American Idol: What Should the Top 5 Cover for 'British Music' Week?

Blimey! Uncle Nigel’s done it again!

The American Idol Season 11 Top 5 will tackle a “British Music” theme next Wednesday, and unless there’s some unfortunate sub-theme percolating (British Music That Was Covered by a Season 10 Finalist? British Music of Lulu and Nigel’s Other All-Time Favorites/Good Buddies?), then the remaining finalists have a pretty wide swath of songs from which to choose.

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Check out my suggestions below, then hit the comments with the fruits of your own brainstorming sessions!

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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. Kee says:

    Someone should sing “Nothing’s Real But Love” by Rebecca Ferguson!

  2. Robyn says:

    If Scotland and Ireland are included in the British theme, someone has got to do a U2 song. And Skylar would kick it on Black Horse and a Cherry Tree by K.T. Tunstall. However, there are a ton of performers who are from Great Britain. I know the judges and Jimmy want them to do songs people know, so Phillip is probably going to do Rolling Stones or obvious choice, Adele will get done as well as The Beatles. We shall see Wednesday.

  3. takakupo says:

    Hollie should do “My Moon My Man” or “The Water” by Feist. I would love to see her cover Feist :] We make my year.

  4. nesty says:

    I hope Jessica will sing Happy by Leona Lewis… =)

  5. Robin says:

    So are they going to do a song from the time period of when “The British invasion” started circa 1963 to 1967 and then one from more recent British artists? Hope so…love the songs and artists from the 60s. Wish Elise had made it through to this theme week! :(

  6. Belle says:

    Does anyone seriously think that AI is going to clear any current songs? I would be surprised if there was more than the 10 or 15 songs we’ve heard over & over on AI & I doubt that any of them will be newer than 10 or 15 yrs old. This ain’t The Voice you know.

  7. Templar says:

    I was going through my mental catalog for a song for P2 and came up with Eric Clapton’s Rock & Roll Heart. It seems perfect for him.

  8. Ash says:

    Best suggestions I’ve seen on here are “Valerie” for Joshua, “Wonderwall” for Skylar, and “Somewhere Only We Know” for Hollie. They would all kill those I think!

  9. Donna says:

    Love the idea of Jessica pulling off a Merry Clayton scream. Not sure she’s mature enough for it though. Truly hope you’re right about Lola for P2. Priceless! In fact, maybe we need to have a Kinks-theme night in the future.

  10. TrevorScott23 says:

    Hollie- “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” by Oasis or “Run” Leona Lewis (cover)
    Joshua- “Lollipop” Mika or “Addicted to Love” Robert Palmer
    Phillip- “Running Up That Hill” Kate Bush or “Post Blue” Placebo
    Jessica- “Who Are You” Jessie J or “You Know I’m No Good” Amy Winehouse
    Skylar- “Back to Black” Amy Winehouse or “Mercy” Duffy

    Adele should be off limits this week, love her, but her songs are tired out on this show.

  11. Thom0065 says:

    Man-o-man … Jessica singing Sade … I would love it but I worry about the whole “connection” thing that seems to be almost a cliche for jessica critics at this point … How does she connect to Pearls or Jezabel … those are really deep and songs with a dark side to them … that being said Pearls could be an “I who have nothing” moment that I am waiting for ….

  12. ladyhelix says:

    Skyler would KILL “All Woman” – what a great suggestion!!

  13. Tommyo2000 says:

    This would really be a shocker … Phillip doing the Clash … Train in Vain awesome song with awesome lyrics, and it could easily done acoustic … would make Idol history and probalby get him in the bottom 3… but it would be epic …

  14. HairLikeATeddyBear says:

    Joshua singing anything Amy Winehouse with minimal instruments, would be great. Though I read somewhere that certain songs considered not appropriate for the Idol image are not allowed.

  15. Trevor says:

    I think Jessica should sing Kissing You by Des’ree. that song was made for her, anyone agree?

  16. HairLikeATeddyBear says:

    Jessica doing Sade? I don’t think so. Sade’s music is very soulful and understated. Very difficult to pull off…

    • Anna Trodat says:

      Sade songs are not difficult to pull off. There’s a time and place for Sade music – I love Sade. But Sade songs should not be performed on American Idol. Zzzzzzzzzz

  17. Vetle says:

    The theme is British Music. I love British music. And as an european watcher, I feel like I know a lot of british music, but maybe not a whole whole lot, since I’m pretty young (20).

