American Idol: Advice and Dream Set Lists for the Season 15 Top 10

Kelly Clarkson may not be reprising her stint as a guest judge on American Idol tonight (8/7c on Fox) — booo! hisss! — but we’ve still got to attend to the serious business of selecting a Season 15 bookend to the original champ.

On Tuesday, TVLine exclusively brought you the rundown of all 10 songs on this week’s Idol set list — though you’ll only hear eight of ’em, following a top-of-the-episode double elimination — and while there are a couple intriguing zigs amidst the ho-hum zags, it got us thinking about smarter strategies and song choices for Sonika, La’Porsha, MacKenzie, Dalton and more.

Who needs to study her Idol history books? Who’d benefit from a totally stripped down arrangement? And who needs to cut it with the Ed Sheeran covers? We’ve got all the advice — along with some against-the-grain cover suggestions — that Scott Borchetta is too busy/disinterested to deliver!

Check out the gallery below — or click here for direct access — for our take on what each finalist can do to get closer to that coveted confetti shower, then hit the comments with your own thoughts!

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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42 Comments
  1. Rob says:

    Is anyone else as obsessed with Avalon’s Bill Cosby sweater as I am?

  2. Lyn says:

    I posted my list on here yesterday, but it didn’t show up.
    La’Porsha – At Seventeen [Janis Ian]
    Dalton – In These Arms [Bon Jovi]
    Avalon – Different Drum [Stone Pony]
    Trent – Sacrifice [Elton]
    Lee Jean – She’s Out Of My Life [Michael Jackson]
    Olivia – Mean {Taylor Swift]
    Tristan – Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue [Crystal Gayle]
    Sonika – Colors Of The Wind [from Pocahontas]
    Mackensie – Perfume [The Sparks]
    Gianna – preferably nothing

  3. Paul says:

    Comments are not showing up.

  4. Stormy says:

    La’Porsha At Seveteen / Janis Ian
    Dalton In These Arms / Bon Jovi
    Avalon Different Drum / Stone Pony
    Trent Sacrifice / Elton John
    Lee Jean She’s Out Of My Life / Michael Jackson
    Olivia Mean / Taylor Swift
    Tristan Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue / Crystal Gayle
    Mackensie Perfume / Sparks

  5. Mary says:

    Michael I hate to say it but half the songs are probably not on the okay list and we all know that they will not get them approved. I just hope that America voted accordingly and we do not have a surprise boot. The only three acceptable ones are Gianna, Tristian and Lee – everyone else deserves to move forward. My top two are Avalon and Olivia so I am praying at least one of them makes it far. Sonika it sneaking up there but we will see how she does this week. None of the guys grabs my attention so that means one of them will win.

  6. Danin says:

    ew, what crap choices for songs you give them.. How about Lee does Fast Car? And Trent does J. Timberlake’s (Another Song) All Over Again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o0BU3cy1-I, Avalon does some Ten Thousand Maniacs, LaPo does some Sharon Jones& The Dap Tones,Olivia does Inconsolable by Jonatha Brooke,Mac does Jackson Browne, Dalton does Todd Rundgren, Sonika doesNorah Jones,Gianna does Nina Simone,Tristan does Jennifer Nettles..

  7. Katiedidntdoit says:

    Michael you gave right on constructive criticism I hope they get a chance to read it. I agree with Mary says: Gianna,Tristan or Lee should be packing their bags tonight. My fave is Dalton please let him stay.❤️😀

  8. marie says:

    “Night and Day” for Mackenzie? That’s a head-scratcher; I’d have to hear that to believe it. But I could definitely hear the Springsteen song for him, and the Tracy Chapman for La’Porsha; the Edie Brickell and ‘Til Tuesday selections for Olivia are downright inspired.

  9. The Beach says:

    Hey Michael, still trying to get someone/anyone to sing “Fast Car”, huh? :-) I’m glad you called out Trent on those painful facial expressions that make me turn away from the screen. Considering he’s going to sing When A Man Loves A Woman tonight, this could be terrifying.

  10. marie says:

    WHY don’t ALL my comments show up, but only SOME? SO frustrating! What I tried to say: Michael is not the only one obsessed with Trent’s “Unaware” audition; I wish he was singing that tonight instead of that tired old Percy Sledge song. If this is a duplicate post, blame the software, not me! Just tried to post this again, but got a “duplicate comment” error message, even though the original post did not appear. Please fix this!

    • Lyn says:

      I had the same problem and reposted on my friend’s tablet under her ID. Now I see they are here. Strange time warp?

  11. Datya says:

    I would also just like to point out how wonderful it is that they are doing the eliminations at the beginning of the episodes, and have gotten rid of those horrible “electric” chairs! One of the main problems last year was the performances were often “off” due to pure relief of having just gotten through…

  12. Jason Paul says:

    What would you have recommended for Faither McSqueakums?

  13. Lyn says:

    How about Springsteen’s I’m On Fire for Dalton?

  14. edward says:

    Dalton – i will follow you into dark by Death Cab for Cutie
    Sonika – She used to be mine by Sara Bareilles
    Laporsha – Rise Up by Andra Day
    Mackenzie – Waves by Miguel
    Olivia- Again by Fetty Wap
    Avalon- Here by Alessia Cara
    Gianna- Im not girl not yet a woman by Britney Spears
    Lee- Blackbird by The Beatles
    Tristan- Wildest Dreams by Taylor Swift
    Trent- Jealous by Nick Jonas

    • SaraPo says:

      Your suggestions are dead on. Also I will follow you into the dark is one of my favorite songs of all time. Great great choices

      • Mark says:

        I’d like to see LaPorsha shock us all with a really wild rendition of something Bowie….maybe “Young Americans” or “Fame”…..it’s just outside her wheelhouse enough to be impressive and the timing is right. She could easily top Gaga’s Bowie tribute at the Grammys. If she could pull it off right her star might ascend even higher than last week as she’d be taking on contestants who aren’t even on the stage!

