American Idol: What Should the Top 9 Sing for 'I'm With the Band!' Week?

MB2_5476American Idol is headed to band camp!

OK, not really. But (as first reported by TVLine), when the Season 13 Top 9 take the stage next Wednesday (8/7c on Fox) they’ll be serving as lead singers for musical director Rickey Minor and his posse under a theme titled “I’m With the (Band)!”

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Obviously, that musical umbrella is a pretty broad one, but we’re sincerely hoping the remaining vocalists will look for “tunes” (as HCJ likes to say) that meet the following critera:

1. Haven’t been done to death/done brilliantly on Idol
2. Might surprise a large portion of the viewing audience
3. Give an opportunity to really interact with the band, dig deep vocally and have a “moment moment” (as Mariah Carey liked to say)

With that in mind, here’s my dream Top 9 set list:

Jena Irene: Gin Wigmore’s “Oh My” or Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Maps” or Til’ Tuesday’s “Voices Carry

Jessica Meuse: Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” or or Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” or Guns ‘N Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle

RELATED | Idol‘s Keith Urban on Song Deconstruction, Blunt Feedback and Guaranteed Use of ‘The Save’

Majesty Rose: Erykah Badu’s “Tyrone” or American Authors’ “Best Day of My Life” or Danielia Cotton’s “Make U Move

Malaya Watson: Candi Staton’s “I’m Just a Prisoner (of Your Good Lovin’)” or Cyndi Lauper’s “Money Changes Everything” or a rocked-out twist on Loleatta Holloway’s “Love Sensation

Alex Preston: Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” or an acoustic jam session on Jody Watley’s “Looking for a New Love” or Wyclef and Mary J. Blige’s “911

Caleb Johnson: The Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy” or The Doors’ “Break on Through” or Eurythmics’ “Missionary Man

C.J. Harris: A countrified twist on Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day” or Bo Bice’s “Witness” or Jewel’s “Who Will Save Your Soul?

Dexter Roberts: Elvis Presley’s “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” or Juice Newton’s “Break It to Me Gently” or Hayden Panettiere’s “Don’t Put Dirt on My Grave Just Yet” (from Nashville)

Sam Woolf: Mika’s “Grace Kelly” or EMF’s “Unbelievable” or B-52s’ “Deadbeat Club

OK, your turn. What’s your dream set list for “I’m With the Band!” Week? Sound off in the comments!

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. C.I.L.O says:

    Well MK should definitely sing…oh wait ;)

    • antz says:

      Hey @C.I.L.O sorry, gotta make you a host.

      Majesty Rose – Dixie Chicks’ Travelin’ Soldier (watch the live performance of Dixie Chicks and you’ll know why) or Avril Lavigne’s Alice (her alter ego might work out this time)
      Caleb Johnson – Halestorm’s Here’s to Us
      Jena Irene – Lorde’s Royals (stripped off version featuring drums and keyboard)
      Sam Woolf – Keith Getty and Stuart Townend’s In Christ Alone (okay, now he can stop memorizing facial expressions and just look up at the ceiling)
      Alex Preston – Neon Trees’ Animal
      Jessica Meuse – Lady Gaga’s You and I (I know Haley killed it, but Jessica got a stronger connection)

      I don’t really know the other contestants’ voice. So I’ll just get my hands off their business.

  2. Name This Tune says:

    I will suggest that they avoid songs that involve pointing guns at teenagers in order to make them flee.

    • GuitarBlue says:

      Yes, I am very surprised Idol cleared that song. But, we are also hearing Ben sing “I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die”, and think nothing of it. ………
      Between Idol and The Voice, there are some songs that should be “parental guidance advised” if one knows the whole lyric structure of the song……………….Some might be surprised to know that the song “Pumped-up Kicks” is sometimes heard at high school dances and Zumbatonics dance classes for kids. I doubt that most of them even put the song together in it’s lyrical story, but just get into the highly danceable beat and then it’s on to the next dance song, like maybe-“Get on the Floor” by J.Lo.

      • Name That Tune says:

        That should sadden adults. That the world has become so cold and callous that it’s okay to sing about shooting children as if you are going to Disney Word. And that we want to sell that thought to our teenagers. – implant it in their subconscious by attaching it to a catchy lyric.

        It’s no joke in Colorado. Parents get calls from the local schools at leas once a school year that the school is in lockdown (and every other thing in the neighborhood), because there’s someone waving a gun around.

        • Temperance says:

          Well, we know you’re not black or gay, because if you were, you’d be aware that the world is far more cold and callous that you could possibly believe. And that’s mostly from the “good Christians”.

