What Should ‘American Idol’ Top Eight Sing This Week?

Contestants will perform songs from their birth years.

“American Idol” judges are like a broken record when it comes to song selection. If they’ve said it once, they’ve said it a million times: It’s all about picking the right song.

That’s why when the eight remaining finalists take the stage Tuesday night (April 7) to perform songs from the years of their birth, they have a chance to either glide to the next round thanks to a savvy, surprising pick that shows off their range or crash and burn and face elimination if the judges don’t share their fondness for, say, a Billy Ocean classic.

Since we don’t know what the contestants will pick, we’ve trolled through the chart-topping hits from the years they were born to come up with a list of possible choices:

Danny Gokey , 1980
That Year’s Big Songs: [artist id="3077"]Blondie’s[/artist] “Call Me,” [artist id="1118"]Pink Floyd’s[/artist] “Another Brick in the Wall (Part II),” [artist id="14648"]Queen’s[/artist] “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”

What He Might Pick: Though we’ve already had Michael Jackson week , Gokey could kill if he went with the King of Pop’s indelible hit “Rock With You” or [artist id="14481"]Prince’s[/artist] “I Wanna Be Your Lover.”

What He Should Stay Away From: Flash-in-the-pan Grammy fluke Christopher Cross (“Ride Like the Wind,” “Sailing”)

What We’d Like to Hear: [artist id="624"]Gary Numan’s[/artist] “Cars” or M’s “Pop Muzik,” either of which would take Gokey out of his gospel-shoutin’ comfort zone and show some range.

Adam Lambert , 1982
That Year’s Big Songs: [artist id="13267"]Olivia Newton-John’s[/artist] “Physical,” [artist id="17221"]Survivor’s[/artist] “Eye of the Tiger,” John Cougar (Mellencamp)’s, “Jack and Diane”

What He Might Pick: [artist id="10075"]Joan Jett’s[/artist] “I Love Rock N’ Roll,” [artist id="9517"]Human League’s[/artist] “Don’t You Want Me,” [artist id="274"]Soft Cell’s[/artist] “Tainted Love”

What He Should Stay Away From: Tommy Tutone (“867-5309/Jenny”), [artist id="12358"]Men at Work[/artist] (“Who Can It Be Now”) and anything by [artist id="1330"]Journey[/artist]

What We’d Like to Hear: Jett seems like a gimme, but a funked-up take on [artist id="16935"]Rod Stewart’s[/artist] “Young Turks” or a flamenco version of [artist id="7397"]A Flock of Seagulls’[/artist] “I Ran” could also cement his unpredictable reputation.

Lil Rounds , 1984
That Year’s Big Songs: Prince’s “When Doves Cry,” [artist id="11386"]Kenny Loggins’[/artist] “Footloose,” [artist id="1153"]Van Halen’s[/artist] “Jump”

What She Might Pick: Rounds could absolutely tear the joint down with Tina Turner’s titanic comeback smash “What’s Love Got to Do With It” or Sheila E’s “Glamorous Life.”

What She Should Stay Away From: Phil Collins’ weepy “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” and Lionel Richie’s equally sappy “Hello.”

What We’d Like to Hear: Lil should mix it up with [artist id="10985"]Cyndi Lauper[/artist] (“Time After Time”), [artist id="9644"]Billy Idol[/artist] (“Eyes Without a Face”) or something uptempo, like Shannon’s “Let the Music Play.”

Matt Giraud , 1985
That Year’s Big Songs: [artist id="18919"]Wham!’s[/artist] “Careless Whisper,” [artist id="1098"]Madonna’s[/artist] “Like a Virgin,” Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing”

What He Might Pick: “Whisper” is actually a great bet for the soulful singer trying to rebound from harsh comments for his attempt to rock it up last week, but he could also do well with big, soulful ballads like [artist id="7500"]Foreigner’s[/artist] “I Want to Know What Love Is” or Paul Young’s “Everytime You Go Away.”

