Year You Were Born

So tomorrow night is my favorite theme for Idol. They don’t do it every year but I wish they would! It brought us such great performances as Adam Lambert’s Mad World, which was voted best Idol performance. I know they never pick the songs I want, and they usually make me feel old (especially when I have to turn 30 this year… all readers older than me, please just let me have my old moment. I promise it’ll be the only time I complain… tonight…). And this is a really  young cast. Last year there were 7 contestants in the Top 12, born in the ’80s. This year, only 4! And, you have to go back to Season 7 to see a contestant born in the ’70s. I’m just glad that the kids born 2000 and on, are still not old enough to participate… by that time I’ll truly be old enough to have a heart attack.

I still love this episode though because it’s my favorite episode to make predictions on. I love picking out which song I think they should sing (keep in mind I’ve NEVER been right with my predictions) but it is nice to reminisce about some of the greatest of songs from the late ’80s and early ’90s. Anyway, I thought I’d run through the various songs that could be a seen on tonights Idol. They probably won’t but a girl can dream. Until then lets just call this a list of some good songs from years past.

Unfortunately for Elise Testone, besides her resident stint in the Bottom 4, she’s also the oldest contestant in the Top 12, bringing in the lead by being born in 1983. She does share her year with some great music, and some of my favorite previous contestants (Carly Smithson and Brooke White)

Award Winners from 1983
Record of the Year – Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson, for “Beat It”
Song of the Year – The Police, for “Every Breath You Take”

Top Songs of 1983
Every Breath You Take – The Police (sung by Brooke White in Season 7)
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
Total Eclipse of the Heart – Bonnie Tyler (sung by Carly Smithson, also in Season 7)
Flashdance – Irene Cara
All Night Long – Lionel Richie

Personal pick for Elise: Hungry Like the Wolf (Duran Duran) or Love is a Battlefield (Pat Benetar).

Next up in the age range, born in 1985 (the same year as my little sis) is Erika Van Pelt. Back in Season 8 there were 3 1985ers, of which my favorite was probably Kris Allen’s All She Wants to Do Is Dance! Part-Time Lover was a close second (sang by Matt Giraud).

Award Winners from 1985
Record of the Year – Quincy Jones, for “We Are the World”
Song of the Year – Also “We Are the World”

Also, I thought it was worth noting that the Miami Vice theme song won best instrumental composition! Best Opening to a TV Show? If there was a Grammy, I’m sure it would’ve won that too!

Top Songs of 1985
We Are the World – United for Africa
Take on Me – A-ha
Money for Nothing – Dire Straits
Shout – Tears for Fears
Into the Groove – Madonna

Who else thinks Erika is shaping up to have the best year of song choices?? Looking at the Billboard Hot 100, it’s like a long list of favorites!

Personal pick for Erika: I Wanna Know What Love Is (Foreigner) or You’re the Inspiration (Chicago). Secretly I’d also love her to do Power of Love (Huey Lewis and the News)… I also secretly wish the Miami Vice theme song had words.

For the oldest male on the show, it’s relatively obvious. I bring to you, Jermaine Jones. And what former Idol contestant shares a year with Jermaine? The one and only Anoop-dogg! He sang Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors, a fantastic performance but that song has already been sung this season.

Award Winners from 1986
Record of the Year – Russ Titelman and Steve Winwood for “Higher Love”
Song of the Year – Burt Bacharach & Carole Sager for “That’s What Friends are For”

I think what he actually might sing won Best Male Pop Vocal Performance – Michael Bolton, “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?”

Top Songs of 1986
Walk Like an Egyptian – The Bangles
Papa Don’t Preach – Madonna
Take My Breath Away – Berlin
That’s What Friends Are For – Dione Warwick & Friends
Kiss – Prince

Personal pick for Jermaine: Take My Breath Away (Berlin) or Lady in Red (Chris de Burgh). The latter is what I’m hoping for.

Skipping ahead to 1989, next we have Heejun Han. Last season had 3 1989-ers. James Durbin sang I’ll Be There For You, Stephano Langone sang If You Don’t Know Me By Now, and Karen Rodriguez was eliminated with Love Will Lead You Back.

Award Winners from 1989
Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and totally what I think Heejun should sing) – Bette Midler for “Wind Beneath My Wings” (Just mentioning that song, and the movie Beaches, practically makes me cry)

Top Songs of 1989
Like a Prayer – Madonna
Eternal Flame – The Bangles
Love Shack – The B-52s
Miss You Much – Janet Jackson
Forever Your Girl – Paula Abdul

Heejun, like Erika, has a year FULL of hits and I could see him singing a lot of them but I’m going to stick with the thought that he should sing.

Personal pick for Heejun: In the Living Years (Mike and the Mechanics) or this creeper of a song idea, The Dance (Garth Brooks) – it would be unexpected and he’s got the vocal chops to pull it off.  

And finally, at our 5th contestant, we reach those born in the ’90s. Let’s start with Phil Phillips, born in 1990. Last year Haley Reinhart sang I’m Your Baby Tonight. It could be cool to see Phil re-do that one but I have a feeling he’ll do something a little more original. Especially since that was one of Haley’s many trips into the Bottom 3.

Award Winners from 1990
Record of the Year – Phil Collins “Another Day in Paradise” (Phitting that it’s a guy named Phil!)
Song of the Year – Bette Midler “From a Distance”

And Best New Artist, you may wonder – Well it was Mariah Carey (Vision of Love) of course! Who says the Best New Artist goes nowhere!

