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Choosing songs for American Idols

Choosing songs for American Idols

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Paul Nelson reportingWho decides what David Archuleta is going to sing on each episode of "American Idol?" Producers choose a theme, but do they have any pull on which song each singer chooses?

Other than hearing something was "a little pitchy," one of the most common criticisms contestants hear on American Idol, it's about song choice.

When David Archuleta sang the song "With You," judges didn't seem to buy it.

Randy Jackson said, "I'm not sure that was the right song. Seeing you sing ‘My Boo,' I didn't believe it." Simon Cowell said, "It was a little bit like a Chihuahua trying to be a tiger."

His voice coach doesn't agree with these statements.

The show's vocal coach, Dorian Holley, said, "You can kind of see how the music industry pigeon-holes people. They slammed him for singing that song. You go back and watch that song and you tell me whether or not he did a good job."

Holley says they are not allowed to pick songs for the singers, but they are allowed to make suggestions. He says David Archuleta has changed songs if he feels the subject matter isn't what he wants to sing about.

"He has come on and picked something and then came the next day and say, ‘No, I don't like that. I'd rather do this instead," Holley said.

I asked Holley, "If David Archuleta is dead set on singing 'It's Raining Men' from The Weather Girls, you guys can't really stop him, can you?" He laughed, "No we can't."

Now, that would be a bad song choice.

One person who is no stranger to the criticism of Simon over bad song choices is Mikalah Gordon. She was a contestant during season four. She didn't win, though.

"I was already insecure and just very nervous about the whole thing. He did not make that any better," she said.

But, Gordon says Simon was right for the most part.


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