      • Mark says:

        I want to hear LaPorsha go for something outside her wheelhouse….maybe some Bowie..her own version of “Young Americans” or “Fame”—-Go LaPorsha!

  15. Raul J says:

    Dalton, Sonika, Trent, La’Porsha, MacKenzie, Tristan…for a while I thought I was reading a recap of “Dynasty”.

  16. Larc says:

    I think Idol itself needs constructive criticism at least as much as the contestants. For starters, they should stick to former Idols only as guest performers in this final season. No outsiders and no judges! Of course, they are blatantly going against all that tonight. :(

  17. Mark says:

    I agree that Trent’s performance last week was towards the shrill yet somehow his bouncy “can, can, can” stayed in my memory for days afterwards.

    Same with LaPortia’s version of “Diamonds”. What can I say, as good as some of the others were no one else quite made it stick like they did.

    Hoping that this week LaPortia doesn’t sell herself short with anything too predictable.

  18. Tyanna says:

    Sonika. “Say love” by jojo. “Wicked Games” by Gemma Hayes

    La’Porsha- “Out of mind, just in time” by Erykah Badu. “What’s love got to do with it” by Tina Turner

    Dalton- “I wanna love you” by Bob Marley. “Pillowtalk” by Zayn.

    Avalon- “Wanted” by Kehlani. “I care 4 u” by Aaliyah.

    Olivia- “Just give me a reason” by Pink. “Everytime” by Britney Spears

    Mackenzie- “She will be loved” by Maroon 5. ” Powerful” by Ellie Goulding.

    Tristan- “Pull me back” by Leah Turner. “Heart on fire” by Lennon amd Maisy/Nashville

    Gianna- “Could it be” by Christy Carlson Romano. “Just a little bit of ypur heart” by Ariana Grande

    Lee Jean- “3 little birds” by Corrine Bailey Rae. “Introducing me” by Nick Jonas

    • Smokey says:

      I think you mean “Put Your Records On” ” by Corrine Bailey Rae. The song opens with the words “3 little birds” , so many people think of that as the song name. No Worries. We do that song with my band and a girl co-lead singer, and it’s very popular with younger crowds, older crowds have never heard it mostly.,

    • Tyanna says:

      Finally figured out Sonika
      She is a Leona Lewis/David Schulte singer. Has a really big, classical voice and loves to sing Ballads.

      She needs songs that her voice can fill and she can emotionally connect to.

      Suggestions
      “Collide” by Leona Lewis.
      “Trouble” by Leona Lewis
      “Favourite scar” by Leona Lewis

      Anybody know any other Artist like Leona and David?

  19. Paige says:

    I want to hear hear Sonika tackle Underneath by Adam Lambert. I feel like she has the voice if she really committs to the song. If she can dive in headfirst and not bang her head at the bottom of the pool, it could be a really great performance.
    Also, I kind of want to hear Dalton sing Dreamer by Uh Huh Her. It’s a moody song with potiential to actually help him tap into real, honest emotion. It’s a song that has a lot of depth, which I feel like we lack from Dalton.

  20. Trent says:

    Trent – Die A Happy Man by Thomas Rhett
    Mackenzie – one of Taylor Swift’s earlier songs like Today Was A Fairytale
    Dalton – Save Tonight by Eagle Eye Cherry (Maybe re-arranged to a darker version similar to Zayde Wolf)
    Sonika – The Last Day on Earth by Kate Miller-Heidke
    La’Porsha – Nobody Knows by Pink
    Olivia – Roses and Violets by Alexander Jean
    Avalon – See You Again by Charlie Puth and Wiz Khalifa

    Don’t feel like Gianna, Tristan or Lee are gonna be around long enough for any dream songs from them

  21. Cathy Malsch says:

    Harry should be happy nobody is judging his song tonight. Wrong song choice Harry.

    • danin says:

      Yeah, that was putrid..I switched channels after a few notes, a few seconds later switched back to see if Harry got any better and switched until he was over.

  22. Lois ZB says:

    They should all sing the same song one night. One really good song, with each doing their own thing. Then we’d see what they’re made of. Your best suggestion is Hank Williams “I’m so Lonesome I Could Cry.” They could all sing that. If they could get clearance. (Probably can’t.)

  23. schul says:

    That is really stupid for the judges to let gianna Go!!! No wonder that is your last season THE VOICE is better

  24. Jesse rose hartman says:

    Songs to Daltonize: Bridge over Troubled Water
    Can’t Live by Nilsson

  25. Would love to hear La Portia sing Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You

  26. marita francisco says:

    yes La Porscha can sing but is she unique or marketable? would you pay top dollar to see her live in concert or buy her music? i would probably buy Mackenzie and Sonika’s music to listen to because it’s easy on the ear and would probably see Dalton, Mackenzie,Avalon and Sonika live.

  27. Pat r says:

    Laportia really needs to get rid of that hair!

  28. Jack Cessna says:

    Laporsa should sing a James Bond movie theme song especially Goldfinger!!!It was tailor made for her.