    Hollie should do “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (I know the very first version wasn’t british, but Gerry & the Pacemakers did it). Dedicate this to her home country, town and her favorite football team (it’s Liverpool’s anthem), it suits her voice too. Then might spice it up with something more up-tempo, like one of Jessie J’s songs, or I’m sure Leona Lewis has some great up-tempo songs. I think this could be Hollie’s week. Her parents must have fed her british music since birth. I could see her do “Please Mr. Postman” by The Marvelettes/The Beatles – which she did brilliantly in Vegas. Then again, it was a trio performance, so it might not be as good as a solo vocal. But at least she is confident with the song. I could see her pulling out another Adele, but I hope not. Could work, but she shouldn’t. I also wanna see her doing a song with a male vocal, that isn’t theme forced, like Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know”. “I (Who Have Nothing)” by Tom Jones. I know Haley did it, but it suits Hollie perfectly. I’ll throw in “Warwick Avenue” by Duffy too. I do see her doing Dusty Springfield’s “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” though, which is cool. If Ramiele can do it, so can Hollie. Enough on Hollie. She is my favorite, so I’m kinda passionate OK? :p

    Skylar could do “Footprints in the Sand” by Leona Lewis and “The Long And Winding Road” by The Beatles. Written by Simon Cowell, it can easily be country-fied. I’m lost at Skylar. Country is not that big in europe (thankfully). She could really show off her vocals this week though, so it could be great too.

    Phillip – for his own sake, he should charm his core fanbase. Maybe flip a boyband-ish song on its head, One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful”, or do a cool smooth rendition of the song(s)? Or challenge himself by doing “Angels” by Robbie Williams, it would stretch his vocals. I could see him doing “Twist And Shout” by The Beatles or “The Riddle” by Nik Kershaw too.

    Joshua – “Uprising” by Muse, weird, but he is able to hit the high notes, so it could suit him. “Mercy” by Duffy, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” or “Wild Horses” by The Rolling Stones with the gospel choir.

    Jessica – “Chasing Pavements” by Adele, one of her older songs, on not the obvious Adele song. “Diamonds Are Forever” by Shirley Bassey. “Outta My Head” by Leona Lewis. Some of Joss Stone’s stuff could suit her too. Her and Skylar are the hardest. Jessica can sing pretty much anything, and Skylar is very country.

    Even though I love The Animals and “The House of the Rising Sun”, I don’t want any of them to do it. It’s Haley’s (and Siobhan’s) song now. Period. It would by funny if Hollie or Jessica does it though. Two seasons in a row, my favorite contestant picked one of my all time favorite songs.


    • darcy's evil twin says:

      “Country is not that big in Europe (thankfully)”. That’s okay, Country is truly American and knock it all you like but it makes boatloads of money.
      You’ve also mentioned several songs that were actually written by Americans or are American in origin, like “House of the Rising Sun”, which is an American folk song.
      The Beatles only covered “Twist and Shout”. It was written by a couple of American guys (can’t think of their names) and The Isley brothers (Americans) had a hit with it before the Beatles. “I Who Have Nothing” was written by Lieber and Stoller (Americans). “Please Mr. Postman” was recorded on the Motown label (American) before The Beatles recorded the song.

      • Vetle says:

        Then I learned something new today, but I know that “I (Who Have Nothing)” was most popular in the US for the Tom Jones version. Also, Shirley Bassey did it. Like I said with “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, I know it’s not of british origin, but Gerry & the Pacemakers are quite famous for it. The theme seems kinda open though. For all I know, UK recordings could be allowed. Who knows. At least it was only 4-5 out of the 20 songs I mentioned.

        And I said thankfully for my own sake. I know it’s quite popular and big in the US. I don’t mind it being big and all, I can dig some older country when it wasn’t as honky tonk as some country songs are today (not saying they weren’t before, I don’t really know, Scotty is my perception of classic country, which I kinda don’t like the sound of). I also like a good female vocal (like Carrie or Lissie (who really is more folk rock, but whatever)). Too many songs today mentioning the word “pick-up truck”, lol (just kidding).

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          No problem – there were several Americans on this message board that didn’t realize Dire Straits was from the UK. It’s sometimes difficult to tell unless you hear them speak – the accent typically diminishes when singers are singing (thank goodness – Adele would never sell a record) except for Herman’s Hermits and a couple of other “Mersey Beat” groups/singers, like Gerry and the Pacemakers. Heck, I thought Lady Gaga was English intially and was quite surprised to find out she was born in Yonkers (New York City).
          My mom was English and she loved Tom Jones. Tom Jones was huge in America.
          Pick-up trucks are big in America because we prefer to drive cars rather than wear them like they do in Europe. ;-) At least we like them in “Middle America” where I live.

  18. darcy's evil twin says:

    At this point the competition is very, very tight. There are a lot of great suggestions here that a lot of folks on this side of The Pond have never heard. Just my opinion, but anyone (except P2) that sings an unrecognizble song may be in danger of elimination. P2 can probably pretty much sing anything, including The Royal Phone Book, since that awful DMB song didn’t even land him in the bottom three.

  19. Joseph says:

    I would suggest Shirley bassey’s “Climb every mountain” for JESSICA… I think she will slay that song no doubt!

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Is that the same “Climb Every Mountain” from The Sound of Music? If it is the writers are Rodgers and Hammerstein (American). Not sure what the criteria are for songs to qualify for “British”, though.

