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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207 Comments
  1. Susie says:

    “River of Dreams”, would be awesome for Joshua WITH a choir backing! So awesome.

  2. Mom of 6 says:

    I love American Idol, but I have to say that I am genuinely excited…excited!…for next week’s show. Billy Joel’s music is perfect in that it is interpretable (is that a word?) more than, say, Whitney Houston or Michael Jackson’s music is. I also love Haley and welcome the chance to see her on the show again.

    My choice for songs is whatever they want, but WHY can’t they each do two or three Joel songs? Now that’d be a twist!

  3. wendeeloo says:

    I really hope for a Monkees theme – There are so many great songs and their appeal encompasses all age groups. Besides the Boyce/Hart songs – Neil Diamond wrote some.

  4. EveatEden says:

    Scenes from an Italian Restaurant needs to be done!

  5. Lois Benton says:

    Bleech. Terrible theme. Pay the money, get good songs and new material. Paul Simon and Bob Dylan, for instance, must have their price. More modern decent songwriters have been overrepresented on singing shows. And “Uncle Nigel” has a lot of sins to compensate for. His blatant manipulation of the show results are laughable, and, in the case, of Jermaine Jones, outright evil. But, hey, use it for good, Unc, and I might forgive you. Ensure that the rest of the contestants are eliminated in the following order: 10. Heejun Han, 9. Colton Dixon, 8. Phil Phillips, 7. Erika or Skylar, 6. Erika or Skylar, 5. Elise or Deandre (He’s got some serious talent. The show needs to SHOW it!), 4. Elise or Deandre, 3,2,1: Holly, Jessica, Joshua. Surely the godfather aka “Uncle Nigel” can arrange this. Be subtle or blatant, it apparently makes no difference. Associate Colton, Heejun and Phillip with some figure despised by Southern American Idol voters, intimate that one of them has some troubled past or outstanding warrants, even if they don’t. You can do it, Unc.

  6. Gordy says:

    Shameless is my wedding song. Please don’t butcher it kids.

  7. darcy's evil twin says:

    Mr. Slezak, your picks aren’t bad, but “Only the Good Die Young” for Skylar? Seriously? I’m not sure either gender should sing that one on Idol. There are plenty of other songs from which to choose. We hope.
    I think Hollie and HeeJun both need to sing something a little upbeat. I’d like to say it doesn’t matter with HeeJun because he’s going home, but something tells me it will be Erica. But please – no “Uptown Girl” for Heejun. Yikes.
    Erica and Elise REALLY need to bring their game faces this week and do something amazing. I like “I Go To Extremes” for Erika and “New York State of Mind” for Elise.

  8. darcy's evil twin says:

    People, people, people…I’m not sure anyone should sing “Only the Good Die Young” on network TV.

    “Just the Way You Are” should be avoided, as it can come off REALLY cheesy if the singer’s not careful. I’ve heard it done many times at weddings and wedding receptions and it reminded me of Bill Murray’s lounge singer on SNL.

    And finally, I think Phillip and Colton can sing just about anything by Billy Joel and do just fine.
    I think “Keeping the Faith” would be good for Joshua.

  9. wendeeloo says:

    Oh, if they only knew how hard I worked on this – They would take my set list:
    Big Shot – Phil
    Honesty – Jessica
    James – Erika – (a lovely song)
    My Life – Deandre
    New York State of Mind – Elise (she needs a big numbah’)
    Say Goodbye to Hollywood – Skylar – (She could WORK this.)
    River of Dreams – Joshua
    Uptown Girl – Heejun (needs to have Fun with a song – play to the swaybots)
    Piano Man – Colton
    Only the Good Die Young – Hollie (she needs uptempo)

  10. Henry says:

    The song he sang in Oliver and Company, Why Should I Worry, would be great on Hollie. It has a similar tone to hers, and she needs to hit an uptempo song sooner or later. Plus she’s probably familiar with the Disney movie, and so are her biggest fans.

  11. g2 says:

    yeah i do agree – i hope they let Jessica do billy joel’s IT’S ALL ABOUT SOUL! – thay would let the judges see her vocal range and she definitely can do justice to the song and probably do something to make it sound her own or something..

  12. Kelly says:

    Skylar should sing “Shameless” a la Garth Brooks

  13. g2 says:

    or Jessica can definitely do “VIENNA” too ala Ariana Grande. i just hope she do better next week or her chances is gonna stink with wrong song choices one after the other. goodluck! #bluejay# all the way!!

  14. T_T says:

    It does help when they sing songs that people know. My choices for the top 10:

    Colton – Just the Way You Are (stripped down on a piano)
    Deandre – Leave a Tender Moment Alone
    Erika – It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me
    Philip – Piano Man / Modern Woman (although this might sound just like Superstition)
    Elise – New York State of Mind
    Skylar – You May Be Right / A Matter of Trust
    Hee Jun – Honesty
    Joshua – The River of Dreams
    Jessica – Lullabye / Vienna
    Hollie – The Downeaster “Alexa”

    I honestly can’t think of a song that will really fit Jessica and Hollie. I have a feeling they will struggle this week. :(

  15. ladyhelix says:

    … and if Will.I.Am is far far away!!

  16. Hoping says:

    Skyler should do traveling prayer. Dolly Parton did a great bluegrass version and I think her voice would be perfect for it.

