The Entertainer

    Erika – My Life

    Colton Dixon – Piano Man

    Jessica Sanchez – Don’t Ask ME Why

    Skylar – You MAy BE Right

    Elise – Don’t Ask Me Why

    Can’t go wrong with Billy Joel and with most of the dead weight gone this should be a very good night!!!

    • Templar says:

      I’m going to be so disappointed if Colton doesn’t do Piano man. And likewise bummed if P2 doesn’t do You May Be Right [it’s right up his wacky alley].

  16. Jason S. says:

    I have a feeling that Haley Reinhart and Billy Joel will meet at Idol next Thursday and Haley will become his newest wife!!!

  17. Terry says:

    HALEY!!! BLEEP YA!!! :D

  18. Joy says:

    DeAndre, “Uptown Girl”
    Hollie, “Tell Her About It”
    Skylar, “You May Be Right”
    Joshua, “River of Dreams”
    Jessica, “All About Soul”
    Phillip, “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”
    Erika, “Only the Good Die Young”
    Colton, “An Innocent Man”
    Heejun, “The Longest Time”
    Elise, “I Go to Extremes”

    • MediaHo says:

      Joy, I applaud you — you obviously know your Billy Joel tunes! I like all your choices, especially “All About Soul” and “Only the Good Die Young.” “You May Be Right” is ideal for Skylar, and another one I’d choose for her is “Shameless,” which Garth Brooks covered. Yours is the best list I’ve seen thus far.

      • Joy says:

        Haha, thanks! My knowledge of the Billy Joel catalog is not deep at ALL (I’m picking up lots of great new recommendations from the other comments here!), but I’ve had all of his greatest hits albums in heavy rotation in my player at various points. I suspect I’m going to love this theme almost no matter what they choose. :-)

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      I love a lot of your choices, especially those for Skyler, Phillip, and Erika. But please don’t let Heejun do “The Longest Time”! That song requires really crisp pronunciation, and Heejun… well…

      • Joy says:

        Fair point! I was figuring it’s not too complex melodically (which could help him avoid pitch issues and provide a nice uncluttered canvas on which to showcase his tone), and sufficiently peppier than his previous choices to be an attention-grabber without being a radical departure from his comfort zone. It’s also such a *sweet* song that it seems like a good fit for his persona. :-) But I wasn’t really thinking about enunciation, and don’t have a good feel for what might work better in that regard…

        • Miscellaneopolan says:

          I think we all need to make peace with the fact that Heejun is going to do ‘She’s Always a Woman To Me.’ Then again, my favorite performance of his this season was his final judgment rendition of ‘New York State of Mind’, so it’s not like he can’t do Billy Joel at all.

    • bbbb says:

      Joy: You definitely picked the best songs .. Esp. Heejun: the Longest Time and Joshua: River of Dreams. but Lullaby is also a gorgeous song.

  19. Alain says:

    Jessica – Honesty or Just The Way You Are

  20. paige says:

    Think outside your tiny top 40 box, people! What about All For Leyna, zanzibar, the stranger… or any track off Cold Spring Harbor! Personal pony… Summer Highland Falls. But only done well!

    • Mike says:

      I would love a “non-top 40” billy joel night, but the contestants have to appeal to the masses. So, that’s pretty much the way it’s gonna go.

    • Crayzforidol says:

      I love Summer Highland Falls – one of my fav. Billy Joel songs! Imagine Colton sitting at the piano, singing that song. Could give him an Idol moment! I think Elise or Erika could do a good job with it as well, if Colton doesn’t do it.

  21. AC says:

    Heejun: Uptown Girl

    Phillip: She’s Always a Woman

    Erika: Allentown

    Elise: Piano Man

    Skylar: You May Be Right

    Colton: Pressure

    Jessica: New York State of Mind

    Deandre: Tell Her About It

    Hollie: And So It Goes

    Joshua: River of Dreams

    • ladyhelix says:

      Yes-Yes-Yes!! Much better!!

      Or how about if Skyler and Hollie switched?

      Skylar: And So It Goes
      Hollie: You May Be Right

    • John says:

      These choices are spot-on. I especially like Pressure for Colton and Allentown for Erika. I could also see her singing “Only The Good Die Young.” She has the grit in her voice to really pull it off. I also would love to see Elise singing Piano Man.

  22. takakupo says:

    OMG Michael! I clicked on the link for Hollie and I’m like dying! Seriously, how perfectly showstopper would this be for her if she put her big voice to this song!? DO IT HOLLIE! DO IT!!!