Top Songs of 1990
Nothing Compares to You  – Sinéad O’Connor
Vogue – Madonna
Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
U Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer
It Must’ve Been Love – Roxette
Honorable Mention – Step By Step – New Kids on the Block

Personal pick for Phil: Hold On (Wilson Phillips) – I’d love to see it get the “Thriller” treatment, plus Bridesmaids brought back any popularity it may’ve lost, or Janie’s Got a Gun (Aerosmith)

In 1991 we’ve got Colton Dixon. I do hope that Colton takes a tip from his year buddy from last season, Casey Abrams, who sang Smells Like Teen Spirit (that being said I remember that performance terrifying me). I have to believe Colton could do Nirvana in a different but so much better way.

Award Winners from 1991
Record, Album AND Song of the Year – Unforgettable by Natalie Cole and Nat King Cole

Top Songs of 1991
Everything I Do (I Do It For You) – Brian Adams
Black or White – Michael Jackson
Joyride – Roxette
Wind of Change – The Scorpions
Losing My Religion – R.E.M. (a great contender for Colton to sing)

1991 had a lot of great contenders for Colton though. Mostly because Nirvana released Nevermind, Metallica released The Black Album, and Pearl Jam released Ten and I could see Colton rocking any number of the songs on those records.  If I had to narrow it down though…

Personal pick for Colton: Come As You Are (Nirvana) or Jeremy (Pearl Jam)… or if he wanted to pull a Reed Grimm, he’d attempt Mama Said Knock You Out

Joshua Ledet represents 1992. I do not recommend Joshua taking any cues from Allison Iraheta because I don’t think Bonnie Raitt is really in his wheel house. And he can’t make me love him, if I don’t.

Award Winners from 1992
Record, Album AND Song of the Year – Tears in Heaven (Unplugged) – Eric Clapton

Top Songs of 1992
I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston (too bad that was last week)
End of the Road – Boyz II Men (winner!)
Rhythm is a Dancer – Snap
Baby Got Back – Sir Mix A Lot
Knockin’ on Heavens Door – Guns n’ Roses

Personal pick for Joshua: Remember the Time (Michael Jackson) – I’d really just like to see Joshua do Michael so this would be a good sampling, or Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (technically a rerelease on Elton’s “Duets” album but I’ll take it, because this would make it the most sung song on the Idol stage)

If that’s not an Idol song, I don’t know what is. So with that, we’ll move on to 1993 and Hollie Cavanaugh (how she’s not the youngest is beyond me). I definitely don’t see her taking after Scotty McCreery and singing anything by Travis Tritt.

Award Winners from 1993 
Record of the Year – I Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston
Song of the Year – A Whole New World, from Aladdin

Top Songs of 1993
I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) – Meatloaf
I Can’t Help Falling in Love – UB40
What’s Up – Four Non Blondes (why was Elise not born in 1993?)
What is Love – Haddaway
All That She Wants – Ace of Base

Personal pick for Hollie: Two Words – Mariah Carey. I just want to see her sing Mariah. Prove to me you deserve to be here honey! I’d love to hear either Dreamlover, or Hero. Let’s go!

Finally we have two people born in the same year. In 1994 the world graced us with both Skylar Laine, and DeAndre Brakensick.

Award Winners from 1994
Record of the Year – All I Wanna Do, Sheryl Crow
Song of the Year – Streets of Philadelphia, Bruce Springsteen

Top Songs of 1994
Streets of Philadephlia – Bruce Springsteen
Cotton Eyed Joe – Rednex Remix
Without You – Mariah Carey
Basket Case – Green Day
I Swear – All 4 One (this song holds a special place in my heart because it was mine and my first boyfriends “song”)

Personal pick for Skylar: I’ve got 3 possibles for Skylar in the form of Come to my Window (Melissa Etheridge), Lucky One (Amy Grant), or You Gotta Be (Des’Ree). I know that last year Lauren Alaina sang I’m the Only One (I guess 1994 was a popular year for Miss Etheridge) but I think Come to my Window would be a better fit for Skylar. And it wouldn’t be copying Lauren/getting compared to her as much.

Personal pick for DeAndre: On Bended Knee (Boyz II Men), or Mr. Jones (Counting Crows)

Finally we come to the babies of the group in 1995, Jessica Sanchez, and Shannon Magrane. In seasons past Thia Megia sang Colors of the Wind.

Award Winners from 1995
Record of the Year (and Song of the Year) – Kiss from a Rose
I have to mention Album of the Year because every girl owns this album – Jagged Little Pill
And for the funny factor, Best New Artist – Hootie and the Blowfish

Top Songs of 1995
Gangsta’s Paradise – Coolio (I’d kill to see Jessica sing this!)
Boombastic – Shaggy
Back for Good – Take That
You Are Not Alone – Michael Jackson
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me – U2 (from the Batman Forever soundtrack)

Personal pick for Jessica: Baby (Brandy), Dreaming of You (Selena), or No More I Love Yous (Annie Lennox)

Personal pick for Shannon: Any Man of Mine (Shania Twain), Walking In Memphis (Cher)

So with that, we’ll see what tomorrow night holds. I probably won’t see any of my picks chosen, but a girl can dream!

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Categories: American Idol, Television | Leave a comment

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