American Idol: 10 Dream Theme Nights!

Nigel Lythgoe needs our help! The American Idol executive producer took to Twitter late last month asking his followers for theme-night suggestions, but the brainstorm session hasn’t exactly yielded the most creative results thus far. To that end, I’ve whipped up a gallery of 10 Dream Theme Nights — a few of which I’ve been advocating for seven or eight seasons now — for your perusal. Check ‘em out, then second my nominations in the comments, or share your own fresh ideas! And for all my Idol news, interviews, and recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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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172 Comments
  1. phredd! says:

    In light of the Tupak Shakur hologram at Cochella, how about “Resurrection Idol” night? Each contestant gets to perform with a hologram of their favorite dead singer!

  2. kcostell says:

    If this is really the most talented top 7 ever, they should be up to the ultimate challenge:

    “Against All Odds” night.

  3. darcy's evil twin says:

    Mr. Slezak has some great ideas – “One Hit Wonder Night” has been mentioned several times. I found a web site that listed one hit wonders. I’m not sure who comprised the list but Billy Ray Cyrus had a bunch of hits besides “Achy Breaky Heart”. The number one song on this website was one of Mr. Slezak’s favorites – It’s Raining Men.
    .
    A lot of the ideas here are quite good. I came up with a few, and I may be repeating some suggestions –
    Bob Seger night (WHY have they not done this?)
    Songs about Cars
    Songs that include “dys of the week”.
    The Carpenters
    Tom Jones night (and you can leave your hat on!)
    Linda Ronstadt night
    ABBA night
    The Eagles
    The Who
    Faith Hill/Tim McGraw night
    Sam Cooke night
    And please, bring back Motown night or R&B from the 60s/70s.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Sorry, that was supposed to read songs that include “days” of the week!
      And have they ever had a Bruce Springsteen night?

      • Templar says:

        Again, Abba doesn’t work for solo artists, because their songs depend on group harmonies.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Oh, buzzkill! Okay, you’re right. They should do ABBA, the Beach Boys, and the Mamas and the Papas on “The Sing-Off”.

  4. Sue says:

    No more 80s please good lord seems like that’s mostly what they’ve done this season

  5. noa says:

    1. i would love to see and acoustic night, or folk music night. it would be so intimate and lovely. and should help set Idol apart from all the other over-produced shows.
    2. i also loved Slezak’s idea from another post like this (maybe it was on EW.com)- songs from the year you turned 16.
    3. Madonna could work.
    4. mash-ups is a great idea!! i was just thinking about it the other day.
    5. 90’s pop!! i would love to hear a Backstreet boys song done on idol, by someone who can create a good surprising arrangement.
    6. maroon 5 or jason mraz would be cool
    7. choose and arrange a song for another contestant. you want to make them look good so you’ll look good. lots of tension! it’s like when they have designers create someone else’s design on project runway. think of the awkward questions Ryan can ask!

  6. Ken says:

    I always thought a “Music from Idol Alumni” night would be pretty fun but I can see the issues with comparisons and the choice of alumni being as tricky as the choice of song.

  7. My boyfriend and I came up with the idea of having another contestant pick a song for you to sing. I.e. Hollie picking for Joshua, Elise picking for Phil, etc… they all know each other’s music style and it might also be an interesting competition/sabotage type thing.

  8. val says:

    Canadian artist night would be nice but they are forbidden to do Celine Dion (Jessica or Hollie) or the song Hallelujah (Joshua).

  9. Duduu says:

    maybe a ‘Songs from past Idols’, that could be any song by any constestant that ever been on stage in American Idol, and a ‘Judges Night’, with songs by JLo, Steven and songs produced by Randy

  10. A Capella night. Lets see who can sing and who can’t.

  11. Dan says:

    They need a “Songs by previous Idol winners/ contestants” night.

  12. idolmama says:

    Love the ideas:

    One hit wonders, Unplugged, songwriters, Fleetwood Mac Night, Choose a mentor, Classic Blues, Tempo turnaround. All have great possibilities. But will Nigel even listen? So you think he would actually take suggestions?

  13. darcy's evil twin says:

    Although “One Hit Wonders” typically brings the 80s to mind, the 70s also had its share of one hit wonders – the good, the bad, the very bad, and the very corny.
    Speaking of corny I heard “Indiana Wants Me” on the radio today – it even has police sirens and a police megaphone encouraging the guy who’s on the run from the law to give himself up.
    “Brandy” by The Looking Glass wasn’t too bad. Neither was “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum. “Ride, Captain Ride” was rumored to be about the Pueblo incident.
    Two REALLY bad songs were “D.O.A.” about a plane crash that killed everyone (another song with sirens, I think) and “Timothy”, an upbeat song about – cannibalism. For those of you that are dying to hear something in a foreign language there was a one-hit wonder called “Eres Tu”. I have no idea what language that was – Spanish, maybe?
    There was that dreadful song from the movie Billy Jack – “One Tin Soldier”. How about “Run Joey Run” – I think that was from the 70s. don’t recall who sang it, though. You could have knocked me over with a feather when Rachel sang it on “Glee”.
    Other one-hit wonders from the 70s that come to mind are “Back When My Hair was Short”

  14. Templar says:

    Ok, if we really want to sink this ship, how about ;
    Cowboy songs [not country, cowboy]
    Stephen Foster songs [Camptown Races etc.]
    Patriotic songs
    TV Theme songs [Greatest American Hero, MTM etc,]
    Gilbert & Sullivan

  15. Catherine says:

    How about “Sing the Phone Book” since, according to Randy, they all can.

  16. Joe Strummer says:

    I would actually love a Warren Zevon night but it will never happen.

  17. KP says:

    Eric Clapton night would be good.

  18. Meghan says:

    I am DYING for a hair metal theme! So many great songs, so many opportunities for an Idol Moment. With the movie “Rock of Ages” coming out, I am shocked they haven’t explored this!

  19. Sandy W. says:

    Meatlof and Heart would be a challege. Both in pitches and rythmn.

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