  20. darcy's evil twin says:

    Okay, all of You People (including Mr. Slezak) that think Jessica should sing the Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” – I’ll have some of whatever you’re having. Sheesh!
    That said, here are my somewhat pedestrian choices:
    P2: The Kinks’ “Lola” (thanks Mr. Slezak), “Roxanne” by The Police (stole that idea from another reader here, or “Baba O’Reilly” by The Who.
    Joshua: Tom Jones’ “What’s New, Pussycat?” – written by Burt Bacharach, an American, so I’m not sure meets the criteria, but it would be great fun. If that doesn’t work he could do “It’s Not Unusual”, which was written by a couple of Brits.
    Hollie: What else? Either Petula Clark’s “I Know a Place” or Lulu’s “To Sir, With Love”.
    Jessica: I don’t really care – but please don’t do that awful song “Bleeding Love”. And Jessica, just Stay. Away. From. The Stones. Thank you. She’ll probably sing “Let It Be”.
    Skylar: “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones.

  21. kcostell says:

    Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” might make for an interesting choice for Phillip (I would also have loved to hear Elise’s take on it).

    • Jessica T. says:

      OMG! Perfect! I will probably spout a gusher listening to it wishing I was 21 again. (yeah, I have brown eyes.)

  22. Joyce says:

    I think mix it up a little and stay away from ballads this week. I would love to see Skyler do something from Def Leppard!

  23. sara says:

    * Hollie: Gerry & The Pacemakers – “You’ll never walk alone”
    Yeah I know, another ballad and not exactly a current one at that, but as an FCL supporter I’m sure Hollie has a special connection with that song, which always makes her performances so much better. Plus with a “fresh” arrangement it could really be pretty touching.
    (// OR:

    Sugababes – “Too lost in you”)

    * Phillip: Peter Gabriel – “In your eyes”
    Just saying dude, if you wanna win this thing you might want to consider actually committing to an intimate love song at least once. And why not get the wedding planner vote at the same time.
    (// OR:

    Joy Division – “Love will tear us apart”)

    * Skylar: Sting – “Fields of gold”
    No way anyone can top Eva Cassidy’s version (imo), but Skylar’s style is different enough to do her own thing with it. Plus I think this one really lends itself to some “countrification”.
    (// OR:

    Duffy – “Warwick Avenue” – would actually be awesome for Josh too)

    * Joshua:
    Coldplay – “Lost?”

    I really wanted to keep the list Coldplay-free, but this is just too perfect. COME ON JOSH.

    Des’ree – “Kissing you”
    No doubt the Gospel Police would completely lose their s**t over this, but this song is like tailor-made for Josh. (and everyone that saw ‘Romeo & Juliet’ in their teens would baaaawwl.))

    * Jessica:
    Joss Stone – “Super duper love”

    (// OR:

    Corinne Bailey Rae – “Like a star”

    Aaaaaand of course I can’t post this without mentioning the hypothetical brilliance of “She has no time” by Keane or “Street spirit” by Radiohead for Colton. Oh well.

  24. choonkit says:

    someone one should try melanie amaro’s version of ‘feeling good’…

  25. marie says:

    I look at the five photos above and I think…They’re all so young. I miss Elise in this competition.

  26. Aldo Junior says:

    I would love to see Jessica sing something from Joss Stone, specialy “Spoiled”.

  27. RalphE says:

    Jessica should NOT sing Pearls by Sade. The Idol audience will be snoring if she does, and she’ll get raked over the coals for it. That’s not even a “popular” Sade song, either. So more thrashing will come from the Fat Fool that masquerades as a judge, and J.Lo will coddle her “baby” but kill her for it.
    Jessica should mix up “Money Can’t Buy it” by Annie Lennox, with Iovine’s help. Throw in the rapping like bridge near the end of the song, so that it will be received as contemporary, and she will sing the heck out of that song. Jessica is the Voice this year. That the voters have Phillip near the top, shows the fan club type, empty voting, that will produce a failure of an Idol champ, if he wins.

  28. mduduzi says:

    Jessica- jesi J who you and leona lewis run would be good for you

  29. 2FM says:

    Uuuh seriously no Florence + the Machine for Hollie?? You’ve Got the Love or Hurricane Drunk would fit her voice oh so perfectly! (Unless I’m mistaken and they aren’t British but I’m pretty sure they are)

  30. Donna says:

    I would like to hear Phillip cover Sting. His own take on “Mad about you” or Brand New Day” would kill! In my opinion.

  31. givemeglenn says:

    Phillip Phiilps – Eric Clapton’s accoustal “Layla”

  32. Donna says:

    Or maybe Philip could pull off Bowie’s Cat People. I could see him really doing that justice!

  33. Donna says:

    Hollie should do Lady Sovereign’s Love Me or Hate Me! Lol jk

  34. jackie m says:

    I would have LOVED to hear Elise sing Amy whinehouse, ‘Valerie’! she woulda slayed it!!! :)

  35. Anna Trodat says:

    Jessica should sing Jessie J “Domino” or a Leona Lewis song