American Idol musical director Ray Chew has leaked the setlist for Wednesday's "California Dreamin'" theme night, with the contestants selecting "Songs I Wish I Wrote" as their second performance.
Classics from seminal California-native acts The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean and the Mamas and the Papas (themselves the writers of the 1965 hit "California Dreamin'"), have been overlooked for selections by Journey, the Bangles, Josh Groban, Etta James, Maroon 5 and Creedence Clearwater Revival. CCR was showcased last week by departed country spitfire, Skylar Laine, and a forthcoming cover of "Have You Ever Seen The Rain" was already -- and brilliantly -- handled last season by Casey Abrams.
While we'd like to see the final four interpret Weezer's "Buddy Holly" or Jane's Addiction's "Jane Says" -- or Phillips attempt an acoustic take on "Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice" -- it's nice to see the Bangles get some love. Now how about some Go-Go's or Green Day on Thursday night's results show?
In the "Songs I Wish I Wrote" category, the remaining Idol finalists chose tunes by James Brown, Damien Rice, Bonnie Raitt and Jennifer Holliday (risky, considering the challenging "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" is now strongly associated with Jennifer Hudson and her Oscar-winning role in Dreamgirls, as well as wacky season-eight singer Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle).
So, who will do what? Phillips could easily do CCR and Rice. While Ledet is suited for Brown or Groban, he might surprise us with Journey's "Faithfully," a song previously covered by season seven's Kristy Lee Cook. It would be yet another opportunity for judge Randy Jackson to bring up his Journey-backing band past. We predict Sanchez will be our dream girl, and Cavanagh will emulate Raitt and try to make us love her (too bad that song has been covered ad nauseum on reality-show programs, making us sick of it.)
Here is the list. Who will do what, Worshippers?
Creedence Clearwater Revival "Have You Ever Seen The Rain"
Etta James, "Steal Away"
Josh Groban, "You Raise Me Up"
Songs You Wish You Wrote:
Jennifer Holliday, "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going"
Bonnie Raitt, "I Can't Make You Love Me"
Damien Rice, "Volcano"
James Brown, "It's a Man's Man's World"
The Bangles, "Eternal Flame"
Maroon 5, "This Love"