The Picks Are In: My Take On the American Idol Top 11 80s Week Song Choices


In honor of 80s Night, what I’ll look like all evening

Break out the cocaine, because that’s the only way I’m enjoying 80s Night on American Idol tonight.

I’m joking (about what, you’ll never know), because while my 11 picks for the contestants were A-plus and would have provided two hours of fantastic entertainment, only one singer actually may have took my advice.

The rest of the field did a solid job though. I like to avoid the song spoilers but they infested my timeline so with half the field already known, I figured I might as well see what we’re working with. Plus, the song doesn’t matter – it’s the execution that does.

Quickly (or as quick as I can be) here are my thoughts on tonight’s selections. It should be noted I didn’t listen to the iTunes releases because that would really ruin my night.

Rayvon Owen
“Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” Tears for Fears

I’m genuinely curious about this one. Rayvon had it tough for 80s Night because he probably had the most songs to choose from. There aren’t a lot of guys who can go falsetto, but in the 80s that was sort of the thing. I’m a little surprised he chose this, but seeing Lorde covered it I’d be shocked if it wasn’t along those lines. My bigger issue with the selection is this isn’t a song that’s a lot of 80s music fans love, so I don’t know if the Lorde version has enough to draw in more votes. If he doesn’t trade the Heisenberg hat in for something neon with a flipped brim, he should definitely get more votes. I still think “Candy Girl” would have been a better choice, but final judgment will come after he’s done singing.

Adanna Duru
“I Hate Myself For Loving You,” Joan Jett

Part of me thinks this is a terrible choice, but another part of me – and the one I’ll trust – thinks this is going to be AWESOME. Is Adanna a bad ass? In my head she’s like Nia from MTV’s The Challenge. She just kicks ass and takes names. I’m basing this on nothing except I want her to be a total bad ass chick who just beats up guys for fun. She’s gonna come out in black leather pants and a black leather coat and crush this. And yes, I’m only saying that because I’m terrified she’ll track me down and beat me up in front of my kids. As much as I would have enjoyed her singing “On The Wings Of Love” I don’t mind this choice.

Maddie Walker
“Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” Poison

This is another one of those “boom or bust” selections. The country vibe on the song is undeniable and it’s definitely going to draw her a lot of fans because if my Facebook friends tell me anything, it’s 40-year old women love the shit out of Poison. If Maddie gets the arrangement right, this could be the week where she vaults herself into the Top 4, similar to Geena Gina Jena Irene last year with “Rolling In the Deep” in the Top 8 that turned her to the darkhorse favorite. Even if she does a note-for-note cover, Maddie should still be in good shape. I can’t see the arrangement getting to weird, but if she can’t carry the vocals there’s going to be a harsh critique and I’ll call it now – Harry Connick will say “what does a 17-year old really know about pain and heartbreak.” My idea of a country version of “Take On Me” was out of the box and I think it would have been a huge success, but this could end up being pretty good as well.

Daniel Seavey
“You Make My Dreams Come True,” Hall & Oates

Fucking Seavey. If you think I’m not rooting for him to be safe tonight solely because of Yacht Rock, you don’t understand how much I love the genre. If he’s going to do the performance right, he needs an Oates mustache. It’s a must have. This song is terrific – don’t you dare speak a bad word of Hall & Oates – but I don’t know how Seavey is going to make it work unless he’s doing a straight cover. Don’t get me wrong, I’m throwing all impartiality aside and rooting like hell for him, but if he screws this up he’s dead to me. D. E. A. D. Had he taken my advice and done a cover of “King of Wishful Thinking” people would have gone crazy; while everyone should have as much respect as I do for Hall & Oates, I don’t know if the Idol-viewing audience does.

Jax
“You Give Love a Bad Name,” Bon Jovi

If Jax tries to Blake Lewis the song she’s going home next week, guaranteed, unless she’s got some hidden beat-box talent we haven’t seen yet. If she does, the line to marry her is going to be a long one because if you get a chick who looks like that, sings like that, will hopefully make a ton of money doing music and beat-boxes, SIGN ME UP. My guess is she’s slowing this down, putting her Jaxcent (copyright Dudes Review Idol) on the words and making it her own. That will be awesome. If she does what Demi Lovato did, I don’t know. We haven’t seen pop/rock singer Jax yet, so I’m all in if that’s the route she goes but she’s toeing a dangerous line. If she took my advice and sang “Every Breath You Take” it would have killed, but I’m guessing Clark Beckham picked it before she had a chance, earning a “You’re No. 1” using the wrong finger from Miss Jax.