      • Tess says:

        Not for nothing, but if a song can be cleared to play at all times of the day on the radio, then it’s safe for Idol. I once witnessed a 7 year old sing along to the Shaggy song “It Wasn’t Me” as it was playing on the radio at 4 in the afternoon. A 5 year-old once told me the music he most liked to listen to was Eminem. Surely their parents know what they are listening to if they are letting them hear it. I don’t think it’s Idol’s responsibility to police the world of music for people too lazy to listen to a song’s lyrics and decide for themselves if it is appropriate for their kids to hear.

        • Name That Tune says:

          Well, maybe, but that song was pulled from the radio in Sandy Hook because the public complained. Idol is part of the community and the public has a right to exert some pressure on them if they are making poor decisions. Singing songs about pointing guns at children is not funny and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

          • Temperance says:

            It wasn’t supposed to be funny, and the song is quite pointedly agrees with you. Perhaps you should get a clue before criticizing.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I heard “Pumped Up Kicks” just the other night on a local radio station.
      country music in particular is full of people being shot/killed, going back to Lefty Frizzell’s “Long Black Veil”. There’s also “Folsom Prison Blues”, “Goodbye, Earl”, “Ode to Billie Joe”, and Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead”, where she waits behind the door with her shotgun and cigarette, waiting to shoot that abusive man!

    • S. says:

      @Name This Tune, you’ve made it clear in your posts you really don’t get that song. It’s not clueless or making light of anything or glorifying anything. They’re not flippantly singing about mass murder. The song’s supposed to make you think. If it makes you uncomfortable, good. That’s the point. Before you claim that making people uncomfortable isn’t a good idea on the show, it’s affecting people and who says we can’t respect and appreciate the artistry? I guess you don’t like material that challenges you. The fact that Jessica was making the choices she did about this song speaks volumes about her. Some of the singers like Emily just don’t get song lyrics on that level. “Pumped Up Kicks” is social commentary, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be sung on Idol. Songs with depth are important.

    • antz says:

      I’m not sure how old you are but that song has a young soul vibe in it. It might be that age differences cause this song to be misunderstood.

    • Kelsey says:

      “As for my controversial song choice, I would just like to say – I deliberately chose that song because of its twisted, dark quality. I do not promote or praise any type of violence against another human being. It reflects on the haunting thoughts of a troubled youth, which is indeed an issue in today’s world that we need to be made aware of and take action to heal and prevent. I wanted to portray the song, not only to appreciate how well it was written by Mark Foster, but to MAKE one actually realize what lyrics they are listening to. I guess it worked.That said, I love and respect all of you and your thoughts and opinions!”
      Jessica posted the above on Facebook in case you wanted an explanation for her song choice. You seem to have an issue with it (and her in general).

  3. Timmah says:

    Has it been clarified what this theme means? I’m hoping it means they have to put down their instruments and focus only on doing lead vocals.

    • The Beach says:

      Man, these themes this year have been so wide open they are hardly themes at all. I’m not advocating going back to Disco but they could narrow it down a little, couldn’t they?

  4. Sarah says:

    Does the theme mean that they only can select songs by bands, maybe?

    • Larc says:

      I’m thinking it means they will front for Rickey Minor’s band. Instead of staying in its usual split sections off the main stage, Rickey’s band will likely be stage center.

  5. FBRJones says:

    I’d love to hear Jessica Meuse sing 1000 Maniacs’ “These Are Days”

  6. J. May says:

    Jessica “In the Air Tonight”–Phil Collins, Caleb “Who wants to live forever”–Queen, Jena “The Promise”–When in Rome

    • Fern says:

      I was actually thinking Phil Collins for Jessica too! But I would’ve suggested You’ll Be in My Heart. For a country choice, I think Kacey Musgraves fits her style.

      Majesty – Black & Gold by Sam Sparro / Hey Ya by Outkast
      Jena – Vertigo by U2 / Fidelity by Regina Spektor
      Dexter – Just Like Jesse James by Cher / Superman’s Song by Crash Test Dummies (change it up or go home!)
      Malaya – Everyday People by Sly and the Family Stone / Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood by Nina Simone
      Caleb – Drive by Incubus / Move Along by All-American Rejects (get away from that 70s + 80s cheese)
      CJ – Broken Bones & Pocket Change by St. Paul and the Broken Bones / Pickup Truck by Kings of Leon
      Alex – Marching Bands of Manhattan by Death Cab for Cutie / I and Love and You by The Avett Brothers
      Sam – Secondhand News by Fleetwood Mac / Valerie by Amy Winehouse/The Zutons

  7. Tom22 says:

    (preface, I want to be clear that I understand that the song about school shootings was far too near to some peoples hearts to be included in the show last week . that some of us don’t even think about the literal meaning even after reading the lyrics and listening again (thinking of superman going faster than a speeding bullet?) many many people hear the atrocious meaning in the literal wording of the lyrics and it is terrible to offend others like that)
    OK> That sincerely being said, to roast Harry a bit more, I’d love to hear a contestant sing a song below
    . from the days of innocence of the 1950’s –
    the 1959 mega-hit that earned Bobby Darin a Grammy for Record of the year ! :

    Mac the Knife !