  23. George says:

    Here is my List:

    Phillip – “You May Be Right”
    Skylar – “Only The Good Die Young”
    Deandre – “Leave a Tender Moment Alone”
    Colton “Goodnight Saigon”
    Joshua – “She’s Got A Way”
    Elise – “Vienna”
    HeeJun – “She’s Always A Woman”
    Jessica – ” New York State of Mind”
    Hollie – “Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)”
    Erika – “Honesty”

  24. HudsonRiverSide says:

    Hollie Cavanagh, “The Downeaster Alexa”
    Joshua Ledet, “Only the Good Die Young”
    Skylar Laine, “ Tell Her About It”
    Elise Testone, “Allentown”
    DeAndre Brackensick, “An Innocent Man”
    Jessica Sanchez, “New York State of Mind”
    Colton Dixon, “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)”
    Erika Van Pelt, “Honesty”
    Phillip Phillips, “You May Be Right”
    Heejun Han, “She’s Always a Woman”

  25. CJ says:

    My favorite Billy Joel songs are Allentown and The Stranger.

  26. lia says:

    Piano man for Phillip squared

  27. Karen O says:

    Omg I would love to hear Skylar’s You May Be Right.

  28. MK204 says:

    “Innocent Man” is perfect for DeAndre. One of my favorite Billy Joel songs is “New York State of Mind”. I hope no one gets it confused with that other song of the same or similar name. I think that might fit Joshua.

    I can also see HeeJun singing Piano Man which is another great classic. And maybe Colton or Phillip can do “Uptown Girl”. That also may fit DeAndre.

    Other choices…but don’t know who I want to sing what but…

    Still Rock and Roll to Me.
    We Didn’t Start The Fire
    Say Goodbye to Hollywood

  29. crotchlesspanties says:

    Colton should do WE DIDN’T START THE FIRE

    • marie says:

      I think that one might be a poor choice for any of the contestants: like Skylar’s Bonnie Raitt song the other night, there’s not much for a singer to show off in that one. Not a “singer’s song,” if you will. Billy Joel has many more, more melodic songs to choose from.

  30. Andrew says:


  31. Twain says:

    You all are going with too popular picks.

    Skylar: Shameless
    Philip: All for Leyna
    Colton: Close to the Borderline or Sometimes a Fantasy
    Elise: Honesty
    Joshua: Tell Her About It

    Agree though that DeAndre should do Innocent Man or Leave a Tender Moment Alone. Should use that falsetto.

  32. Paige Miles Away says:

    I love your setlist, Michael! And I can’t wait for Haley to sing her new song. I wish Pia, Thia and Naima were her backup singers! I love last year’s women!

  33. Josh says:

    Whatever Heejun sings he will butcher Phil and Colton will suck as wel. whatever the girls will be critized when they are better than the guys all girl bottom three Again .

    This show gets so boring lets Watch Guy Idol again YAY!!

  34. Nate says:

    It’s a decent theme and the suggestions are probably as good as the contestants can do, but I’d rather just hear Haley sing at this point.

  35. Musica1 says:

    Michael, why wouldn’t you want Elise to do “Shameless?” I know it was made more famous by Garth Brooks, but it’s a Billy Joel song, and Elise could have a moment with it that could change her Idol future.

    And I’m not a fan of his but I would like to hear Joshua do “Until the Night.”. If he could resist going into his screechy cat-coughing-up-a-hairball voice, he could also have a moment.

    One more suggestion would be “Stilleto” for Phil Phillips.

    Billy Joel week doesn’t have to be boring if the contestants go outside the “Just the Way You Are” box.

  36. MusicMavenEast says:

    Here’s my $1.98 worth for the coming week (and I’m super glad it’s Billy Joel!)

    Hollie Cavanagh, “Honesty”
    Joshua Ledet, “River of Dreams”
    Skylar Laine, “You May Be Right”
    Elise Testone, “New York State of Mind”
    DeAndre Brackensick, “An Innocent Man”
    Jessica Sanchez, “And So It Goes”
    Colton Dixon, “Pressure”
    Erika Van Pelt: “I Go to Extremes”
    Phillip Phillips: “Big Shot”
    Heejun Han: “Shameless” but I could care less…he should have been gone this week!

    • TheBeach says:

      I’m a big Billy Joel fan and really like most all of his songs. For some reason I just never liked “Honesty”. Please don’t hurt me.

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      Good pick on Skyler singing ‘You May Be Right’. Why didn’t I think of that? She should rock that out.

      • Templar says:

        That would be better for P2. Skylar would nail It’s Still R&R To Me.