What He Should Stay Away From: Hall and Oates, REO Speedwagon, Starship

What We’d Like to Hear: If he wants to switch it up, [artist id="500739"]Chaka Khan’s[/artist] “I Feel for You” could make an impression, as could Bryan Adams’ “Heaven,” which was covered last year by [artist id="3080429"]David Archuleta[/artist].

Kris Allen , 1985
That Year’s Big Songs: [artist id="17468"]Tears for Fears’[/artist] “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” [artist id="1556"]A-Ha’s[/artist] “Take On Me”

What He Might Pick: Paul Young’s “Everytime You Go Away” would totally work for Allen also, as could Kool and the Gang’s “Cherish” or the [artist id="9376"]Honeydrippers’[/artist] mellow “Sea of Love.”

What He Should Stay Away From: [artist id="1116"]Phil Collins[/artist], [artist id="12165"]Paul McCartney[/artist], Howard Jones

What We’d Like to Hear: Allen could add some edge to his somewhat boring persona with a stab at ‘Til Tuesday’s “Voices Carry” or [artist id="1138"]Sting’s[/artist] “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free.”

Scott MacIntyre , 1985
That Year’s Big Songs: Madonna’s “Crazy for You,” Phil Collins and Philip Bailey’s “Easy Lover”

What He Might Pick: REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” [artist id="19226"]Stevie Wonder’s[/artist] “Part Time Lover,” [artist id="1287"]Sade’s[/artist] “Smooth Operator”

What He Should Stay Away From: Julian Lennon, Jack Wagner, Collins

What We’d Like to Hear: A stripped-down piano-only take on Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” or a solo version of Tears for Fears’ “Shout”

Anoop Desai , 1986
That Year’s Big Songs: [artist id="984"]Elton John[/artist], [artist id="18755"]Dionne Warwick[/artist] and [artist id="10700"]Gladys Knight’s[/artist] “That’s What Friends Are For,” [artist id="15109"]Lionel Richie’s[/artist] “Say You, Say Me,” [artist id="1158"]Whitney Houston’s[/artist] “How Will I Know”

What He Might Pick: ‘Noop Dogg loves to party, so he might go nuts and try [artist id="1162828"]Eddie Murphy’s[/artist] legendary throw-down hit “Party All the Time,” or he could take the safe route and unleash his falsetto on Prince’s “Kiss.”

What He Should Stay Away From: [artist id="12909"]Mr. Mister[/artist], [artist id="13528"]Billy Ocean[/artist], Miami Sound Machine

What We’d Like to Hear: A funked-up “Addicted to Love” ([artist id="1256"]Robert Palmer[/artist]) would be cool, as would a crooning “Holding Back the Years” ([artist id="16230"]Simply Red[/artist]), or even [artist id="1090"]Janet Jackson’s[/artist] R&B classic “When I Think of You.”

Allison Iraheta , 1992
That Year’s Big Songs: [artist id="3426"]Boyz II Men’s[/artist] “End of the Road,” [artist id="16256"]Sir Mix-A-Lot’s[/artist] “Baby Got Back,” [artist id="10789"]Kris Kross’[/artist] “Jump”

What She Might Pick: A dark, smoldering take on the [artist id="1012"]Red Hot Chili Peppers’[/artist] “Under the Bridge,” [artist id="14746"]Bonnie Raitt’s[/artist] gritty “I Can’t Make You Love Me” or, if she can get it cleared, [artist id="846"]Guns N’ Roses’[/artist] “November Rain”

What She Should Stay Away From: [artist id="12902"]Mr. Big[/artist], [artist id="604"]Def Leppard[/artist], Ugly Kid Joe, [artist id="150205"]Billy Ray Cyrus[/artist]

What We’d Like to Hear: Iraheta’s smoky voice wrapped around [artist id="985"]Eric Clapton’s[/artist] touching “Tears in Heaven” could kill, as could [artist id="1022"]U2′s[/artist] “Mysterious Ways,” if she can pull off the higher notes.

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