    I can just hear Harry saying…. something like “You’re entirely missed the lyrics of the song.. its about murder” . I think to most people its about a flight of fancy to throw off the shackles of the present irreverently… some might call it a song of happy escape ? Others might just call it silly-fun? Different things for different people.

    I don’t think anyone thinks it is a song about glorifying murder, even though the words say that, and even talk about a body that lies on the ground oozing life in a playful way
    to be fair, I do give Harry high marks for consistency – I haven’t found a YouTube video of him singing it despite it being a huge one from The American Songbook .. covered and even recorded by dozens of mega stars , not only during the period but over the ages.
    “Mack The Knife”
    Oh, the shark has pretty teeth, dear
    And it shows them pearly white
    Just a jackknife has MacHeath, babe
    And it keeps it way out of sight
    When that shark bites with his teeth, dear
    Scarlet billows begin to spread
    Fancy gloves, wears old MacHeath, babe
    So there’s never, never a trace of red
    On the sidewalk, one Sunday mornin
    Lies a body oozin’ life
    Someone’s sneakin’ round that corner
    Could that someone be Mack the Knife?
    Oh there’s a tugboat down, down by the river dontcha know
    Where a cement bag’s just a’drooppin’ on down
    That cement’s there, it’s there for the weight, dear
    Five’ll get ya ten old Macky’s back in town
    Now d’ja hear ’bout Louie Miller? He disappeared, babe
    After drawin’ out all his hard-earned cash
    Now MacHeath spends, he spends like a sailor
    Could that boy have done somethin’ rash?
    Ahhhh Jenny Diver, ho, Sukey Tawdry
    Ooh, Miss Lotte Lenya and old Lucy Brown
    Oh, the line forms on the right, babe
    Now that Macky’s back in town
    I said Jenny Diver, whoa, Sukey Tawdry
    Miss Lotte Lenya and old Lucy Brown
    Oh, the line forms on the right, babe
    Now that Macky’s back in town
    Look out, old Macky is back!

    • Betsy says:

      Wow. Thanks.

    • marie says:

      Just in case some folks don’t know, Mack the Knife is a song from The Threepenny Opera by Brecht & Weill, so it is a theater song composed in the context of the story, which is quite bloody. Like so many great standards, it came from a show but subsequently established a life of its own.

    • Name That Tune says:

      Can I suggest Tom, that a knife is less damaging than a semi-automatic rifle – which is what was used at the Aurora Theater and Columbine as well as the planting of firebombs and other explosives.
      We’re quite comfortable creating musical theatre about a Mafia hit. And somewhere in the songwriter’s heart of Kick Ass he meant it to be about mental illness, but these thought are real for some teenagers. I don’t think the song actually enlightened any one about mental illness, but it certainly could plant a seed in some unstable teenager’s mind.
      There were 13 deaths, and 24 injuries at Columbine, 12 deaths at the Aurora theater, including a 4 month old baby and a 6 year old, with 82 injuries. A recent incident at Arapahoe High School resulted in the death of one student as well as the shooter. He unleashed a Molotov cocktail during his attack. There were 32 deaths and 17 injuries at Virginia Tech and 26 deaths at Sandy Hook.
      Maybe we should be appalled at the violence in Mack The Knife. Because look where we are now.

    • tealeaves says:

      @Tom22 I have appreciated your posts on this subject. Very insightful.
      @Name That Tune I understand your perspective too. I don’t think most people take the song as personally as someone who is close to the issue. But I see what you are saying.

      I can’t say I have never disliked a song because I disagreed with the message. In fact I can think of several songs I somewhat dislike just because of the message even though I like the music. I don’t think Pumped Up Kicks is glorifying the violence. To me it is referencing a subject matter that is a current issue. But I see why people close to the issue would have a strong negative reaction to the song.

      • Name That Tune says:

        tealeaves, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that you don’t have trouble separating fantasy from reality. That you don’t spend your days in front of shooter games on your computer. That you are not facing internal demons that put you on the edge of a psychotic break. Because most of these shootings involve young men who are at the age when they will suffer their first psychotic break. They haven’t been diagnosed yet with a major mental illness and have managed to get by. That first psychotic break usually occurs in your teens to early twenties. And that\s the age of these gunmen.