        • Miscellaneopolan says:

          Yeah… I think ‘You Might Be Right’ would be better for Skyler because the melody is a little more rocking and would allow her to do that stomp-all-over-the-stage thing she does. Phillip could do it too, but I think he’d rock on ‘Still Rock and Roll’ as well. There are a whole bunch of songs Phillip would do a good take on, actually.

  37. plain_anne says:

    I would LOVE to hear JESSICA sing Vienna!

  38. Lo says:

    I agree with Slezak that Skylar would sound good on Only the Good Die Young, but the lyrics are pretty inappropriate for a teenage girl to sing. Maybe a better fit for Phillip?

    • marie says:

      Hmmm…I think the lyrics (thinking of the second line here) might make the song unsingable on Idol altogether.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Well, it’s fashionable right now to clobber on the Catholics I suppose Idol may as well jump on the bandwagon. :-)

        Hey, if they can do Alanis Morisette’s “You Oughta Know” on Idol anything is possible. But seriously, I think there are more appropriate Billy Joel songs – and plenty of them.

        • marie says:

          Not so much “clobbering on” the Catholics as just the whole idea of mentioning on air on a family show the whole thing about “start[ing] much too late…” Nah. Best they go with one of the many more appropriate songs – you’re right, there are tons of them.

  39. odannigirl says:

    I could totally see Colton or Philip singing “We Didn’t Start the Fire” or “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me.” I think “River of Dreams” would be prefect for Deandre. It has the falsetto but he would need to show control over it and reel it in a little. I would like to see Heejun do a more up tempo song lie “Uptown Girl” or if he were to go back to another slower song “Piano Man” would be good. I think Elise would do well with “Uptown Girl”

    My List:

    Phillip – “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”
    Skylar – “Only The Good Die Young”
    Deandre – “River of Dreams”
    Colton – “We Didn’t Start the Fire”
    Joshua – “Big Shot”
    Elise – “Uptown Girl”
    HeeJun – “Piano Man”
    Jessica – “Just the Way You Are”
    Hollie – “Lullaby”
    Erika – “You May Be Right”

    • marie says:

      “Uptown Girl” for Elise? No way. There are several problems with that:
      – On this show, no way are they going to let a girl sing a song of longing about another girl. It would have to become “Uptown Boy,” which ruins the rhyme scheme (and also sounds less believable as far as the story), or she’d have to sing it in the first person, i.e., “Uptown girl / I’VE been living in my uptown world,” which becomes ridiculous: “He’ll see I’m not so tough”? “I’ll see he’s not so tough”? Nope, doesn’t work.
      – Like We Didn’t Start the Fire, it’s not a great song to show off a voice, and Elise has a lot to show off – AND a lot of ground to make up. She’s just terrific, IMO, but if she’s going to stay safe, she’ll need an “Idol Moment” (C), which means a song that she can really sink her teeth into and that can really show off her voice.
      I’m hoping she does “NY State of Mind.” She could KILL that a la Ray Charles. It’s a song of longing and wistful homesickness, sung by someone who is perhaps a little weary and beaten down by the world, who’s learned a few too many hard life lessons and now just wants to go home to lick his/her wounds and recover – in other words, perfectly suited for a bluesy, ADULT singer. In other words, if they award that plum to one of the teenagers, they’re idiots.

      • Joy says:

        There have been occasions when female singers have performed songs from male points of view without lyrics changes — the one that comes to mind offhand is Crystal doing “Maybe I’m Amazed” a couple years ago. Regardless of the singer’s gender, the lyrics to “Uptown Girl” make it pretty clear that the narrator is a guy, so it shouldn’t really call to mind girl-on-girl action or anything salacious like that. :-)

        That said, I agree that it’s not a great song for showing off a powerhouse voice, which Elise really needs at this point. But I picked it for DeAndre because I figure his image could use a bit of the fun, charming, not-taking-himself-too-seriously vibe right now. I agree that Elise would sound great on “New York State of Mind.” I guess it’s probably been long enough since Kimberley Locke that I shouldn’t worry *too* much about Randy trotting out the tired “But this was already someone else’s Idol moment” thing, just to steal a little of her thunder…

        • jj says:

          Elise is in enough jeopardy without coloring that far outside the lines [Uptown Girl/Boy].

        • odannigirl says:

          Okay I guess I don’t really care about girls singing songs that are by boys or vice versa. I was thinking that it’s a popular song so that might have pull with the audience. Also I could see her slowing it down a little and with her unique and amazing voice, it would sound awesome. I feel like the producers might stray away from New York State of Mind. It’s a great song but it’s been spotlighted twice already with Heejun and Creighton. I looked at a Billy Joel song list again and “The Longest Time” might be a good choice for her.

