The set list for tonight’s American Idol Top 5 performance show has been leaked by band leader Ray Chew — in addition to the previously announced British Music theme, the remaining finalists will also tackle a track from the 1960s — and now it’s time to speculate who will sing what.
First, here are the song spoilers, which include a lot of familiar titles. (Oh Uncle Nigel, when will you hire a year-round staff to start pre-clearing a fresher and deeper song library?)
The Temptations’ “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”
The Box Tops’ “The Letter”
Ike and Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary”
CCR’s “Fortunate Son”
Ike and Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High”
The Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody”
The Zombies’ “Time of the Season”
Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love”
Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful”
Dusty Springfield’s “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me”
Jackie Wilson’s “Higher and Higher”
The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”
And now, let’s getto speculatin’ about the solos!
Joshua Ledet: True confession: I’ve never been a fan of “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” and its Oldies Radio midtempo sweetness (though it’s better than “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch”), so if this turns out to be Joshua’s pick (and it probably will), let’s hope its his first number of the night. “To Love Somebody” (previously covered on Idol by Jordin Sparks, Josh Gracin, and Clay Aiken) has been done to death on the show, but with a stripped-down arrangement and restrained delivery, Joshua could easily catapult himself into the Top 4.
Phillip Phillips: “The Letter” will certainly fit into Phillip’s growly guitar-driven comfort zone — while providing him with an indellible hook in the process. It may also reinforce his superiority as a vocalist to Lee DeWyze, who tackled the track in Season 9. (Heaven help him if it doesn’t.) “Time of the Season” (previously covered by none other than Blake Lewis) is a groovy slice of nostalgia that could benefit from a P2 twist. Here’s hoping dude sticks to the melody on at least one of his performances.
Skylar Laine: If Skylar hops aboard the “Fortunate Son” train, she won’t be alone in pumping her fist and bopping around like a certifiable crazy. (Just don’t expect me to upload video of my couch dancing to the internet.) British Pop is a little trickier, but it’s been a minute since Skylar showed her vulnerable side, and a little torch and twang wouldn’t hurt “You Are So Beautiful” any, now would it?
Jessica Sanchez: Over the last few weeks, Jessica has shown she’s not afraid to get a little bit rowdy with her song selections, and “River Deep, Mountain High” is the kind of meaty exercise in holleration that is right in her wheelhouse. I suspect she’ll follow up with “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me”; her vibrato-infused delivery would definitely be a departure from Dusty’s satin smooth style, and could be an Idol Moment at exactly the right point in the competition.
Hollie Cavanagh: Hollie isn’t the most skilled strategist in song selection, and if she goes with the very tricky “Proud Mary” (which just popped up on The Voice very recently) it’ll continue that trend. For her British track, since she’s already tackled Carrie, Kelly, Xtina, and Adele, it wouldn’t be a surprise if she gravitates to another recent Big Diva Ditty in Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love.” Plus, since Hollie already covered Dusty Springfield in Now & Then Week, I doubt she’d go there again.
What do you think of the set list for Top 5 week? And who will cover what? Hit the comments and share your thoughts!