        • Temperance says:

          And I’ll just simply state that the issue is getting that handful of people help in a timely and appropriate way, not everyone on the planet being expected to dance around every possible ‘issue’ out there. It’s one thing to be sensitive for a few weeks in the immediate locality, but life moves on, and these things repeat throughout history regardless of people misunderstanding pop songs.

        • tealeaves says:

          @Name That Tune, this song has not been accused of inspiring anyone to do anything. It is a song about the subject. It is a subject personal to you, so you have a stronger reaction to it than the general public.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      This reminds me of the huge uproar over the Dixie Chicks’ “Goodbye, Earl”. It’s a song.
      Funny there was no such uproar over Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead”.

    • Name That Tune says:

      Pumped Up Kicks Lyrics

      Robert’s got a quick hand.
      He’ll look around the room, he won’t tell you his plan.
      He’s got a rolled cigarette hanging out his mouth, he’s a cowboy kid.
      Yeah, he found a six shooter gun in his dad’s closet hidden with a box of fun things.
      And I don’t even know what but he’s coming for you, yeah, he’s coming for you.

      [Chorus 2x:]
      All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you better run, better run, outrun my gun.
      All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you better run, better run faster than my bullet.

      Dad – he works a long day.
      He’ll be coming home late, he’s coming home late.
      And he’s bringing me a dark surprise.
      ‘Cause dinner’s in the kitchen and it’s packed in ice.
      I’ve waited for a long time.
      Yeah, the sleight of my hand is now a quick-pull trigger.
      I reason with my cigarette
      And say, “Your hair’s on fire, you must have lost your wits, yeah.”

      [Chorus 2x:]
      All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you better run, better run, outrun my gun.
      All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you better run, better run faster than my bullet.

      Ru-ru-run, run, run, run [4x]


      [Chorus 4x:]
      All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you better run, better run, outrun my gun.
      All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you better run, better run faster than my bullet

      If I were to describe the scene at Columbine in 1999, it would look like the lyrics to this song. You can see footage from the shooting on the Internet.

  8. Stormy says:

    Alex – Like A Rolling Stone [Bob Dylan and The Band]
    Caleb – Still The Same [Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band]
    Dexter – Don’t Hand Me No Lines [Georgia Satellites]
    CJ – Small Town [John Mellencamp]
    Jessica – I Need You Now [Lady Antebellum]
    Majesty – Baby Girl [Sugarland]
    Sam – Garden Party [Rick Nelson and The Stone Canyon Band]
    Jena – I Know What I Am [Band of Skulls]
    Malaya – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun [Cyndi Lauper]

    • MamaLis says:

      I’m trying to follow your list, Stormy, because #1. I don’t understand the Theme and #2. It would appear that you do.

      But I can’t. =0

      I like your conviction, though, so could you perhaps explain your interpretation of this week’s Theme? THANKS!

      • Stormy says:

        I just went with songs that were made popular by artists that front a band as opposed to someone like Leon Redbone who works alone much of the time. Each of my choices are capable of standing up to the cacophony that is Ricky Minor. No solo artists here.

        • MamaLis says:

          Thanks Stormy! That was helpful. :-)
          Though I must say, I learned something in that I always thought Cindy Lauper was more of a “solo” artist. Thanks again.

  9. Amber says:

    I thought it meant they were only singing songs by bands. Just having Rickey’s band out on the stage and them “front” it?? That is so beyond stupid. They do that anyways, now we just have to see the AI band. Ridiculous. If they are just going to let them sing what they want, then just let every week be personal choice or whatever. Coming up with 5 different ways to say sing what you want is annoying

  10. Timmah says:

    I think Jena should do Wings by Birdy.

  11. danin says:

    Caleb- Sail AWOL NATION, or something by YES. Jesse- Crystals Buckingham/Nicks Sam- James -Huffamoose Jena- Tears Dry on Their Own or Me&Mr.Jones- Winehouse Alex- Creep-Radiohead or something by The Police Malaya- Down So Low Tracy Nelson/Mother Earth CJ- Angel of the Morning/Merrilee Rush&The Turnabouts Maj- Hope I’m Around- Todd Rundgren

    • Moose says:


      • Amie says:

        The song “James” by Huffamoose. Danin proposed it for Sam.
        “James says he’s gonna change the world
        James says I am his flower girl
        James and I we’re gonna make a difference
        Just wait and see we’re gonna set the world free
        We’re gonna set the world free”

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I love Tracy Nelson’s “Down So Low”, recorded by Linda Ronstadt. Almost suggested that one but went with Karla Bonoff’s “Lose Again”.

  12. danin says:

    Oops I forgot Dexter.Tells you how much he means to me. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry Hank Williams

  13. Caroline says:

    Has CJ ever sang an upbeat song? I was thinking about “Long Train Running” by The Doobie Brothers. If he used his gritty voice and some bluesy elements, it might work.

