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‘Idol’ theme swap: not 80s songs, but Elton John songs

British singer Elton John performs during a concert in Zurich, Switzerland, Friday, Oct. 16, 2009. (AP Photo/Keystone, Walter Bieri)

British singer Elton John performs during a concert in Zurich, Switzerland, Friday, Oct. 16, 2009. (AP Photo/Keystone, Walter Bieri)

Never mind. “American Idol,” in a press release early Friday morning, said the theme next week was songs from the 1980s.

But for reasons I’m not sure of, they switched yesterday to Elton John songs in time for his 64th birthday.

If anything, this will make it easier to offer suggestions for the top 11 (redux) contestants early next week.

John is supposedly a part-time Atlantan but sightings of him in recent years have been few and far between. (In the 1990s, he used to spend a lot more time in these parts). A recent Rolling Stone cover story said Atlanta is his “main” U.S. home. He also has homes in Los Angeles, London, Venice, South of France and Old Windsor, England.

This is the second time Elton John was a theme. You’d have to go back to season 3, top 9 week. John mentored that week and famously complained a couple weeks later when LaToya London, Fantasia Barrino and Jennifer Hudson were in the bottom three (eliminating Hudson). He accused “Idol” (and its voters?) of racism. Absurd.

But obviously, Nigel & Co. forgave him for that and his songs will be highlighted, though he’s going to be in New York that week prepping for “Saturday Night Live.”  That will make it tough for him to show up in any way.

Here were the songs sung that year, according to Wikipedia:

# Performer Song Result
1 Fantasia Barrino Something About the Way You Look Tonight Safe
2 Jon Peter Lewis Rocket Man Safe
3 Jasmine Trias Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me Bottom 2
4 John Stevens Crocodile Rock Safe
5 Camile Velasco Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Eliminated
6 George Huff Take Me to the Pilot Safe
7 Diana DeGarmo I’m Still Standing Bottom 3
8 La Toya London Someone Saved My Life Tonight Safe
9 Jennifer Hudson Circle of Life Safe
Result Show
Top 9 Bennie and the Jets” (Girls)
Daniel” (Boys)
Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting
Tamyra Gray “Raindrops Will Fall”

Here’s the group medley:

68 comments Add your comment

sbg

March 26th, 2011
2:31 pm

“Take Me to the Pilot” ~ I loved George’s version of that. His ever-present smile and signature bouncing! I just watched it on youtube last night after seeing him on The Tonight Show.

Alex Trebek ™©®, Esquire

March 26th, 2011
3:19 pm

80s music would have been better than Elton’s. Much more to choose from.

wreckedpizza

March 26th, 2011
4:09 pm

The group medley; most often cheesy and sucky. But, thanks for the one above, Rodney. Another chance to see DIANA D.! Worth every cheesy moment.

Highlander

March 26th, 2011
4:20 pm

I’ll vote for anyone who does “Tiny Dancer” but changes it up to the “hold me closer, Tony Danza” lyric! :lol:

Mercedes S.

March 26th, 2011
4:22 pm

Color me too disappointed with the change… never much cared for Elton John’s music and I’d already started having fantasies about “Take on Me”, “Total Eclipse” and “Dancing in the Dark”…

Highlander

March 26th, 2011
4:26 pm

Judging by the topic of the previous thread, maybe AI had already decided to go with 11 for the tour in case Casey couldn’t physically make it. Then, they’d still have the traditional 10.

I know how important the show might seem to all of them, but I hope Casey (or someone from 19) is brave enough to choose his health over the show or the tour if it comes to that.

[...] RSSMix.com Mix ID 1660970 [...]

Honu

March 26th, 2011
6:48 pm

Well, I’m a huge Elton fan and am not at all disappointed that his songs will be showcased next week. With Naima’s great dancing, she’d be awesome stomping to Benny and the Jets. Jason would kill on Crocodile Rock with his penchant for the high notes. And Scotty has two great choices — Your Song and Candle in the Wind. Think of his low voice doing something special with either. I’m loving this current season of Idol — only thing missing is Adam :-)

Mercedes S.

March 26th, 2011
8:16 pm

Just a reminder, in case anyone had planned to see “Mildred Pierce”. Starts tomorrow.

JTesla

March 26th, 2011
11:10 pm

I’m telling you, someone needs to sing Nikita, it has meaning so even Jacob could sing it.

