After 12 seasons, American Idol has its first ever all-female Top 5, and next week’s Idol themes have been revealed: Songs from the Year of Their Births and Divas. Here are my song suggestions for the ladies:
I think Stay by Lisa Loeb is a good choice for Angela Miller, born in 1994. It’s a crowd pleaser and while she could do a different piano arrangement on it, it might be best to keep the melody as is on such a well-loved song and just do her own vocal runs on it.
For the diva theme, she should do Sober by Kelly Clarkson because even though it’s never been released as a single, I think it’s one of the best-loved songs among Clarkson fans and it’s one of my personal favorites. It has really powerful lyrics and could be great when performed on the piano, as it’s what Miller does best.
She could also go for I Need You by LeAnn Rimes because Miller showed her best form in weeks when she performed a religious song last week, or Something’s Got a Hold On Me by Christina Aguilera since it has a similar jazz quality to her Jessie J audition song, Mama Knows Best. Other good options include Turning Tables by Adele and Hands by Jewel.
Also born in 1994, Amber Holcomb should try Dreams by Gabrielle. Holcomb has consistently been in the bottom three, and it’s because she isn’t as likable as the other girls; she doesn’t have the X factor. The judges are so enamored with her vocals that they can’t see this. (I bet Simon Cowell would have th0ugh.)
Her best chance is to pick a fan-favorite song and create a moment like Vonzell Solomon did with You Got the Best of My Love by The Emotions in season 4. After that, Solomon was golden. Holcomb almost did it with What About Love by Heart, but it wasn’t quite all there. I think the likable tune, Dreams, is a step in the right direction.
A self-confessed Whitney Houston fan, she should sing one of the late great diva’s songs. My choice would be a slowed down version of How Will I Know a la Glee, which could also give her a “moment.” Runner-ups would be other Houston hits like I Will Always Love You or I Believe in You and Me.
Kree Harrison, born in 1990, should sing the hit, Hold On by Wilson Phillips. The song’s made a bit of a comeback with the Bridesmaids soundtrack, and it suits Harrison’s clear voice. A runner-up song would be Show Me Heaven by Maria McKee, which has been remade by country artist, Jessica Andrews.
As a country artist herself, Harrison should take on either Breathe by Faith Hill or How Do I Live Without You by Trisha Yearwood/LeAnn Rimes. Harrison also can’t go wrong with other Hill or Rimes songs like Stronger, There You’ll Be, If My Heart Had Wings, or Looking Through Your Eyes.
Another diva she could go with is Celine Dion. Aside from their voices, their strength lies in their ability to emote. Harrison could belt out My Heart Will Go On, It’s All Coming Back to Me, or The Power of Love, or my personal Dion favorites, I Want You Need to Me or Then You Look at Me.
Janelle Arthur, born in 1989, needs to try her hand at Baby Don’t You Break My Heart Slow by Vonda Shepard. It’s one of my favorite songs, and I think Arthur’s country twang will shine here.
And what could be more perfect for Arthur than You’ve a Got a Way by Shania Twain? Arthur is at her best in the country genre and Twain is one of the ultimate country divas. If Arthur wanted to change it up with an uptempo song, she could do Man I Feel Like a Woman by Shania Twain or Right Kind of Wrong by LeAnn Rimes—but only if she can pull off the attitude necessary to go with the performance.
Candice Glover, also a 1989 baby, needs to belt out the Tina Turner hit, The Best. It’s just a perfect match.
Since she’s already singing Tina Turner and an upbeat Tina Turner song, Glover should go with the ballad, Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis for the Diva category. It’s a popular song and Glover’s definitely got the chops.
She could even sing any of the following: Amazing Grace (Destiny’s Child’s version), Lady Marmalade by Christina Aguilera, Tell Me What We’re Going to Do Now by Joss Stone, Respect by Arethra Franklin, No More Drama by Mary J. Blige, or We Belong Together by Mariah Carey—almost anything, really. Honestly, she was the easiest to come up with suggestions for; she can sing anything.
Whatever they do, I just really hope neither Glover nor Arthur sings Eternal Flame or Wind Beneath My Wings, both of which are from their birth years.