  14. Tahoe Mike says:

    Songs to make Harry’s head explode…
    Jessica- I just want to make love to you~ Etta James
    Majesty- Afternoon Delight ~ ABBA
    Alex- Hey Joe~ Jimmy Hendrix
    Caleb- I Don’t Like Mondays~ Boomtown Rats
    C.J.- I Used to Love her~ Molly Hatchet
    Jena- When I think about you~ Divinyls
    Sam- Suicide Soulution~ Ozzy Osbourne
    Dexter- Walk On The Wild Side- Lou Reed
    Malaya- Goodbye Earl~ Dixie Chicks

  15. Joe says:

    Jena – Winter (full band rocked out) – Tori Amos
    CJ – Crazy – Gnarls Barkley
    Majesty – Come On Home – Indigo Girls
    Dexter – If Tomorrow Never Comes – Garth Brooks
    Alex – She Says – Howie Day
    Jessica – Fancy – Reba McEntire
    Sam – Creep – Radiohead
    Malaya – Money Changes Everything – Cyndi Lauper
    Caleb – Here I Go Again – Whitesnake

    • Caroline says:

      Sam singing “Creep”…. Is that very, very bad? Or very, very good? Hmm. I’m magining those nearly-blank, watchful eyes peering over the microphone as he sings it, and it could be awesomely tense. What exactly lurks behind the walls of Sam’s eyes? If he could lose a little control at the end and go ragged for a moment like the original before dropping back into understated control again, all the better. He needs some raggedness.

      • Joe says:

        That’s my thought for Sam, Caroline. He can start the song being all emotionally vacant and then if he nails the ending it would be seen as growth. The ending also might help him unleash something that’s bottled up inside of him.

      • deedee says:

        Haha, your vision of Sam singing “Creep” is hilarious … like cult-movie-about-an-unlikely-serial-killer-next-door hilarious. On a more serious note, “Creep” is actually a great song for Caleb. He can build to the “run run run” part and deliver it believably.

        • Timmah says:

          That’s not a bad choice for Caleb actually. He could go all out on that line, Marty Casey style. Please not Sam though, I’d prefer that he stick to ruining songs that I already hate.

        • The Beach says:

          Yep, that’s a great choice for Caleb.

      • Timmah says:

        Sam singing Creep would be… creepy

    • Temperance says:

      Majesty doing any of the Indigo Girls hits is pretty brilliant.

  16. Erika says:

    I’ve heard of exactly five songs in this article. I feel like they mostly go for songs that are at least moderately well-known, and I feel most of these songs would never make the cut.

    • Betsy says:

      Me, too – but now your mission – should you choose to accept it – is to look up all the songs on Slezaks list that you don’t know and learn some new stuff. (This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds). (I can hear you counting to five)

  17. Emily says:

    I would love to hear Alex sing Walk off the Earth’s Red Hands. Amazing song, and he would kill it!

  18. Karyn says:

    Since these “theme” weeks are all essentially “pick whatever song you want to sing, as long as it fits into this rather broad criterion we’ve chosen,” it would seem that the list of songs the contestants should sing wouldn’t change all that much from week to week.

  19. deedee says:

    I’d love for Majesty to sing a Janet Jackson song, like “Together Again” or “That’s The Way Love Goes”.

  20. The Other Leah says:

    These “what should they sing” posts are my least favorite.

  21. deedee says:

    Caleb – “Crazy On You” by Heart

  22. Lo says:

    Jena – My Song Know What You Did in the Dark (Fall Out Boy) or Heart Attack (Demi Lovato)
    Majesty – Scar Tissue (Red Hot Chili Peppers) or I Was a Fool (Tegan and Sara)
    Alex – Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked (Cage the Elephant)
    Jessica – Wanted (The Cranberries) or If It Makes You Happy (Sheryl Crow)
    Sam – Everything You Want (Vertical Horizon) or Slide (Goo Goo Dolls)
    Caleb – My Own Worst Enemy (Lit)

  23. Caroline says:

    Apparently, MK was going to do The Pretenders’ “Brass in Pocket,” had she stayed. Just saw that in an interview.

  24. Lynn says:

    I am guessing AI is tired of the contestants showing up with guitars and pianos, perhaps that’s what’s behind this ridiculous theme, if you can even call it that. Of course, there’s a few I wouldn’t mind the band drowning out, lol.

  25. DonB says:

    The theme is wasted because these kids and the listening audience have little or no relationship or experience with/comprehension for a singer’s integration with a band necessary to present a song. Importantly, the time frame necessary to flesh out the band’s importance to a song doesn’t exist. Real bands went out in the fifties, except for maybe some attempt by Michael Buble or Harry Connick. It’s not this generation’s style or understanding. Two guitars and drums and people think they have a band. People don’t know what a trombone is anymore. This is a disaster in the making.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Which is why they need to bring back “Big Band Night”.