  17. wit11 says:

    i personally think with the right arraignment phillip can absolutelty KILL “just the way you are” or “she’s got a way”

  18. Brad says:

    Hollie Cavanagh, “Honesty”
    Joshua Ledet, “Baby Grand”
    Skylar Laine, “Shameless”
    Elise Testone, “New York State of Mind”
    DeAndre Brackensick, “River of Dreams”
    Jessica Sanchez, “Say Goodbye to Hollywood”
    Colton Dixon, “Pressure”
    Erika Van Pelt, “Until the Night”
    Phillip Phillips, “Big Shot or Close to the Borderline”
    Heejun Han, “She’s Got a Way”

  19. Cup of Joe says:

    Really, it makes no sense to have a theme catered to Baby Boomers when the show is aiming for an 18-49 y/o demographic. And how could you find the next modern superstar in a competition where the themes are geriatric? Hell, I’m in my 20s and I hardly have any knowledge of Billy Joel’s stuff! What gives?

  20. Jane says:

    Good thing idol doesn’t have a problem with guests lip-syncing like SNL. How about getting Billy Joel to sing instead?

  21. IdolFlash-7-9-35 says:

    Here’s a list of all the Billy Joel songs I know:
    “Allentown,” “Big Shot,” “Blond Over Blue,” “Don’t Ask Me Why,” “For the Longest Time,” “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,” “Just the Way You Are,” “Moving Out,” “My Life,” “New York State of Mind,” “Only the Good Die Young,” “Piano Man,” “Pressure,” “River of Dreams,” “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” “Tell Her About It,” “Uptown Girl,” “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” and “You May Be Right.”
    Who should sing any of these? And which ones should be avoided altogether?

    • Templar says:

      No one should sing We Didn’t Start The Fire. It’s not very melodic and the lyrics resemble an auctioneer. Piano Man is tailor made for Colton. Likewise, You May Be Right suits P2 right down to the ground. Shameless or Tell Her About It would suit Joshua. Those are the only ones I feel strongly about.

  22. kaycee says:

    Even though these are good suggestions in the article, I wouldn’t expect to see the downeaster alexa, allentown, an innocent man, don’t ask me why or and so it goes….according to the idol pads list of AI 11 cleared songs list none of these are approved (and the whitney houston/stevie wonder week seems like it is accurate)
    According to the list, the contestants would have only these 21 billy joel songs to choose from:big shot
    for the longest time
    honesty
    i go to extremes
    its still rock n roll to me
    just the way you are
    leave a tender moment alone
    movin out
    my life
    new york state of mind
    only the good die young
    piano man
    scenes from an italian
    she’s always a woman
    shes got a way
    tell her about it
    the river of dreams
    uptown girl
    vienna
    we didn’t start the fire
    you may be right

    Enjoy!

  23. sara says:

    Way late to the party so I’ll probably pretty much repeat what’s already been said (plus I don’t know that much about Billy Joel to begin with), but here it goes:

    Erika: I go to extremes
    Colton: She’s got a way (on the piano)
    Skylar: You’re my home
    Joshua: Shameless
    Hollie: Tell her about it
    Phillip: She’s always a woman (think it’s time he does a sweet ballad for all his ladyfans)
    Elise: Vienna
    Heejun: And so it goes (yet another ballad, but I can really hear him on this one)
    Jessica: Honesty
    Deandre: Uptown girl (poor kid, I think he has the hardest time finding something that fits him)

  24. Amy says:

    I can’t wait to see Haley again. I still don’t tire of listening to her on my iPod. I hope Hollie does something more upbeat. That’s really what I want (besides seeing Haley, of course.)

    • IdolFlash-7-9-35 says:

      I heard both Erika and Deandre say they were going to shake things up this week (Deandre said no more ballads for him.) I believe Hollie is going to try something different as well. Check out all the contestants on Twitter; there may be some hints. (Also, they’re all really cute and funny, especially Heejun!)

  25. raftrap says:

    I just want Haley to kill it, and by it I mean Randy.

  26. iurqal says:

    Jessica should sing Goodnight my angel

  27. 30CamdenPlace says:

    Michael, Michael, Michael, I agree w/ you a lot of the time, but Allentown for Elise? Oh hell no! Billy Joel night is the perfect opportunity for her to have a big Idol moment, but that’s highly doubtful if she chooses Allentown. She should sing either “New York State of Mind”, “Vienna”, or possibly “She’s Got a Way”.

    If Elise doesn’t sing “She got a way” someone should, maybe Colton… or Joshua (I could hear Josh sounding great on that song all restrained & sensitive).

    Phillip should strap on an electric guitar, for the first time, & perform “Big Shot”.

    • Tim says:

      I agree, Allentown is a horrible choice. I think Michael hates Elise.

      Vienna would be awesome though, that’s the first one that came to mind for me, for her, for me :).

  28. MusicFan says:

    The Sing-Off rocks!!

  29. Steelers36 says:

    Slezak, are you nuts? You like Elise. And you want to saddle her with Allentown? That is not well known and IDK what she can do with it. Not that I am an expert, but MJ’s suggestion of And So It Goes would be better. Even Piano Man since she plays.

    I also don;t think OTGDY is the best choice for country girl Skylar, not that I am wound up about her or your choice as much

  30. Steelers36 says:

    It would be nice if Haley could just Reinhart it to Randy and J-Lo.

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