Oh, the man can sing, but it's not with the bell-like clarity and glory-note trumpeting that we have come to expect from our Idols. In fact, as terrified as some Idol viewers were of Adam Lambert's strutting and preening and constantly checking his zipper (at least, that's what Kristen thought he was doing,) they'd go into a fetal position if the likes of Mick Jagger showed up on contestant row. Mr. Jagger wouldn't even need to grab his crotch or thrust his hips to get the Parental Council of Television Decency on the phone to the Idol Producers. All he would have to do is open his mouth and sing the first note. Face it. How many women desperately wished their name was Angie the first time they heard that raw, plaintive voice crying for her through their radio speakers? That, ladies and gentlemen, is rock and roll. When you hear a rock song, you should feel it in your bones - among other places. And that is why Kristen and I are worried that this week might well be a bust on American Idol.
Singing this guy?
That's almost as bad as this:
Full disclosure: Kristen and I are among the few people on the planet who do not appreciate Susan Boyle's Muzack-like interpretation of "Wild Horses." While she reminds us that it is actually a very pretty song with lovely lyrics, there's no passion, no desperation, no spirit of rock n' roll. When Susan sings it, not only do we think wild horses could easily drag her away, we're pretty sure Pokey could as well.
With that said, these are our song choices for each contestant.
Aaron: "Salt of the Earth"
This a country singer's dream, with its reference to the common folk. With Aaron's youth and innocence, the "raise a glass" lines might be a tad inappropriate, but hey! It's rock n' roll, people.
What not to sing: "Brown Sugar." (In fact, Kristen and I are a bit shocked the song was on the approved list. Do the producers not read the lyrics?)
Andrew: "Waitin' On a Friend"
Andrew's tone is perfect for this song. A gentle, accoustic version could put him back in the game. Just do NOT Andrewize it.
What not to sing: "Emotional Rescue." Just because you have a falsetto doesn't mean you should use it.
Just say "NO!" to the falsetto...
Casey - "Heart of Stone" or "Midnight Rambler"
We're looking for Casey to finally release his inner bluesman.
What not to sing: "Honkey Tonk Woman." Too obvious. Too bar-band. Simon will announce he's heard this in every hotel lounge in the country.
Big Mike -"You Can't Always Get What You Want."
You just know that someone is going to choose this! Kristen and I are praying it's not Katie. There are only two people, Crystal and Mike, who can do it justice. Kristen and I are hoping Mike chooses it, and tears it up every which way before ending the song on his knees.
Don't sing: "Beast of Burden." Dude!
Tim - "Shine a Light"
It's probably too similar to Hallelujah in tone, but hey! That worked for him last week. Why not go with what you know?
Please don't sing: Much of anything else. 'k thanx!
Lee - "Happy"
Again, he has the right tone for the song and could give it a fly-over rock feel. (Not that we want The Rollings Stones' songs turned into fly-over rock, but these kids are out to win a competition. They have to go with their strengths.)
Don't sing: "Jumpin Jack Flash." After watching you struggle to keep your pants up, we're worried you'll take the lyrics literally.
Crystal - "Doo Doo Doo Heartbreaker"
We'd love Crystal to perform "Can't Always Get What You Want." But, we also have a game strategy for her. She can't peak too soon. This song, with its social justice vibe, fits her hippy persona and is right in her wheelhouse, vocally. She can Janis this one up to her heart's content.
Don't Sing: "Mother's Little Helper"
If she can connect with the lyric, this song could put her in the position to unseat Didi as this seasons Gentle Folk Girl.
Don't sing: "Fool To Cry." It will only remind us of this:
Paige - "Jumpin Jack Flash."
If she's really got the voice Simon says she has, and she's in it to win it, she needs to pull out all the stops and go for it. But, it will have to be fearless, and she'll have to own the stage. It's now or never, Paige.
Don't sing: "Ruby Tuesday." It will inspire people to run out and get a snack rather than watch your performance.
Katie - "Wild Horses."
I mean, what the hell else can this girl sing? She can do the SuBo version much as she did the Michael Buble version of "Feeling Good." (Aka: The gag-worthy versions.)
Don't sing: "Sympathy for the Devil"
Didi - "She's Like a Rainbow"
We can almost hear Didi's version. Colbie Callait meets The Rolling Stones.
Don't sing: "19th Nervous Breakdown"
Siabhon - "Play With Fire"
Her haunting voice and Ingrid Bergman looks could make a moment out of this.
Don't sing: "Paint It Black" Far too obvious a choice for a young, odd girl who once shaved off half her hair.
Just say "NO!" to the Emo!
Tune in to American Idol tomorrow night at 8 p.m. EST to see how close Kristen and I came with our picks! Tomorrow, Kristen takes you for a ride in the Time Machine to find out how Idols from season's past are doing. Be sure to check it out!