The Dude Abides: What the American Idol Top 10 Should Sing for 80s Week – Quentin Alexander
Controversial take: song choice is more important than the performance.
It sounds weird, but it’s 100 percent true. If you pick a song that everyone knows and put a cool twist on it, you can overcome pitchy vocals or a mumbled line. You pick a boring song or something that doesn’t get people excited? Every mistake gets multiplied by 10.
I don’t think there’s a huge difference from 10 to 1 in vocal talent this year, but there is a gaping hole between how the top five are picking songs and how the bottom three or four are.
I’m here to even the odds and put together a list so all the contestants have a fighting chance. Listen, there are millions of songs to pick and different ways to arrange them, but you have to know what’s going to play and what’s going to get laughed at. This show is a karaoke contestant minues the booze and untalented ass clowns such as myself hogging the spotlight.
This week’s 80s theme is potentially dangerous. You’re going to see a lot of songs picked that shouldn’t because they’re a) boring b) sung by a music legend whose voice is untouchable c) performed on Idol so well that it shouldn’t be done again; or d) liked by the contestant but nobody else.
Think of it this way – the only 80s songs you should pick are ones you wouldn’t get yelled at for playing if someone gave you the A/V jack in the car. I think I’ve got the list.
We’ll release these one by one, in alphabetical order. Hit me up on Twitter and let me know what you think.
“Time After Time,” Cyndi Lauper
I love Q, but he cannot do what he did last week this week. If he picks some bubbly 80s pop hit and turns it into some haunting murder song, the audience is gonna turn on him. Basically, whatever songs have played at the end of CBS’ “Stalker” he needs to avoid like I avoid CBS’ Stalker.
If he does Lauper’s hit, he can’t do it like this
That isn’t Quentin and not being Quentin would be a colossal mistake because we learned when he did Stevie Wonder a few weeks back, fast pop hits ain’t his bag. So what does he do?
How about something like this?
Rob Thomas’ cover of that song is better than the original. The thing about 80s songs is the lyrics are so, so good but always get lost because the songs were so wildly overproduced. When you strip them down to the lyrics, great singers can make them sound amazingly beautiful.
I’d love to see Quentin do something along the lines of Rob Thomas but with no haunting overtones.
This week is tailor-made for Q. If he shows up in a jheri curl, he’s really gonna win the night. I don’t think he can go wrong with any choice, provided he avoids the Stalker soundtrack and doesn’t turn into Quentin the Emo Superstar.