My Simon Cowell interview set for 2:20 p.m. EST today was postponed. (He was in taping so my guess is I wasn’t the only one who waited for naught. But at least they are looking at a rescheduled time. He has to be happy about the turnout yesterday in Los Angeles with 15,000-plus people, but we all know L.A. has not been fertile ground for “Idol” save for Katharine McPhee.)
That frees up some time for me to work on what would be good Elton John songs for the contestants to sing. Hopefully, they will stick to his best songs from the 1970s.
Here are the 11 contestants, ranked in MJ’s “Power List” order:
1. Scott McCreery – I’m impressed at his age that he’s so comfortable with who he is and what he sounds like. He could pull off several Elton songs with aplomb. Elton’s lower-range is highlighted on “Blue Eyes.” “Little Jeannie” could be re-worked to Scotty’s advantage.
2. Pia Toscano – She has been told to avoid ballads so “Levon” is out, though she could certainly do justice to that song. So something upbeat (or at least midtempo) is in order. I dare her to sing “The Bitch is Back” but no way she’d touch it. More to her liking might be “Philadelphia Freedom.”
3. James Durbin – He loves to rock out so “Saturday’s Night For Fighting” is an easy pick. And I’d more likely see him pick the cheeky “Bitch is Back.”
4. Lauren Alaina – I’d love to hear her country-fy “Someone Saved My Life Tonight.” She could also do “Something About the Way You Look Tonight” justice.
5. Jacob Lusk – His soulfulness could come out (hopefully in his more refined, restrained way) if he does “Levon.” I wouldn’t be shocked if he picks “Take Me to the Pilot,” which George Huff did season three.
6. Paul McDonald – He’s already sung Elton John so we know he won’t be doing “I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues.” Someone here suggested it but it would be right up Paul’s alley: “Your Song.” It does not involve much range, which is a plus, and the intonations fit Paul to a tee. If he wants to show his sensitive side, “Tiny Dancer” could work and heck, he looks like he’s stuck in 1974 anyway. Though I could see him choosing it, I’d say avoid “Daniel,” which I always found rather dull.
7. Casey Abrams – He needs to do something where he can emote and not growl. How about “Rocket Man”? He should avoid “Bennie and the Jets” because I could see it playing to his worst tendencies.
8. Naima Adedapo – Naimi is all quirk and she could do totally mesmerize (or utterly ruin) “Bennie and the Jets.” Take your pick. Something upbeat for her can distract us from her vocal deficiencies perhaps?
9. Haley Reinhart – I could see her having fun with “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” though her basic awkwardness on stage can’t be solved no matter how good the song is. She could also rock “I Don’t Wanna Go On With You Like That” though I think she prefers songs with more vocal range.
10. Stefano Langone – Can he restrain his cheesy, internalized lounge singing and sing to us? Try “Candle in the Wind” with its inherent emotional content. But he’d be more connected with a song like “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” which Clay Aiken killed (in a good way) eight years ago. Or would he butcher “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” with lots of circuitous runs? If he wants us to remember his back story, how about “I’m Still Standing.” But I bet they’ll keep that song for the group sing where they can re-enact the best moments of that absurdist video!
11. Thia Megia –Kiss of death song: “Circle of Life.” Avoid! I suspect she may go back to something ballad-ish like “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” or “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word.” Given her overall blandness recently, I’m not sure what would perk our ears at all. Certainly not “The One.”
- Final ratings last Thursday for “Idol” were bumped up from 20.7 to 21.3 million. So that’s just a slight drop from the comparable results show a year ago of 21.4 million. The 18-49 numbers, though, were down 11 percent, which means the show has aged yet again. Comparisons for the upcoming week shouldn’t be so tough. Last year’s top 10 performance show drew 21.9 milion and results show brought in 20.6 million. “Idol” won’ t have “Dancing With the Stars” to contend with so I’m confident “Idol”" should exceed 21.9 million on Wednesday and 20.6 million on Thursday.