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MAR
15
3 YEARS

Next Week's 'American Idol' Theme: Billy Joel Songs

The Top 10 contestants earned a spot on the "Idol" summer tour, but will they do justice to the Piano Man?

American Idol season 11 Top 10 L
Michael Becker / FOX

American Idol's Season 11 Top 10 was announced  on Thursday night's episode, which sent 16-year-old Shannon Magrane home after a difficult week where the contestants were challenged to sing a song from the year they were born. Will next week's theme of Billy Joel songs be any easier?   

Considering few of the finalists on this year's show are rock-oriented, it may be an equally daunting task to reinterpret the music of the Piano Man and one of music history's biggest hitmakers, especially for someone like Jessica Sanchez or Joshua Ledet. On the other hand, the likes of gritty-voiced belters Erika Van Pelt and Elise Testone may fair better than weeks past, and certainly Colton Dixon, to whom a piano bench is home, may have an advantage.

VIDEO: American Idol': Elise Testone Duets With Obama on 'Let's Stay Together' 

It won't be Joel's first appearance on the show, either. His music was featured during Top 7 week of Season 2, although he didn't sit on the panel (instead, Smokey Robinson offered commentary). Idol fans may recall Clay Aiken's rousing peformance of "Tell Her About It," which helped catapult the wild card contestant to the final two.

Curiously, Joel himself hasn't been all that supportive of the Idol concept, commenting on occasion that knowing how to sing and play an instrument and paying your dues were the surest ways to make it in music. Speaking of his own daughter's career pursuits in a 2007 press conference, Joel said, "Go out there, forget about American Idol. Work."  

We'll see if he changes his tune after next week's show. Until then, watch Aiken's tribute to Billy Joel below: 

Twitter: @shirleyhalperin