Oh Nikita You will never know anything about my home
I’ll never know how good it feels to hold you
Nikita I need you so
Oh Nikita is the other side of any given line in time
Counting ten tin soldiers in a row
Oh no, Nikita you’ll never know

JTesla

March 27th, 2011
2:52 am

My latest favorite Youtube music video… and somewhat related to an issue I raised on the last thread (the video pertains to a viral video, but it’s actually a catchy tune) http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zulEMWj3sVA

wreckedpizza

March 27th, 2011
9:36 am

Here ya go; the wreckedpizza wish list for the top 11:

1- Lauren takes on “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”.
2- Casey tackles “I Want Love”.
3. Scotty brings the bass to “Little Jeannie”.
4. Pia decides to try “Tell Me When The Whistle Blows”.
5. James rocks “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”.
6. Jacob emotes like crazy about “Levon”.
7. Thia goes with my aforementioned choice of “I’m Gonna Be A Teenage Idol”.
8. Naima brings da funk to “Philadelphia Freedom”.
9. Stefano connects big-time with JT’s requested “Nikita”.
10. Haley sweetens voters up with a bluesy rendition of “Sugar On The Floor”.
11. Paul puts his quirky spin on “Daniel”.

What a show that would be. Yo,yo, dawg!

Deirdre

March 27th, 2011
9:43 am

Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds? Elton didn’t write that.

wreckedpizza

March 27th, 2011
9:57 am

He may not have written “Lucy” but he did perform it and it appears on four albums including “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy” and “Rocket Man: Number Ones”. Thusly, I believe it is fair game.

Deirdre

March 27th, 2011
10:02 am

Not sure…you may be right. I know when they did Dolly Parton it had to be songs that she wrote. But with Barry Manilow it was songs that he made famous. Neither one of those applies to Lucy but, with Elton and Idol, you never know. Idol bows to the temple of Elton.

wreckedpizza

March 27th, 2011
10:15 am

Hold on, I’ll just get Nigel on the phone and ask him…as if!

If James for some reason can’t do “Lucy . . .” then I will submit “Bitter Fingers” or “This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore” for him. There is also a song called “Durban Deep” but I am not familiar with that one. Might be fitting with some folks spelling his last name like that instead of “Durbin”.

Mercedes S.

March 27th, 2011
11:22 am

Mercedes S.

March 27th, 2011
11:23 am

Oh, it turned blue! My first attempt! Anyway, this is a cute response to the Asian-hating ranter

JTesla

March 27th, 2011
11:44 am

Thanks Mercedes, I like some of Jimmy Wong’s other stuff too. His a capella Mario theme cover… very nice.

Rodney Ho

March 27th, 2011
1:15 pm

Elton performed Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds so that would count. He does have an impressive discography that spans four decades so I can’t say it’s a bad theme choice. I don’t know why they changed it so suddenly though. Someone will hopefully find out.

wreckedpizza

March 27th, 2011
2:23 pm

Thanks for the confirmation, Rodney. I don’t know, of course, if anyone will take on “Lucy . . .” but thought it should be in play. And you are right about Elton’s discography—everyone should be able to find something that would work for them. Should be interesting.

david e

March 27th, 2011
4:29 pm

Actually Elton took Lucy in the sky with diamonds to number one in 1975 so i guess that WOULD count.

JTesla

March 27th, 2011
5:43 pm

Deirdre

March 28th, 2011
7:29 am

Morning!

Thanks for the link, JT AND Mercedes!!! Look everyone, Mercedes can link!!!! ;-)

Kinda hoping we could get through the night without anymore sleep-disrupting thunderstorms but noooooooo.

Rickster™ © ®

March 28th, 2011
8:27 am

Paul has to do “Your Song.” It’s a natural fit for his (subpar) voice.

Rickster™ © ®

March 28th, 2011
8:29 am

James could definitely hammer out a serious rendition of “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting.”

Rickster™ © ®

March 28th, 2011
8:33 am

And why is “sub par” good in golf, but bad everywhere else?

Rickster™ © ®

March 28th, 2011
8:35 am

Imagine Paul’s wispy, thin voice starting out… “It’s a little bit funny…..”

It’s a slow, low volume song that demands very little from its singer. It’s perfect for Paul.

Deirdre

March 28th, 2011
8:43 am

Can I get some examples of an artist specific theme night where the Idol could sing something the artist didn’t write OR make famous. Elton John has been such a prolific songwriter over the years that there should be plenty of choices for the Idols from just his own songbook.

I agree with Rickster about Your Song. If Ewan McGregor could sing it, anyone can. Paul would be wise to pick songs that do not say”dance” in his head.

Rickster™ © ®

March 28th, 2011
8:55 am

YES! Her queeness agrees with me! :-D

Rickster™ © ®

March 28th, 2011
8:55 am

(Of course, I don’t know if it’s the songs that tell Paul to dance… or the voices in his head.)

