As is the semifinals tradition, on tonight’s show, the judges will weigh in on song choice more immediately than ever before – by picking songs for the top three contestants. But it’s not all up to Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul. Each contestant will sing three times. Apart from the judges’ pick, legendary record executive Clive Davis has also selected a song for Blake Lewis, Melinda Doolittle and Jordin Sparks. And for their third tune, the contestants will pick their own song. While the contestants’ picks and Davis’ choices are still (mostly) top secret, we can reveal exactly what the judges selected.
• Jordin Sparks: Simon Cowell picked “Wishing On A Star” by funk band Rose Royce.
• Blake Lewis: Paula Abdul singled out the Police’s classic “Roxanne” for the beat boxer. The pick was announced via fax during a rally while Lewis visited his hometown, Bothell, Wash.
• Melinda Doolittle: Randy Jackson selected Whitney Houston’s jazzy number, “I Believe In You and Me.” The choice was revealed via letter from Jackson while Doolittle was home in Tennessee.
And here’s a bonus: according to the Arizona Republic, while Sparks was home in Glendale, Ariz., she told her classmates what she picked for herself. If the report is true, expect a reprise of her well-received “I Who Have Nothing.”