    • tealeaves says:

      “Real bands went out in the fifties.” @DonB, I think you mean big bands. I think this theme is to perform a song as if you are the front person with a band. It does not have to be big band. Just that the contestant can’t do something where they are solo on stage. The band needs to be important to the song/performance.

      • DonB says:

        Tealeaves, You are right. Thanks for correcting me. I hope the kids figure it out so we all have a good time.

      • Stormy says:

        IMO these kids have no notion of the difference between a combo, a band, a big band and an orchestra. And calling groups of young male singers “Boy Bands” even though they don’t play instruments has added to the confusion. They are bands in the sense of Robin Hood and his “band” of merry men.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Actually there was a “Big Band” on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” until he retired in 1992.

  26. Adam Fachry says:

    – Vampire Weekend’s “Diane Young”
    – Elvis Costello and the Attractions’ “Radio, Radio”

    – Pixies’ “Hey”
    – David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream”

    – The Smiths’ “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”
    – Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Heads Will Roll

    – PJ Harvey’s “This Is Love”
    – Tom Waits’ “Big Black Mariah”

    – The Undisputed Truth’s “Smiling Faces Sometimes”
    – Sly and the Family Stone’s “Thank You”

    – The Velvet Underground’s “I’m Waiting for the Man”
    – Belle and Sebastian’s “Like Dylan in the Movies”

    – The Magnetic Fields’ “The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side”
    – Ryan Adams’ “To Be Young” (Is To Be Sad and To Be High)

  27. Phan says:

    I’m not exactly sure what “I’m with the Band” means, so I’m going with “Sing whatever the hell they feel like,” so I’m just going to come up with my own unicorn magical set list, damn it.

    Alex – “Lonely Boy,” The Black Keys
    Caleb – “Break Your Heart,” Barenaked Ladies
    CJ – “Blackbird’s Song,” Lee DeWyze
    Dexter – “Fall At Your Feet,” Crowded House (Boy and bear version)
    Jena – “Skinny Love,” Bon Iver (Birdy version)
    Jessica – “Karma Police,” Radiohead
    Malaya – “Shake it Out,” Florence and the Machine
    Majesty – “Fidelity,” Regina Spektor
    Sam – “Still,” Ben Folds

    • Temperance says:

      CJ doing Blackbird’s Song would be awesome. Likewise, Majesty covering Phillip Phillip’s Tell Me A Story would be awesome.

      • Temperance says:

        Oh, and I’m thrilled that Lee DeWyze forgot everything that Idjit Cowell said and went back to where he was before Idol… aka writing fantastic songs that weren’t ‘pop’.

  28. Edward says:

    Malaya – Tattooed Heart – Arianna Grande,
    Sam Woolf – Dreaming with a Broken Heart – John Mayer
    Jessica Meuse – The First Cut is the Deepest- Sheryl Crow
    Alex Preston – Be Your man – Ivan and Alyosha
    CJ- You ain’t alone – Alabama Shakes
    Majesty Rose – I See Fire by Ed Sheeran
    Dexter Roberts – Portland Oregon – Loretta Lynn and Jack White
    Caleb Johnson- Edge of Seventeen by Stevie Nicks
    Jena Irene – We might be dead tomorrow – Soko

    • ChellemaBelle says:

      Would absolutely be thrilled with an Alabama Shakes song… Was originally thinking Jena Irene should do “Rise with the Sun.” But would love it even more if they would have Alabama Shakes on for the Results Show.

  29. kcostell says:

    A few I’d be interested in hearing.

    Alex: Mumford and Sons’ “I Will Wait”
    Dexter: Zac Brown Band’s “Colder Weather”
    Jena: The Cranberries’ “Zombie”
    Majesty: Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”
    CJ: The Band’s “The Weight”.

  30. darcy's evil twin says:

    I’m not sure I totally understand the theme, but just take those old records off the shelf – I like that old time rock and roll…
    Caleb – The Ike and Tina Turner Revue, “Nutbush City Limits”
    Sam – Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl”
    Jena – Pat Benatar’s “Fire and Ice”
    Majesty – David Bowie’s “Life on Mars”
    Malaya – The Partridge Family’s “I Think I Love You”
    Alex – Traffic’s “The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys” (yeah, I know – that song lasts about three days but it’s my pick for Alex)
    CJ – Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle”
    Dexter – Warren Zevon’s “Lawyers, Guns, and Money”
    Jessica – Karla Bonoff’s “Lose Again” (Recorded by Linda Ronstadt)

  31. GuitarBlue says:

    Things we noticed: ………..