Deirdre

March 28th, 2011
8:57 am

Whatever it is…he needs to not dance!

Rickster™ © ®

March 28th, 2011
9:28 am

(Don’t really think you can call that dancing, though, can you?)

Maybe they should combine “Dancing With The Stars” and “American Idol” and come up with “Dancing With The Idol Stars!”

When they get to the Top 10, they pair them up with their dance partners. They have to sing their songs while dancing.

Can you imagine the smack down Steven would give to Bruno? :-)

Deirdre

March 28th, 2011
9:33 am

I love Bruno…I don’t really watch DWTS but catch it every now and then. Bruno is a hoot…..but I can see where I might get very tired of him very fast.

Mercedes S.

March 28th, 2011
9:47 am

Good Morning! Those thunder- and hail storms at 5 am something else… at least last weeks pollen is gone.

Not at all surprised that “Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2″ won at the box office – cute, clean kiddie pic, not painful for older folks to sit through.

Pitchy ™

March 28th, 2011
9:50 am

Good morning…Wow, you guys even blog on the weekends. Impressive.

I also agree, 80’s music would have been a lot better than just all Sir Elton John’s music.

JTesla

March 28th, 2011
9:53 am

I don’t think Steven would give a smackdown to anyone. He’s like Ellen, too dang nice to EVERYONE!

Rickster™ © ®

March 28th, 2011
9:54 am

You could add Elton’s version of “Pinball Wizard” (by The Who) to the mix since he covered it for the movie “Tommy.”

Rickster™ © ®

March 28th, 2011
10:16 am

I’d love to see Idol do a “Songs of U2″ theme week.

Now THAT would rock! (Of course, Pia could do a ballad version of “One Tree Hill.”)

But other than that… it would ROCK! :-)

Rickster™ © ®

March 28th, 2011
10:22 am

Hey… since they swapped themes… maybe they swap performers for the results show?

Harriett

March 28th, 2011
10:56 am

Good morning! Back from a wonderful weekend in San Antonio. Absolutely stunning performances all around!

I don’t like all Elton John songs, but do like “Daniel,” “Your Song,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Candle in the Wind,” and lots of his early stuff. Does anyone remember “Country Comfort?” That is probably tailor-made for Scotty.

Rickster™ © ®

March 28th, 2011
10:59 am

GREAT suggestion for Scotty, Harriett.

Keith Urban did a great cover a few years ago. Scotty would definitely do it justice.

Deirdre

March 28th, 2011
11:10 am

Welcome back Harriett! Happy to hear that you enjoyed yourself.

Country Comfort is a great choice for Scotty.

Sticky

March 28th, 2011
12:05 pm

I’m excited about the theme this week. I agree with both sides that the 80’s theme would have been 1) totally awesome and 2) more versatile, but also agree that Elton John has a diverse enough catalog to make for an interesting show and the chance to see the contestants make the songs “their own.” I love 80’s music and Elton John, so I’m happy either way! Only disappointed that I won’t get to hear any 80’s rock/hair bands! :)

Rickster™ © ®

March 28th, 2011
12:28 pm

Man… it’s too bad they didn’t have Elton week back when Matt “The Hat” Giraud and Scott McIntyre were on.

Scott would have been great singing “That deaf, dumb and blind kid, sure plays a mean pin ball.”

:-)

bernard

March 28th, 2011
1:13 pm

Elton John was when he made those comments about jennifer, latoya, and fantasia after barry manilow week. those statements he made were valid, most definitely not absurd

Alex Trebek ™©®, Esquire

March 28th, 2011
1:14 pm

Okay, since we HAVE to sing Elton songs, here’s my proposed list based on my quick memory of EJ songs:

Paul – Your Song (someone already beat me to the punch on this one but it would be ideal for him)

Jacob – Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (should highlight his voice and vocal range)

Stefano – Sacrifice (will play well to the tone of his voice)

Casey – Teacher I Need You (he can leer, growl and grit his teeth like usual and it may play along with the song)

James – Bennie & the Jets (his falsetto will show strong)

Scotty – If Paul doesn’t do “Your Song” then Scotty should jump all over it. It’s getting more and more difficult for me to try and think of how his voice will sound with the eligible songs.

Pia – Candle in the Wind. Someone is bound to do this song and I’m betting it’s Pia.

Thia – Circle of Life. Again, like Candle In The Wind, someone is bound to do it and why not the future Disney singer.

Lauren – Honky Cat. She should be able to play around with this one.

