American Idol: '80s Week Song Spoilers Revealed!

american idol top 8 song spoilersWell, at least nobody’s singing “Against All Odds.”

But while that Phil Collins staple won’t be on the set list when American Idol‘s Top 8 tackle an ’80s Week theme tonight (8/7c on Fox), there will be tracks by Journey, Blondie, Cyndi Lauper and The Police in the mix, TVLine has confirmed. Check out the full lineup after the jump:

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Alex Preston: The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” (previously done by Brooke White and Phil Stacey)

C.J. Harris: Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin'” (never performed before on Idol)

Caleb Johnson: Journey’s “Faithfully” (previously done by Hollie Cavanagh and Kristy Lee Cook)

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Dexter Roberts: Georgia Satellites’ “Keep Your Hands To Yourself” (never performed before on Idol)

Jena Irene: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts’ “I Love Rock N’ Roll” (never performed before on Idol)

Jessica Meuse: Blondie’s “Call Me” (previously done by Haley Reinhart and Carmen Rasmusen)

Malaya Watson: Chaka Khan’s “Through The Fire” (previously done by Siobhan Magnus)

Sam Woolf: Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” (previously done by Colton Dixon, Brandon Rogers and Nadia Turner)

Snap judgment: When Dexter Roberts has the most surprising song choice in the pack, then the night could be an, um, interesting one. Then again, with Season 7 champ David Cook on the scene as this week’s mentor, maybe we’ll get some unexpected arrangements and emotional connectedness to upgrade some of these tunes. Fingers crossed for the next 8 1/2 hours!

(Also: Scroll to the bottom of this post to see what songs I would’ve picked for the Top 8.)

What do you think of the Top 8’s song selections? Who’s most likely to succeed? Whose choice puts ‘em most at risk going into the night? Sound off in the comments!

Idol: What Should the Top 8 Sing for ’80s Week?

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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73 Comments
  1. J. May says:

    Curious to hear Jena’s take on Joan Jett and Caleb doing a ballad.

    • Stormy says:

      So glad that Dexter is doing The Georgia Satellites song. Myself and a handful of others have been campaigning for it pretty relentlessly here and on other sites. I’m OK with Jess doing Joan Jett, but I’m not so sure about Caleb and Journey. Somehow that pure Steve Perry voice and the echo chamber effect is hard to match.

    • Joe says:

      Jena’s in trouble with that song choice. That song goes nowhere musically. It’s a novelty song. They really blew the save on the Sam.

      • Name This Tune says:

        Maybe she is going for a Britainy Spears take.
        Seriously. Xtina sang the bejesus out of that song on The Voice. Just depends on what she brings to it.

      • Mary says:

        I don’t know I heard the preview of the songs on Amazon and it sound pretty good to me. Jessica did also. I know I don’t like Alex voice but I do not care for his version of this song. I love the original too much. Maybe it will be better than the snippets, but it is not the stalking song it is meant to be.

        • Name That Tune says:

          Yeah, I was pretty bored by Alex version of Every Breath You Take.
          It’s gonna be a Caleb and Jena night. Jessica still sounds karaoke. For a rocker, it’s missing the growls. Loved Dexter. I won’t be surprised if I decide he has the third best performance tonight.
          And Sam still deserves to exit. That was about lifeless as can be.

      • syb says:

        Go to Amazon and listen to the snippet available. Jena does an interesting job with it. She gets the electronica sound going a little without taking the spirit out of it. I was way more worried for Jessica, but she also sounds good on the studio snippet available.

  2. Clips of the studios are up on Amazon and, based on those, I’d say Jena is going to ROCK (with Allison on backup vocals), Jess is going to get loose like the judges told her too and Alex could have a moment. I like that Sam might be able to do something more with his song. Dexter picked a song Ben was going to pick, so maybe that’s why it’s so surprising? I truly think David will bring out some better performances. He’s no-holds-barred and he’ll do whatever it takes to get them to the next level.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks for the tip! I had a listen and based just on that, I think we are going to end up with the same bottom 3 as last week.

  3. Susan says:

    I’m just glad David Cook is back!!!!

  4. Vincent says:

    Well it’s gonna be pretty interesting to see Malaya sing a Chaka Khan song.

  5. Anna says:

    Most boring list of songs ever. With all the great songs from the 1980’s, this is what they come up with? Not one contestant took any sort of risk with his or her song choice. Really disappointing.

    • Stormy says:

      I’m pretty sure they are given a list of songs that have been cleared by TPTB. Otherwise the band would be scrambling for arrangements etc. in a tight time frame. I remember when Adam asked for “Mad World” for Year You Were Born Week and they had to get it cleared because it wasn’t on the list.

    • Mark says:

      I agree Anna. I was looking forward to this episode, but now I’ll just DVR it and skim through it in the morning. There are so many better options available.

    • jays says:

      Not a fan of Faithfully or Call Me, but the other six are truly excellent songs (or, in the case of I Love Rock and Roll, an okay song that JJ made into an excellent single.)