  40. Lily says:

    Nee York State of Mind could be the week’s “moment” so sadly they may not give it to Joshua or Jessica who have already had theirs (as jimmy reminded us last night). Elise needs it the most, or maybe Erika, not sure she could pull it off. Agree this is the best top 10 in years. Thinking that J Lo and Steven should have to donate $10k to Idol Gives Back for each time they say “beautiful” – ditto for Randy on “out da box”.

  41. TwoWire says:

    Surprisingly, I think that Slezak’s “dream set list” is skimming the surface of the Joel songbook. There are many more jewels that weren’t necessarily Billy’s biggest hits. And, unless the contestants can play piano themselves, I hope the house band has a killer keyboardist. Here’s my two cents worth:

    Phillip – “Stiletto”, maybe “Sometimes a Fantasy” or “That’s Not Her Style” – lots of possibilities for him, as they sing in the same register
    Erika – “Vienna”
    Colton – “All for Leyna”
    Deandre – “River of Dreams” (someone before me suggested this, and I think it would be perfect for him)
    Joshua – Lots of great choicse for a voice like his, e.g., “Shameless”, “Zanzibar”
    Hollie – “This Is The Time”
    Elise – “Allentown” – Someone suggested this earlier; I’d love to see her on the piano for this one. This one is in her wheelhouse. Maybe “New York State of Mind”. In fact, I think I really like this one for her.
    HeeJun – “She’s Right On Time”
    Jessica – “Just the Way You Are”
    Skylar – “You May Be Right” – She would have a blast with this.

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      I think Elise could pull of “Piano Man” as well. And play the piano while she does it. Everyone’s a sucker for that song.
      I too think that “River of Dreams” would be perfect for Deandre. If he can connect to it emotionally I can see him having a real moment, possibly the one Jimmy alluded to last night.

      • jj says:

        Piano Man is tailor made for Colton. Elise would screw it up.

        • Miscellaneopolan says:

          I’m sure he would do a great job with it, but we know Elise can play piano and I think she would put a lot of soul into it.
          Also, I think she could use the help. Whoever does ‘Piano Man’ is guaranteed to have at least a small uptike in votes that week. People love that song. Colton’s far ahead and can afford to do something a little more obscure, some like ‘Vienna,’ which I think he would also rock.

          • Templar says:

            What would Elise sing “I’m the piano girl”? That’s awkward. She’s already on thin ice, I don’t think re-gendering a song would benefit her at this point.

          • Miscellaneopolan says:

            I think people are making too big a deal out of the gender-appropriate song thing. Didn’t Skyler sing ‘Stay With Me’, a song sung by a man who wants a kick a woman out of his bedroom after a one-night stand, not three weeks ago? If the song is done well, people won’t care whose point of view it’s sung from. And the themes involved with ‘Piano Man’ are far more gender-neutral than those involved with ‘Stay With Me.’

          • Templar says:

            Think about the lyrics. Not only the awkward I’m the piano girl. What about “Man, what are you doin’ here?” It’s a butch song. Does Elise really want to come off as street and hard as that?

          • Miscellaneopolan says:

            Well, getting around the “Man, what are you doin’ here” lyric is easy. You just include it in the thirty-some lyrics that have to be cut to get the song down to 90 seconds. Also, I wasn’t suggesting that she should sing “I’m the piano girl” at all. I think she could just sing “I’m the piano man” and that it really won’t matter much. The heart and soul of this particular song are far removed from the gender of the singer.

          • jj says:

            I disagree. Templar is pointing out that the song is about a piano player in a dive bar. Since Elise has pretty much lost her freshness, that presents a singularly unattractive picture. Just because she can play the piano doesn’t make this a good song for her.

  42. Leslie Mac says:

    My list:
    Heejun: Hey Girl

    Phillip: The Stranger

    Erika: And So it Goes

    Elise: Honesty

    Skylar: Close to the Borderline

    Colton: The Night is Still Young

    Jessica: To Make You Feel My Love (well Billy covered it anyway)

    Deandre: The Stranger

    Hollie: And So It Goes

    Joshua: She’s Got A Way

  43. Carrie says:

    I think “Goodnight, My Angel” could make an Idol moment for the right singer with just piano/strings. Not sure who would do it best, though…

  44. amanda says:

    I think phillip phillips should do big shot (fingers crossed), it’s got a little edge and he could really have some fun with it

  45. caitie says:

    Michael, I legit don’t know a single one of those songs.

  46. blingedup.susan says:


    I didn’t think they had ever done this theme before, but reading through the comments I can see that they have. I didn’t start watching AI until Season 5, and I don’t think they’ve done it since then…may be wrong about that. But I think it’s going to be a great show!

