By Michael Slezak
Updated March 17, 2009 at 12:00 PM EDT
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American Idol: Ray Mickshaw/Fox; Randy Travis: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

True confessions time: My knowledge of country music is limited, and my knowledge of the “music popularized by members of the Grand Ole Opry” stretches the outer definitions of the word “knowledge.” But is that gonna stop me from suggesting songs for tonight for the top 11 contestants of American Idol‘s eighth season? Can I get a “Hell naw”?

For the record, those cantankerous pranksters over at Vote For The Worst claim they’ve got an early list of songs that the current batch of Idol hopefuls were allowed to choose from (click here to see it); interestingly enough, an Idol spokesperson declined to comment on its accuracy. (Hmmm!) From that list, I am truly hoping we hear none of the following tonight: Dolly Patron’s “I Will Always Love You” (yes, Lil, I’m talkin’ to you!); Martina McBride’s “A Broken Wing” (overdone-on-Idol alert); Trace Adkins’ “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk”; Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places”; Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line” (done too well by Daughtry back in season 5, thanks); and Trisha Yearwood’s “How Do I Live.” And note to the four remaining female contestants: I know you might be tempted to cover Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take the Wheel,” “Before He Cheats,” or “Last Name,” but do you really think it’s wise to put your vocal up against that of a megapopular former Idol champ in her chart-topping prime?Nyet!

One other point of interest: While VFTW includes several Johnny Cash tunes among the list of eligible songs, the Grand Ole Opry Web site doesn’t actually list him as a member. (Who knew?) You can click here to check their full roster of artists, then head down to the comments section to suggest songs for your favorite (and least favorite) contestants. And feel free to skip my picks. No, seriously!

  • Adam Lambert: Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues”
  • Alexis Grace: Trisha Yearwood’s “This Is Me You’re Talking To
  • Allison Iraheta: Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”(those who’ve heard Cowboy Junkies’ version are nodding their heads)
  • Anoop Desai: Reba McEntire’s “You Lie”
  • Danny Gokey: Josh Turner’s “Firecracker

addCredit(“American Idol: Ray Mickshaw/Fox; Randy Travis: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images”)

Kris Allen: Patsy Cline’s “Walkin’ After Midnight”
Lil Rounds: Barbara Mandrell’s “If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don’t Wanna Be Right”
Matt Giraud: Charlie Daniels Band’s “Let It Roll”
Megan Corkrey: Loretta Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man)”
Michael Sarver: Dierks Bentley’s “Settle for a Slowdown”
Scott MacIntyre: Dolly Parton’s “Love Is Like a Butterfly”

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