Well, the top seven are in luck because they've got MTV News on their side with some delicate song suggestions, after the jump.
Thanks a lot, Simon's girlfriend. Over the weekend, she gave away the fact that Carly will be singing "Without You." Technically, that's a Harry Nilsson song, so that makes us angry. (Don't say it's "Mariah" night and then let them sing cover songs. Lame!) But we think "My All" would deliver a similar emotional wallop, without the inevitable drama and backlash Carly's going to receive for the producers' bending the rules.
Kristy Lee Cook
The obvious choice for the abominable Kristy Lee Cook is "When You Believe." It talks about prayer and stuff, and her fans appear to be suckers for the Big Guy. (Although the irony is that the song is from "The Prince of Egypt" -- a movie about, uh, Passover.) But we think the lyrics of "Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Song)" provide an irresistible chance for the perennial bottom three-er to embrace her status as the ultimate underdog. Is there anyone else who could sing the line "Oh, Lord, they do try hard to make me feel that I don't matter at all" with more conviction?
Oof. At first glance, this is a tough one. But if Brooke hunkers down behind the piano, strips down the melody of "Forever" to its bare essentials, and ditches that goofy grin, her performance would be intense and creepy in an awesome Tori Amos kind of way.
Syesha's taken on gigantic ballads the past several weeks -- and come up short, according to the judges -- so we're advising her to try an uptempo number. Why not dust off Mariah's ancient "Someday"? It's a fun and sassy track, and it builds to one of Mimi's signature high notes which Syesha proved she could hit last week during "I Believe."
If "American Idol" lets him cheat Carly-style, David Cook will do "Bringin' on the Heartbreak," a Def Leppard song that Mariah covered on her "Charmbracelet" album. I'm pulling for him to sing "Hero," not only because it will prevent Syesha, Kristy, or the other David from sapping it up, but because with David's brother in the crowd, it could end up being a really beautiful, tender dedication.
"There's Got to Be a Way" is the perfect storm of Archu-clichés -- the lyrics mention homelessness, bigotry, and wanting to live in a world without war. But we beg of you, David: Avoid. This. Song. We know you're a sucker for theme-park dramatics (we wouldn't be surprised if he whips out "It's a Small World" at the finale), but we'd much rather see the young heartbreaker try his hand at "Always Be My Baby." With its summer-camp-themed music video and adorable puppy-love sentiment, it's the perfect song for the 17-year-old whiz and his rabid fan base.
John Norris' fave is screwed unless he grabs a guitar and takes a stab at Mariah's "We Belong Together." If you have trouble imagining the song with a John Mayer-esque hippie groove, check out the countless acoustic covers of "We Belong Together" that users have uploaded to YouTube since 2005. We just hope he has time to squeeze that awesome second verse into his performance. (Wouldn't you just love to hear him sing about Bobby Womack and Babyface?)
What do you guys think the top seven should sing?