We’re down to the final four on American Idol, and the tension will be heavier than the scent of Drakkar Noir in a mid-’80s nightclub when Barry Gibb swings by this week to coach the contestants on the Bee Gees’ songbook. I’ve been pondering all weekend which contestant is most likely to benefit from the theme, and I’m still not certain. Sure, Blake’s the Gibb-iest of the bunch, but will that hurt or help him? Jordin hasn’t exactly excelled at uptempo numbers, but the Bee Gees have plenty of happenin’ ballads. Is Melinda ready to get down with the get-down? And was LaKisha’s sudden return to form during Bon Jovi a “one night only” situation, or is she roaring back to true-contender status? These are the questions that keep me awake at night, along with nameless dread over the fate of my stolen vinyl copy of Paula Abdul’s Forever Your Girl. In the meantime, here’s my request list for the week ahead (with two songs per contestant, since I doubt Fox plans to fill the hour with just four songs). Do post your own in the comments section below.
Melinda Doolittle: While “Woman in Love” is technically a Barbra Streisand number, it was written by a Gibb, and it’s a gorgeous slice of balladry. Plus, it would take chutzpah to cover Babs, and who wouldn’t like to see a little more chutzpah from Mindy. “Tragedy,” meanwhile, is my second-fave Bee Gees’ number, and the season’s resident pro could definitely handle the rapid-fire wordplay.
LaKisha Jones: Okay, I’m sure Blake has probably called dibs on “Stayin’ Alive,” but I think Kiki’s the better choice for the Bee Gees’ ultimate hit. Not only do the lyrics speak to her Idol journey, but her big, growly voice would put a new, urgent twist on the number. For her second track, I’d go with “To Love Somebody,” since it kind of reminds me just a little of Bon Jovi’s “This Ain’t a Love Song,” and we all know how awesome that was.
Blake Lewis: “You Should Be… (pssst, pfft, psst, ppp!)… Dancin‘”… yeah! You know it’d bring down the house! And as a follow-up, how about Diana Ross’ disco gem “Chain Reaction” (also written by the Gibbs)? He’s probably safe this week, so why not just dive in, have fun, and do what he does best.
Jordin Sparks: This could be a tricky week for the suddenly vulnerable front–runner. Since she does best with desperate ballads, I’d pick “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,” and since she can’t be totally downtempo, perhaps “Nights on Broadway.”
addCredit(“American Idol: Frank Micelotta”)