    • Timmah says:

      And I’m seeing way too many “previously done”s. There should be one or two of those at most.

      • Fern says:

        The only one that hasn’t been done (besides Dexter’s) is Free Falling! Ugh with an entire decade to choose from they went for the reality show favorites.

  6. Anna says:

    In addition to the others named in the article, Allison Iraheta performed Time After Time on Idol — she sang it with Cyndi Lauper on the Season 8 finale

    • marie says:

      Now THAT was DEFINITELY one of those “Idol moments”! I remember sitting there listening, not being able to breathe!

  7. DAG says:

    I hope that “Call Me” doesn’t come back to bite Jessica. That song was bad news for Haley.

    • Tom22 says:

      I won’t argue that it wasn’t too well received but, I do like Haley’s cover and listen to it from time to time (and did listen to it a lot in the past). That’s just a FWIW, not a criticism of your point.

    • Name That Tune says:

      But go play it back with judges comments. It was Randy and JLo who dissed her, and that was a really good performance. Haley would put this crew to shame. Jessica is going to have to give a little bit more in her performance if she hopes to match what Haley brought to that song.

    • Elizabeth. says:

      I loved Haley on Idol, but that was my least favourite performance from her. It’s just a bad song. Now I’m thinking that Jessica could be the shock boot this season.

      • marie says:

        I agree; it’s a horrible song. And I don’t think it suits Jessica at all; I can’t imagine why she chose it. Bad move. (Now I hope she proves me wrong!)

    • syb says:

      The studio snippet on Amazon sounds amazingly good considering the song. She does it in her own key, with a little gravel. Nice vocal arrangement from the little I heard. I’m not Jessica’s biggest fan, but that sounded like a success.

  8. brandy says:

    Whoa. I was so scared for Sam’s choice, but the preview on Amazon sounds great!

    • Cheng says:

      Ya i heard it too. Hope he will connect and that would get back his magic! Many will fall in love again to him for sure!

    • Mary says:

      Sam has a beautiful voice he always sound good that is never the problem. It is his connection the the music that is the problem. I hope he surprises everyone but I don’t see it happening with this song on live TV. If he doesn’t he will be gone this week.

      • MamaLis says:

        I 100% do not believe that Idol would allow Sam to go home this week – EVEN IF he truly was the lowest vote getter. Next week, maybe, because I don’t think they could fake it for long.

        I just don’t think they would allow egg all over their faces and allow him to walk, the week following his “Save.” Remember, this is “Reality TV.” If it’s close between he and say, CJ, I think the conversation goes something like, “Let’s give Sam another week. CJ goes.”

        Maybe I’m wrong, but…….?

        • Stormy says:

          You may be right. i still figure that they factor in ITunes sales. So, if the votes are close they will look at the ITunes sales, [Sam does well and CJ not as well] and they’ll opt to keep Sam. After all, careers depend on fans spending money for concert tickets, recordings etc. Many people who vote on Idol don’t necessarily spend on heir faves after idol is over. Kris Allen and Ruben Studdard didn’t do nearly as well as Adam and Clay in the aftermath.

  9. karyn says:

    I’m worried about Jena and Jessica. Those songs both are iconic and distinctive exactly as originally delivered. Tough to imagine how they will re-work them enough without losing the original. But then, that’s what separates the artists from the karaoke performers so here’s hoping they both pull it off.

    • Tommyo2000 says:

      I wouldnt call “Call Me Iconic …

      • Name That Tune says:

        No, but we do have a version of Call Me that has been done on Idol before. That was the year when JLo and Randy were all anti-Haley. But play it back today, and Haley did a damn fine job. Only Steven Tyler gave her high praises.
        Man. It makes you miss the days when Idol actually looked for singers who could perform

  10. markA says:

    So bye Sam?

  11. Kate says:

    Can anyone point me to the Amazon clips? I can’t seem to find them.

  12. Kate says:

    Thank you! I listened to a few. I could picture Sam’s dead eyes while he sang another perfectly lovely, boring song. Caleb sounds beautiful but boring on Faithfully.

  13. MamaLis says:

    I don’t know why people are musing that Jena (or Jessica) might be in trouble with their song choices and that the Save was blown.

    Has anyone given thought to the notes that need to be held – in LENGTH – during Free Falling? Given CJ’s “we can fix that” / “intonation” issues, I’m thinking,

    “Now I’m FREEEEEEEE, Free Faaaaaalin'” might be a mini-disaster.

  14. MamaLis says:

    Ok, so now I listened.

    –> I really liked Alex, more the 2nd & 3rd time. He really changed it up, of course.
    –> Malaya actually sounds beautiful.
    –> CJ’s not bad (though they didn’t get to the chorus =)
    –> Caleb slowed it down but …. meh. I’m not feelin it.
    –> Jena.. she’s rocking it out.
    –> Jessica sounded just okay, to me. Like it could be one of those performances that goes nowhere.
    –> Sam. Totally and completely boring.

