“American Idol” is welcoming Adam Lambert as the guest mentor for the Top 9 (part deux, with the save) and the theme is Elvis Presley.
Elvis has an extensive list of songs, so picking a song for each Idol is probably the musical equivalent at picking a needle in a haystack. But let’s give it a go anyway.
Casey James: “Blue Moon of Kentucky”
This was the easiest one to choose, it came to us without even having to look at a list of Elvis songs. It’s a great bluesy rockabilly hit and Casey could make it his own by taking it to the rock side a little. It would really fit his voice and his image.
Tim Urban: “Blue Suede Shoes”
We don’t know why we’re even picking a song for Tim since it hardly matters what he sings, but since he’s got that teenybopper Beatles thing happening, he should pick the cheesiest, teenybopperiest Elvis song he can find. So it’s either “Blue Suede Shoes” or “Jailhouse Rock” for Tim and since we love “Jailhouse Rock” and don’t want to hear him ruin it, we’re going with “Blue Suede Shoes.”
Andrew Garcia: “Hound Dog”
Andrew could do this song in one of two ways. He could either do what he failed to do last week and go whole hog 1950s-pompadour-Brian-Setzer-throwback or he could strip it down like he did on “Straight Up.” Either way, we think Andrew could actually have a decent week on this song.
Katie Stevens: “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”
This is a hard one but we think the way Katie should go is to take this Elvis ballad, which has some really heartbreaking lyrics, and make it sound like a current ballad. She takes the middle spoken part and sings it, messes with the phrasing a little and throws in some runs, suddenly it sounds new and fresh. We know this is off-the-wall, but we can hear it in our head and it sounds excellent.
Lee Dewyze: “A Little Less Conversation”
Lee could modernize this Elvis classic by slowing it down juuuuuust a touch to make the lyrics more understandable and then just rocking out with his gravely voice and the guitar. We think this could sound like a current hit almost by virtue of Lee’s voice alone, If he tinkers with the arrangement and tempo, he could really be on to something.
Aaron Kelly: “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You”
Archie-wannabe Aaron seems to have a penchant for schmaltzy ballads, so we’re putting on money on this song for him. And not the up-tempo UB40 version either. This is going to be cheese-fest to the max, filled with big swelling notes on “take my hand, take my whole life too” and the tween girls and their cougar moms will lose their minds.
Michael Lynche: “Love Me Tender”
We would love to see Michael take this slow, plodding Elvis hit and ramp it up a bit. Pick up the pace, throw in some runs and turn it into an R&B hit, sort of like what Norah Jones did in her cover but at a faster tempo. It won’t be easy — this song is incredibly repetitive. But we think Michael wants to come back big from his save week and this might be the way to do it.
Siobhan Magnus: “Suspicious Minds”
While we did enjoy Siobhan’s slow-down week on “Across the Universe,” we’d like to see her back on a faster song like “Minds.” No Doubt did a cover of this song that we think would be just fabulous for Siobhan.
Crystal Bowersox: “In the Ghetto”
As a single mother who seems like a honest-to-goodness subway station singer, this song could be a real moment for Crystal. The Elvis version is a bit cheesy, but Crystal’s lilting voice and acoustic guitar should get rid of the cheese and make it more down-to-earth.
What do you guys think? Did we make some solid choices for the Idols? Leave your song picks in the comments!
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