  47. CableknitGal says:

    Skylar — Shameless (it’s already been countrified by Garth Brooks so it’s right in her wheelhouse)or “That’s Not Her Style”

    Colton — I like the suggestion of “Innocent Man” but I would also love “When the Night is Still Young”

    Joshua — Could nail anyone of Billy Joel’s songs but I would go with “Leave a Tender Moment Alone”

    Philip — “Only the Good Die Young” or “We Didn’t Start the Fire”

    Deandre — “You’re Only Human”

    Heejun — “Tell Her About It”

    Elise — “And So It Goes”

    Erika — “No Man’s Land”

    Jessica — “Honesty”

    Hollie — “Big Shot”

    I read somewhere that Billy Joel IS music. I agree.

    • CableknitGal says:

      Actually Colton would also do great with Goodnight Saigon, too!

    • Joy says:

      Skylar doesn’t need anyone else to countrify her songs for her, as she proved during Whitney Houston week. I loved that instead of going the obvious route and doing Dolly’s “I Will Always Love You,” she instead put an original stamp on a different song. And last week, she again avoided going the copycat route (e.g., Jimmy’s suggestion that she do Faith Hill’s cover of “Piece of My Heart”) and instead played up the rootsy edge of a mainstream hit. So I think “Shameless” would be a step backwards for her creatively. On the other hand, I don’t actually know “That’s Not Her Style,” but I just listened to a clip and think she could totally nail it *and* make it interesting…exciting!

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I love Faith Hill, but her cover of “Piece of my Heart” is tatmount to sacrilege and I would have done an Elvis on the TV if Skylar had sung that arrangement. Hill herself said she’d never heard the original when she made the cover and now sings a more traditional arrangement when she performs live.

        • Joy says:

          I didn’t know that! Hilarious! Though to be fair, I’m not actually sure I’ve heard the original (Erma Franklin) either — but I’m assuming that also means she didn’t know Janis Joplin’s version… Not too surprising, I guess; that album definitely gave me a “manufactured” feel, like she was pretty much just a set of pipes (and pretty face) the execs were employing to make the album they wanted. Which, I will confess, did not stop me from loving several of the songs — but her later albums did get to feeling like there was a little more *her* in them…

      • CableknitGal says:

        Good point about Shameless for Skylar. I think I chose it because it’s probably one of my favorite Billy Joel tunes. If you go to the tubey place you can see the whole video for That’s Not Her Style. The harmonica alone is jammin. the whole thing is more bluesy/rock rather than country but she could easily make it her own. And I think Jimmy should just stop giving song advice. Has it worked for anyone yet?

  48. My Guilty Pleasure says:

    Here are my picks. I hope they don’t go for the obvious songs only. Billy Joel has such a rich songbook. He’s one of my favorite all time artists. It should be a good night.

    Hollie Cavanagh, All About Soul
    Joshua Ledet, Shameless
    Skylar Laine, It’s Still Rock’n Roll To Me
    Elise Testone, I go to Extremes
    DeAndre Brackensick, Keeping the Faith
    Jessica Sanchez,Baby Grand
    Colton Dixon, She’s Got A Way About Her
    Erika Van Pelt, New York State of Mind
    Phillip Phillips, Honesty
    Heejun Han, Tell Her About It (he’s got to sing an upbest song eventually)

  49. Sean D says:

    Two choices I’m compelled to make: “Vienna” for Elise and “Angry Young Man” for Erika.

    • Danelle says:

      I’m actually surprised nobody suggested ”Baby Grand” for Elise. (Yeah, I know!!! I’m way too isnpired by Miss Reinhart here, just the thought of her singing this song is nothing short of orgasmic, right?) Check out the version of Billy Joel sining this song with his daughter on YouTube. I am clearly inspired by Haley here, but something’s telling me she’s gonna have a moment this week. Cons – do any of you really think all the One Direction-loving tweeneyboppers will be compelled to vote for whom they consider to be ”the cranky old woman doing yet anotehr boring and obscure song”. I don’t. But hey, at least I know I will be in heaven. Hollie should probably go uptempo this week and I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say she doesn’t have the slightest idea as to who Billy Joel is (she’s a mighty good vocalist though, so no hate comments…) HeeJun’s stay on Idol is pretty much short-lived, so I wouldn’t mind seeing him head home this week. People need to vote for ERIKA AND ELISE!!! Can’t wait for Haley.

  50. TheBeach says:

    All these great song choices are making my head spin. So I’m going to concentrate on how Tommy Hilfiger is going to come up with a designer grunge outfit for Phillip. (Does anyone even wear Hilfiger anymore?)