  15. Name That Tune says:

    Caleb – Faithfully – Great song choice, perfect for him. Easily will win the night.
    ———-
    Alex – Every Breath You Take – He’s not Sting, but if pulls out an instrument other than the guitar, I will be impressed. Sting played the bass. Not a big step away from the guitar, but it’s a start. He’s gonna rearrange it so he can scat (yawn).
    ———-
    CJ – Free Falling – No surprise that he chose a Tom Petty song. If he doesn’t stay in tune, it’s a waste. He will add soul to it for sure, but is that enough at this point in the season.
    ———-
    Dexter – Keep Your Hands To Yourself. This is right in his wheelhouse and should be nothing but fun. The judges will complain, but he’s gonna rock it.
    ———
    Jena Irene – I Love Rock N Roll. It’s sparse on the melody, which could be a problem. Not much for a singer to do. If she changes it up, it could be good. She’s got the chops to do it right.
    ———
    Jessica Meuse – Call Me. Two Words. Haley Reinhart. Who slayed it – and showed what performers can do when they move their legs.
    ———
    Malaya Watson – Through The Fire – It fits what she’s been singing. There are some danger zones in this song where she is going to have to control herself or she’ll come off sounding loud and off key.
    ———
    Sam Woolf – Time After Time. Not a guitar heavy song. It’s a monotone type of song, which he can do. I feel boredom streaming out of my head.
    ————————
    I am pretty sure we won’t see anything different in terms of the bottom 3 – CJ, Malaya, Sam. Maybe Sam survives this week and CJ or Malaya goes home.

    • marie says:

      OMG, yes, Malaya had REALLY better watch her pitch control on that one: I can actually HEAR the notes that could potentially go sharp! I like Malaya and really hope she holds it together.

  16. Lynn says:

    After giving the previews a listen, I’m thinking maybe same bottom 3, with possibly a surprise. Seems like CJ is doing the John Mayer version of Free Fallin, Too bad they can’t autotune him on the show. Dexter will get a boost from his song and unless Malaya really brings some life to Through the Fire, she’s back in the bottom, same x100 for Sam.

  17. GuitarBlue says:

    This is the Idol way when they get into these dated themes. Limited list that the band can do, so very little room to choose, most songs way overdone on classic rock radio and talent shows.

    It’s going to be hard for any of them to bring anything special to these songs, but Dexter made the best choice of all. All he has to do is do a fair job on the song and he should be safe this week. It won’t make any difference if he does it great or not, the song will have appeal against many of the other songs that have been overdone, time after time.

  18. Cheng says:

    So many good singers in here and Sam haters huh! Well… We’ll see who will be blown tmrw night…. If Sam, expected by you. If your bet… Well… Goodbye :-)

  19. Holly says:

    I don’t care what they sing, as long as David Cook shows up:)))

  20. Brigette says:

    Very worried for Jena. “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” has NO MELODY. (And it actually was performed once on Idol sorta in a group performance during season 10. Why do I remember this?!) Call Me is also a bad choice, but Jessica may be able to do something cool with it if she changes it up.

    • BrazenSongBird says:

      If she’s smart, Jena will riff on top of the background singers at the chorus. That’s how she can create some variety to the “melody”. It’s a standard rock chord progression: I, IV, V, I . Most vocalists have no problem with that. Or she could just blow us away with her power. That could be cool too. :)

  21. aly says:

    can someone post the link for the preview please? i can’t seem to find it on amazon.

  22. Laura says:

    Can’t wait for Sam!!

  23. marie says:

    Listened to a few Amazon samples. WHATEVER possessed Jessica to choose that hideous song? Does NOT sound good. What a disappointment. Jena also chose a fairly crappy song, but as I suspected, sounds like she’ll pull it off. Can’t wait to hear Alex’s full performance; Sam is still boring me to sleep.
    But Dexter…gee, I would love to see the guy get some respect. That sounds like a whole lot of fun! The guy can actually SING, folks.
    Maybe I’ll go listen to the rest now.

  24. Adam Fachry says:

    Why do they always pick Time After Time or True Colors when it comes to Cyndi’s catalog? I was surprised that her more identifiable songs like Girls Just Wanna Have Fun or All Through The Night have never beenn performed on Idol or any reality singing competitions for that matter.

  25. SKR says:

    Still waiting for these kids to sound like something other than karaoke. Simon would shred every single one of them. They sing nice, but they’re just mimicking the songs. Would anyone pay money to see these kids sing? I guess we’ll see on the tour, but I predict another “2009”, when dates were cancelled due to low sales. They aren’t bad, they’re just…blah. Uninteresting. Predictable.

    • Stormy says:

      Alex’s version of Every Breath You Take sounds nothing like The Police. In fact it’s almost unrecognizable.

      • Name That Tune says:

        That it is, but it also sounds really bad.
        Sometimes, you don’t need to mess with the original.

  26. Joe says:

    Tonight, they all were terrible.

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