Haley – Elderberry Wine (will showcase her bluesy voice)

Naima – Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds (although I don’t think a high energy African dance will fit in here)

Alex Trebek ™©®, Esquire

March 28th, 2011
1:17 pm

bernard
March 28th, 2011
1:13 pm

I disagree. Jennifer finished in 7th place. The last week she was on the show there were 4 black contestants (3 female) and 3 others. To say it was racist is not ignorant……it was stupid. Elton pitched a hissy fit and threw out some inflammatory remarks without first pausing to think.

JTesla

March 28th, 2011
1:34 pm

And who won that year? Certainly not Jennifer, LaToya, or Fantasia because Elton was right, or wait a minute… hmmm….

Rickster™ © ®

March 28th, 2011
2:03 pm

Maybe they switched to Elton John week precisely because “he’s going to be in New York that week prepping for “Saturday Night Live.” That will make it tough for him to show up in any way.

You never know! :-)

Karen

March 28th, 2011
2:11 pm

Wow, that medley was horrible…Yikes. I am just hoping that Benny & the Jets and Crocodile rock are left out of this weeks mess. geesh those songs are a sure death sentence no matter who does them.

Alex Trebek ™©®, Esquire

March 28th, 2011
2:44 pm

Karen
March 28th, 2011
2:11 pm

What was worse, the singing or the choreography? :cool:

JTesla

March 28th, 2011
3:07 pm

For me the problem with that group sing was the fact that the three remaining males were cheeseballs.

yikesaspikesa

March 28th, 2011
3:07 pm

I think these selections would be pretty sweet:
Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting – James
Crocodile Rock – Scotty
Leavon – Jacob
Someone Saved my Life Tonight – Casey
Rocket Man- Stefano
Tiny Dancer – Paul
The Bitch is Back – Lauren
Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word – Haley
The Last Song – Thea
Philadelphia Freedom – Pia
I’m Still Standing -Naima

Alex Trebek ™©®, Esquire

March 28th, 2011
3:08 pm

Hey, Elton John night wasn’t a total loss that year. Check out George Huff:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCiju7cMceI&list=MLGxdCwVVULXenWlWNezR-NMY7YvFjwpQ5

George was my favorite that year.

Rickster™ © ®

March 28th, 2011
3:34 pm

Crocodile Rock?

For Scotty??????

8-O

Harriett

March 28th, 2011
3:40 pm

That one gave me a chuckle, too, Rickster! LOL! Scotty???

Rickster™ © ®

March 28th, 2011
3:46 pm

I agree with Harriett’s suggestion of Country Comfort for Scotty. That’s tailor made (as opposed to Taylor Made – the golf equipment company) for him.

Great suggestion Harriett.

Rickster™ © ®

March 28th, 2011
4:35 pm

But enough with Scotty’s herky-jerky moves and Casey’s growling, snarling anger.

Deirdre

March 28th, 2011
4:38 pm

Um blogsters, I’m not sure but I think yike’s suggestions might have been facetious.

I mean never mind Crocodile Rock for Scotty…what about Tiny Dancer for Paul?

Someone Saved My Life Tonight for Casey?

Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting for James (wrestling)

The Last Song for Thia?

I’m Still Standing for Naima?

Ya think these might have been a joke?

Harriett

March 28th, 2011
4:40 pm

Yep, D, I think so. But, Rickster’s reaction was so funny!

Deirdre

March 28th, 2011
4:48 pm

Jessica Simpson was approached to be a judge on X Factor……sounds to me like Simon was looking for a younger Paula.

Harriett

March 28th, 2011
4:58 pm

Now, that is funny, too, D! Time for me to go. Talk to y’all tomorrow

Rickster™ © ®

March 28th, 2011
5:11 pm

Glad to know I’m still upholding my Court ester duties! :-)
‘Night everyone!

Rickster™ © ®

March 28th, 2011
5:12 pm

Or Court Jester, even!

G's Mom

March 28th, 2011
6:00 pm

How about:
Casey – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
James – Rocket Man
Stefano – Can You Feel the Love Tonight
Haley – Benny and the Jets
Thia – Daniel
Pia – Someone Saved My Life Tonight
Jacob – Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me
Lauren – I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues
Scotty – Your Song
Paul – Tiny Dancer
Naima – The Circle of Life

Tim

March 30th, 2011
8:00 pm

Here is my list:
Stefano – Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me
James – The Bitch is Back
Paul – Your Song
Pia – Tiny Dancer
Jacob – Levon
Thia – Island Girl
Lauren – Crockodile Rock
Casey – Take Me to the Pilot
Haley- Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds
Naima – Yellow Brick Road

Tim

March 30th, 2011
8:02 pm

Forgot Scotty : I’ll go with Country Comfort