    Dexter gets pushed into doing the Stage Run, just mic in-hand, smiling and pleasing the Judges “expanding, venturing-out” themes. Presto, bottom 3. ………….
    CJ sings off-key while grimacing and sitting around with guitar, avoids bottom 3. ….
    Jessica plays a very controversial song, with guitar, that by itself could get her eliminated, but survives.

  32. Mark says:

    Jessica – Zombie (The Cranberries)
    Jena – Special (Garbage)
    Majesty – Empire Ants (Gorillaz)
    Malaya – In My House (Maryjane Girls)
    CJ – Don’t You Evah (Spoon)
    Sam – Salvation (Citizen Cope)
    Alex – Hang Me Out To Dry (Cold War Kids)
    Caleb – The Pretender (Foo Fighters)
    Dexter – Sky Blue Sky (Wilco)

    • Timmah says:

      Zombie is a really interesting choice for Jess. It would fit her style and also give her a chance to show some emotion.

  33. I am rooting for Alex, Malaya, Jena, and Sam. (In-order)
    For this week’s challenge, these four contestants needs to put a sugar on an old such stereotype theme. They should sing modern songs.

    Alex: Love Me Again by John Newman – the song is perfect for him, the song suits his range. He can also show his personality and artistic prowess within this song. It’s fresh, raw, and sort of indie. He can move through it and interact with the band, he can also play drums if he wants.
    22 by Taylor Swift is an option, he can also play through the song.
    Counting Stars by OneRepublic – this song can also do well and can get a lot of votes if he does a unique version.

    Malaya: Stronger by Kelly Clarkson – the song would be a killer one for her, if she nails every note and she makes the song her own, man! She’s gonna win it all. She also needs to put a twist on the song with the band, that’s the catch.
    Locked Out Of Heaven by Bruno Mars – she can clearly rock this one with the band, but it can be tricky because she already sang 2 of Bruno’s hits.
    Straight Up by Paula Abdul can be an option tho, but as I’ve said they should sing modern songs, but she can turn this to a modern era style and that would be great if she can.

    Jena: Still Into You by Paramore – the song is perfect for her range and voice, she can work with this song together with the band. But she needs to put a borderline between her and Hayley because she sang one Paramore song before.
    Bring Me To Life can also be an option but I guess it is tricky because it was sung a lot of times on any competition.
    My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark can be a great alternative to Bring Me To Life, because it is new, fresh, and raw.

    Sam: Pom Poms by Jonas Brothers – the song fits his voice and range, it would also be great with the band. He needs to get loose with the song and show some swagger.
    Kiss You by One Direction – the song can attract more fans if he does nail the song with the band, but if he does it “okay” there would be a comparison with Alex because he did great.
    Beauty and a Beat by Justin Bieber is an alternative to Kiss You if he does not want comparison, it also fits his range, this can be a great one because the choice is unique and it can attract more fans. #BeliebersVsDirectionersPET

  34. Cunegonde says:

    To challenge themselves artistically and vocally, bring them out of their comfort zones, and most of all, sing songs never/rarely performed on the Idol stage:

    Majesty Rose – The Wanderer (Donna Summer)
    Alex Preston – Analyse (Thom Yorke)
    Caleb Johnson – You Give Me Something (James Morrison)
    Malaya Watson – Almost Over You (Sheena Easton)
    Sam Woolf – Something Good Can Work (Two Door Cinema Club)
    Dexter Roberts – Fast As You Can (Fiona Apple)
    Jessica Meuse – That’s The Way I Always Heard It Should Be (Carly Simon)
    CJ Harris – He Won’t Go (Adele)
    Jena Irene – Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush)

  35. tealeaves says:

    Idol better work on the sound mix this week. We’re going to have a very bad week if every.single.performance has sound issues. Most of the best performances this season have been when a contestant has been able to accompany themselves on their own guitar or piano, and the band has had little to no involvement.

    • Stormy says:

      You nailed it. The worst thing about Idol this time around is not the contestant roster, but the reinstatement of Ricky Minor’s aggregation. Half the time they sound like they’re building a shed back there rather than accompanying the vocalist.

      • Timmah says:

        LOL at the shed thing! I think that’s the main problem, is that they’re a bunch of show-offs who aren’t really there to support the singer. The Voice band is about 100 times better.

    • AprilD says:

      Abosolutely. The sound mix is terrible. And if what we’re hearing is any indication of what the kids are hearing in their monitors then it’s no wonder they’re having such a hard time. I went back and watched some of my favorite Idol performance and DAMN. I forgot how well they used to arrange a 1:30 song back in the day. Who ever was getting it right left a few years ago, I’m sure.

