A lot of people are thinking it's going to come down to Bo and Carrie or Bo and Vonzelle. I do really like Bo, but for another project I've been listening to my favorite singers from the '60s through the '90s, and it's made me realize that not one Idol has performed a song this season that has really moved me. With all the vocal talent out there, that's BAD!
For one thing, I think this group has been so hyped as "the best group we've ever had" yadda yadda, that no one has really pushed him/herself to go to places no Idol contestant has ever gone before. Also, I think the lack of guest vocal coaches/judges is really showing. Nobody like Elton John or Barry Manilow (I hate to say it, but he was great in terms of bringing the best out of the Idols--even if he was there just to hype his latest album release, LOL. Hey, why not? I'm hoping that now that it's down to six, AI will release the purse strings and get some hall of fame level talent in there to light a fire under the Idols. Randy's "Eeyeah, dawg!"; Paula's tipsy, "Shtanding ovashun! I'm sho proud a' you, Anthony!" as Carrie is standing there; and Simon's overused metaphors, though generally true, just aren't cutting it anymore.
Now I think Bo is, so far, the one to beat. But still, his singing has never made me do an internal horizontal triple Axel flip in my seat without moving--much (experienced ladies, you know what I'm talking about). So I'm proposing three or four songs for the remaining six contestants that I think would not only challenge them vocally but would also get them to get down emotionally. Then I'm hoping other folks will propose several songs they think would bring the best out of each singer, whether you like him/her or not, that would take that singer to the top, if performed with full vocal and emotional transcendance. No significance to the order.
1. Bo: Now if Bo can sing "Born to Be Wild," "Whole Lotta Love," or "Gimme Shelter" (just as examples) and do to me what John Kay, Robert Palmer, and Mick Jagger did, respectively, to me with their voices that my best boyfriends did to me not with their voices, then I say we've got a real competition. Of course I'd love to hear suggestions from others about what songs Bo should sing. The point is not to sound like Kay, Plant, or Jagger, but rather to, in his own Bo way, do to the listener, what those guys could do.
2. Constantine: People often compare Connie and Bo, but I think they're SO different. Bo can both rock the rafters and do ballads in the key of real, whereas Connie has made the crooner mode is niche. I like Con the Crooner, but I'd like to hear him spread it out of his comfort zone, ie, Roy Orbison's "Crying"; Mick Jagger's "Ruby Tuesday"; Eric Clapton's "Heaven" and just to mix it up, his "Spoonful" too; and finally, John Lennon's "Across the Universe" in the style of Fiona Apple.
3. Vonzelle: Okay, as long as she's not just standing there looking Bambi-eyed or saying something dumber than Paula, I've gotten to like her. And her singing has improved the most each week, bar none. But the girl has got to get down. I'm thinking "Private Dancer" Tina Turner; "Midnight Train to Georgia" Gladys Knight; and "Respect" Aretha.
4. Anthony: He's another one who has to sing more from his groin. I don't mean "shove it in your face/ Jim Morrison" kind of stuff. Just something with more, "Baby, I've got to make you have my baby or I'm gonna die!" primitive urges. I'm thinking Leonard Cohen "Suzanne"; David Byrne/Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer": and, now don't take this the wrong way, but Janis Joplin's version of "Me and Bobby McGhee," which was written by Kris Kristofferson. Anthony might find something that gets him going in Lou Reeds early work, like good ol' "Rock 'n Roll."
5. Carrie: A killer vocal coach has got to take these next six weeks, reach down this girl's throat, mess up all her insides, freak-out her head, and leave her in a state in which she still has all her great vocal gifts but no choice other than to sing whatever she sings from the deep, held-in emotions I know this good farm girl has. I'd start her off with something easy, like Carole King's "Natural Woman" (I know--WAAAAAAAYYY overdone, but she needs to do it); then kick it up a notch to Sinead O'Connor's version of Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U"; try to outdo Vonzelle with "Respect"; and challenge the heck out of herself with Kurt Cobain's "Rape Me." For those of you who have never heard "Rape Me," it does take some rumination, but it's not what you would expect from the title. And if Carrie doesn't do her homework on the emotions, she'll fall flat on that gorgeous face on every level. But if she nails it, everyone watching and listening around the world will be in a state of shock for a good 15 to 20 minutes afterwards.
6. Scott. Bwa-ha-ha! What songs could we pick to make Scott win? Tenorguy, help me out here. From what I've heard, Scott is best when he's singing about something that really connects to a painful personal experience, no matter how icky the song. I have a feeling Scott can relate big time to "Easy to be Hard" from "Hair"; "Chain of Fools"; and Kurt Cobain's "All Apologies," to name just three.
Now I realize there are six weeks left and mostly I only gave each contestant just three songs. First of all, it's Sunday and I'm only going to spend so much time on this. Secondly, I'd love to hear suggestions from other folks re what songs the top six need in order to (a) s-t-r-e-t-c-h their humanistic and vocal range, and (b) be that person's defining song of the season the way "Natural Woman" was for Kelly; (Toni, I leave it to you to name Clay's defining song--I think it was an Elton John one, but I could be wrong) was for Clay; whatever it was for Ruben, if he had one; and the way "Summertime" was for Fantasia.
So start thinking about the song that each of the remaining six could sing that would, if you're not particularly a fan of that AI'er, turn you around and say, "Good golly Miss Molly!!! I had this person all wrong!!!" Or, if you're already a big fan of that singer, a song--done right--that would cause strange and wonderful things happen in your nether regions when you hear him/her sing it, ie, the stuff they didn't teach the girls in fifth grade PE nor did the coaches allude to with the boys around seventh grade except with grunts and "Uh, you know. And if you don't, ask your dads or preferably and older brother."
Okay, the posting lines are open! I'd love to see a lot of "sing offs," that is, two singers of similar styles squaring off with the same song--to the death! This can go on for as long as we want--or until this AI season ends, whichever comes first.
Come on, guys. I know you can come up with far better songs than I could, not to mention some totally bytchin' ones.