Word on the street is that the theme for Top 8 week of The X Factor USA will be “Billboard #1 Hits”! I thought it would be fun to discuss song suggestions. At first, I’d heard rumors that the theme was “Anything Goes,” meaning the contestants could choose whatever they wanted. Allegedly, song choices this week aren’t limited to merely songs that have topped the Hot 100 but rather, songs that have hit #1 period. Basically, it is an “Anything Goes” theme. For the purpose of this post, I mainly stuck to the Hot 100.
Side note: For any contestants under 18, I’m going to suggest shamelessly ripping off Glee.
Here are some suggestions and some explanations:
Carly Rose Sonenclar: “Listen to Your Heart” (Roxette), “Only Girl in the World” (Rihanna), “Macarthur Park” (Donna Summer), “Come On Over Baby” (Christina Aguilera), “Addicted to Love” (Robert Palmer)
Carly is sticking around for a while no matter what she chooses during such a broad theme week. From what I can tell about Carly via her social networking sites, she has better taste in music than some of her song selections suggest (not that she’s been the one choosing). Unfortunately, great music is often too underground to hit #1. Florence + the Machine has a great cover of “Addicted to Love” that I think she would perform well. It’s a loophole.
Paige Thomas: “Again” (Janet Jackson), “Faith” (George Michael), “Bette Davis Eyes” (Kim Carnes), “Sound of Silence” (Simon & Garfunkle), “Blue Velvet” (Bobby Vinton)
Paige has a tiny voice. The judges seem to praise her presence and star quality, so I chose songs I thought could work for her as a performer. Considering her best performance was her Coldplay cover, I would go with “Sound of Silence.” Lana Del Rey has a cool cover of “Blue Velvet” on her latest EP. Stay away from Rihanna!
Emblem 3: “Heartbreaker” (Mariah Carey), “Stay” (Lisa Loeb), “We Found Love” (Rihanna), “Irreplaceable” (Beyonce), “Africa” (Toto), “Raise Your Glass” (P!nk), “Doo Wop” (Lauryn Hill)
I just realized I’ve given the boys mostly female songs to cover, but it’s worked for them in the past. They’re great at flipping songs. I wanted them to sing “Heartbreaker” during “Diva” week. “Stay” has been covered decently by punk band Newfound Glory. Also, a song like “Africa” could be an awesome throwback or totally awful, but I think they could pull it off. If they twist “Doo Wop” just right, it could be a perfect way to crack the Top 3.
Fifth Harmony: “Nothing Compares 2 U” (Sinead O’Conner), “I Think We’re Alone Now” (Tiffany), “Heaven is a Place on Earth” (Belinda Carlisle), “Born This Way” (Lady Gaga), “Waterfalls” (TLC), “More Than Words” (Extreme)
Girls Aloud has covered the Tiffany song well enough prior. Also, “Born This Way” has been stripped down in various versions. Girl groups are mainly about empowering younger girls and having lots of fun while doing it.
Tate Stevens: “With Arms Wide Open” (Creed), “Man in the Mirror” (Michael Jackson), “Truly Madly Deeply” (Savage Garden), “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” (Aerosmith), “Islands in the Stream” (Kenny Rogers w/ Dolly Parton)
While I didn’t scavenge the country charts, I chose some songs for Tate from the Hot 100 I thought his fans would like and that I thought he could put his spin on. “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” has previously been covered by Mark Chesnutt and went to #1 on country radio. Not that I like Creed, but I think his fan base might.
Vino Alan: “Kiss From a Rose” (Seal), “Midnight Train to Georgia” (Gladys Knight & the Pips), “Angie” (The Rolling Stones), “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” (The Temptations), “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” (Poison)
The earlier portions of the Hot 100 are littered with choices for Vino. I just picked a few that I crossed paths with. I like him doing soul songs with just a tiny hint of a rock edge. He can flip these in his favor.
Diamond White: “Diamonds” (Rihanna), “Toy Soldiers” (Martika), “What a Girl Wants” (Christina Aguilera), “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (Fergie), “Firework” (Katy Perry), “A Whole New World” (from Aladdin)
Diamond has been mostly successful on big (stale) ballads, but I see her as a potential “Disney kid”- type of commercial success. “Diamonds” is very current and an obvious choice. I like Diamond a lot. She hasn’t gotten as much hype as Carly Rose, so I think her best shot at winning is adding a little spunk to her suggestions.
CeCe Frey: “Sexy Back” (Justin Timberlake), “Like a Prayer” (Madonna), “No Diggity” (Blackstreet & Dr. Dre), “My Prerogative” (Bobby Brown), “Glamorous” (Fergie), “Lose Yourself” (Eminem), “Marry the Night” (Lady Gaga)
I think CeCe went off track following the criticism of her first live performance. It wasn’t awful, but the judges sent her into an existential crisis that has resulted in way too many off song choices. She needs another “Sexy and I Know It”- type performance during this crucial week. For a girl who’s very much about drive and never giving up, a stellar spin on “Lose Yourself” could be pretty awesome. Britney has also covered “My Prerogative,” but I’m sure she wouldn’t even remember that.
Below, I’ve attached a previous rock cover CeCe recorded of “Marry the Night” by Lady Gaga, which went to #1 on the dance charts. It’s pretty damn good!
Sound off below! With such a broad theme, what do you want to see your favorite acts perform? Meanwhile, I’m going to keep searching and edit if I find anything else!