  36. I would like to see them do an 80s week with songs by the hair bands. ;) Just kidding.
    Someone please do ‘Listen to your heart’ by Roxette. Thinking Jessica could pull it off and have a ‘moment.’

    • Stormy says:

      Cool, that or “I’ll Never Get Over You Getting Over Me” by Expose. I don’t think it’s ever been done on Idol. Jessica is my favorite and Caleb is 2nd. I hope they do a duets week as they did in season 10. So many songs spring to mind as a duet for Jessica and Caleb. I’d also love to hear Jena sing “Where The Boys Are” this week.

  37. Becky says:

    I would like Alex, Jessica, & CJ to lose the guitar this week and command the stage.

  38. Woodmeister says:

    Alex – Counting Stars by One Republic
    Sam – Somewhere Beyond the Sea by Bobby Darin
    Jena Irene – Gone by Halo Circus
    Majesty Rose – Ho Hey by the Lumineers or Killing Me Softly by The Fugees
    Jessica – White Rabbit by Jefferson Starship
    Caleb – Let It Ride by BTO or Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harem
    Dexter – Desparado by Eagles or 57 Channels by Bruce Springsteen
    CJ – Photograph by Nickleback or Lips of an Angel by Hinder
    Malaya – Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani

    • Stormy says:

      I’m sorry, but I had to laugh at the idea of Sam attempting to do a Bobby Darin song. Child ain’t got no rhythm. He is the least “cool” contestant this year. He’s so fresh, he probably still has an umbilical cord attached. He really should have waited a year or two before auditioning. JMO and apologies to anyone this offends.

      • Woodmeister says:

        Stormy, I’m certainly not offended and I agree that Sam should have waited a couple of years before he auditioned. Truth be told, I was going to put in “I Think I love You” by the Partridge Family for Sam when I heard Bobby Darin on the radio and thought – “I wonder……”. Look at it this way, it would certainly be outside of his comfort zone and the possibility of a ” moment” ….good or bad.

  39. Elizabeth says:

    I would love to see “Former Idols” as a theme week. Wouldn’t it be great to hear someone cover Elliot Yamin, Adam Lambert, Jordin Sparks, Kimberly Locke, Melinda Doolittle, or Kris Allen? There have been at least three albums produced for every season of Idol, meaning there is a lot of material to choose from. And I can’t imagine it would be difficult to get the rights to the music.

    • Stormy says:

      Do you really believe that anyone on this year’s roster could do justice to Adam, Jordin, Kimberly or Melinda? Maybe Kris or Elliot, yes. Caleb and Alex maybe could match them and CJ might pull off Ruben’s “Flying Without Wings”. Otherwise IMO they’d humiliate themselves and the show.

    • tealeaves says:

      They tried a theme like that last year. Unfortunately of the 10 songs performed 7 were from the show! Three were the winning songs from Kelly, Ruben, and Fantasia. 4 others were songs Kelly, Carrie, Jordin, or Scotty had covered on the show. Only 3 were post-idol music. That was just one more reason to be disappointed with last season. It is not a bad theme in general. I would like to see what a more dynamic group of contestants would do with an opportunity like that.

    • VioletFlameMusic says:

      Former Idols music would be great!! I would also add Siobhan Magnus’s “Moonbaby” CD. Great songs, with a lot of vocal range in them.

  40. BobL says:

    If any of these contestants are smart, they will go with something from Sinatra’s “A Swingin’ Affair” album. As Melinda proved with “My Funny Valentine,” you can’t go wrong with a standard. Most of the songs from that album are great band numbers. I’d especially love to hear “No One Ever Tells You,” “I Won’t Dance,” “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To,” or “Oh, Look at Me Now.” I wonder, though, if any of this year’s crop could pull any of those off. Maybe Malaya or Jena.

  41. Jessica says:

    I would like to see the guitars (looking at you Alex!) and piano playing gone for band week. Also a moment from any of them.

  42. :( says:

    Majesty-Who Wants To Live Forever by Queen
    Jena-Alone by Heart
    Jessica-Total Eclipse of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler
    Caleb-Dream On by Aerosmith

  43. Look, the first idol that actually sings one of Nashville’s original songs, will get my google votes for the rest of the season.

  44. Teresa says:

    I’d like to hear Calab sing a Meatloaf song!!! He reminds me of him so much!!! Love Calab ….

  45. I have a song request Justin Timberlake Mirrors.

  46. David says:

    I think it might be Shake it Out, by Florence and the machine. I am sure I can see the words shake it out. Thoughts?

  47. Caroline says:

    That is what it is. I see “bury that horse in the ground,” too.

  48. David says:

    Interesting song choice!