Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


'American Idol': What should the Top 9 sing for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame week? What should they avoid?

Posted on

Idol 9 Rr Hall Fame
Idol: Michael Becker/Fox; Hall of Fame: Walter Bib

Last week, the American Idol contestants were tasked with singing from the catalogue of a single, melodically challenging music legend. This week, things get a lot easier — or harder, depending on your point of view — since the Top 9 get to sing music by the music legends inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That’s 92 music groups, and 196 individual artists, ranging from Neil Diamond to Alice Cooper (and that’s just from the 2011 inductees). With so many options to pick from, it’s a good thing we here at PopWatch HQ are around to make suggestions, both for what to sing and what music traps to avoid at all costs. Check out our picks below! 

Casey Abrams

DO SING: “The Thrill Is Gone,” B.B. King

DO NOT SING: “Long Tall Sally,” Little Richard

Lauren Alaina

DO SING: “Take a Chance on Me,” ABBA

DO NOT SING: “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” Bonnie Raitt

James Durbin

DO SING: “Over the Hills and Far Away,” Led Zeppelin (but slowed down to a ballad)

DO NOT SING: “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Queen (it’s been done)

Stefano Langone

DO SING: “Just the Way You Are,” Billy Joel

DO NOT SING: “Invisible Touch,” Genesis

Jacob Lusk

DO SING: “I’ve Got To Use My Imagination,” Gladys Knight and the Pips

DO NOT SING: “Kiss,” Prince

Scotty McCreery

DO SING: “I’ve Got a Rock ‘N’ Roll Heart,” Eric Clapton

DO NOT SING: “This Land Is Your Land,” Woody Guthrie

Paul McDonald

DO SING: “Pink Houses,” John Mellencamp

DO NOT SING: “Carolina In My Mind,” James Taylor

Haley Reinhart

DO SING: “Maybe,” Janis Joplin

DO NOT SING: “Me and Bobby McGee,” Janis Joplin (it’s been done)

Pia Toscano

DO SING: She revealed last week that she’s singing “River Deep, Mountain High” by Ike & Tina Turner, and I cannot argue with that. I just hope she tackles the Tina version, and not…

DO NOT SING: The Celine Dion version.

So those are my picks. What are yours?

Read more:

‘American Idol’ contestant Haley Reinhart: A love letter to season 10’s most under-appreciated singer

‘American Idol’ Top 9 Power List

‘American Idol’ contestants on their most nerve-wracking night

‘American Idol’: The contestants spill the beans at our photo shoot

‘American Idol’: Naima on what’s next — ‘I want to be a superhero in a movie’

‘American Idol’: Now that she’s out,. Thia Megia is rooting for…

‘American Idol’ exit Q&A: Thia Megia says she feels ‘devastated, but at the same time, happy’

‘American Idol’ exit Q&A: Naima Adedapo says she ‘took a huge risk’ by singing reggae

‘American Idol’ recap: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

‘American Idol’: Scotty throws swag, Lauren sheds tears on the scene for Top 11 results night, take 2

‘Idol’ coaches talk the Top 11 taking on Elton John

Behind the scenes at EW’s ‘Idol’ photo shoot!

EW.com’s ‘American Idol’ Central