Clark Beckham
“Every Breath You Take,” The Police

I can’t see this going wrong because Clark Beckham, but if he goes early in the show and I’m not drunk yet it’s going to be disappointing because I am really looking forward to pretending he’s singing this about our impending bromance. You can forget about a straight cover, so if I’m guessing he’s going to do what I predicted for Jax, which is a version similar to this:

Clark’s the only one who hasn’t done a creepy version of a song, so it would be fitting that he takes the creepiest of songs and does it creepy. Either way, I’ll be pumped and I just hope he sings before my wife gets home or after she goes to bed.

Nick Fradiani
“Man in the Mirror,” Michael Jackson

I don’t like Idols taking on Michael Jackson, because it’s really tough unless you totally flip the song on its head. Nick isn’t a straight pop singer (I mean, he’s straight straight, but he’s not a pure pop singer like MJ, Timberlake, Robin Thicke, etc) so I doubt he’s doing a replica here. In fact, I’d guess it’s going to be close to this:

I’m cautiously optimistic about what he’s going to do tonight, but I fear for the worst. If it goes wrong he might be closer to the cutting block than we think. But like J-Lo says, he’s hot, so that might keep him afloat even if things go bad. Since my pick – “Fascination” – was a little out there and mainly for me, I’ll stay confident that the man knows what he’s doing and worst case he’ll bang a slew of 10s after the show.

Joey Cook
“Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” Cyndi Lauper

Probably the most cliched choice of the group, because why wouldn’t the funny weird girl of the group pick the funny weird girl of the 1980s? Based on what she’s done, you can’t disagree with a Joey selection until you see her perform. There’s countless varieties of covers, but because the Google machine is so effective, it took me four seconds to find out in what style Joey will be singing tonight:

I hope she’s doing something different, but methinks this is it. I really think had she done The Pixies like I recommended, it would have been a lights out performance, but I’m holding out hopes that she’s saving it for later. Either way, Joey gets a pass because Joey is Joey and she hasn’t failed us yet. I anticipate good things from Miss Cook and I anticipate everyone’s heads exploded when she gets the job done once again.

Qaasim Middleton
“Addicted to Love,” Robert Palmer

At this point I’m convinced Qaasim is a middle-aged white guy because he’s just picking classic rock songs my dad listened to when I was growing up. He did a masterful job of picking a song that doesn’t require a ton of great vocal ability, which means a lot of fucking dancing tonight. Hopefully he goes last so I can be good and drunk when he’s up, but I can’t say this is going to be something I enjoy. However, if he does something like this?

Well if he does that fuck me, right? I mean, if the dude who hasn’t sung a note all season decided to try a cover that requires so much vocal control and no dancing whatsoever, comes out and kills it, I mean, I might have to jump right on the Qaasim bandwagon. Obviously my choice of Morris Day and The Time would have been much better, but if he messes around and does something original tonight might work.

Quentin Alexander
“In the Air Tonight,” Phil Collins

This would have been the most cliched choice of the contestants if Joey Cook didn’t pick Cyndi Lauper. I can’t imagine Quentin singing a haunting beautiful rock song. So original, no? Now I get it. Now I know why people aren’t voting for him. I love, love, love this dude, but if he comes out and sings this in the same style he’s been singing I completely understand why people aren’t voting for him. He’s gotta do what he’s gotta do, but good god man – could you at least change a song that isn’t already tailor-made for you? My choice of “Time After Time” would have gone a little bit better, but I only say that because I am 100 percent full of myself. He’s probably going to hit a home run tonight and I’ll take all of this back in a drunken ramble, so there’s that too.

Tyanna Jones
“I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” Whitney Houston

Terrific choice. Probably the best of all the contestants. No idea where she’d get such a terrific idea. She probably doesn’t read the site. CUE MY MUSIC!

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