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‘American Idol’ Contestants to Sing Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder Songs on Next Episode

Whitney Houston Stevie Wonder
Kevork Djansezian / Ethan Miller, Getty Images

After last night’s (March 1) Top 10 and three wild cards were revealed on Season 11 of ‘American Idol,’ host Ryan Seacrest revealed that the female contestants comprising the Top 13 will belt out Whitney Houston songs next week during the performance episode. As for the seven boys? They will be tasked with performing songs by Stevie Wonder.

The Whitney Houston episode is a nice way for the show to pay tribute to the songstress, who died on Feb. 11. Since Houston passed so recently, ‘Idol’ is showing its respect in the best way it knows how.

We’re wondering which of the divas — there are six — will tackle Houston’s signature ballads like ‘I Will Always Love You’ and who will attempt the dancey jams like ‘How Will I Know.’ Same goes for the guys. Who will take on upbeat songs like ‘Sir Duke’ and who will belt out slow, piano-driven jams like ‘Ribbon in the Sky’?

While the soulful male crooners on ‘Idol’ will probably have no trouble picking which Stevie song they want to sing, since the singer-songwriter has a rich catalog from which to choose, Whitney’s powerful vocals may pose a challenge for some of the female singers. On previous seasons, whenever there were big balladeers, the judge’s panel would warn them about performing songs by Whitney, Mariah or Celine, since emulating them was quite difficult. Now, they’ve flipped the script to honor Houston. It’s likely that the hopefuls will do their best in her memory.

It’s going to be a battle for the ages on ‘Idol’ next week. And then there will be 12.

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