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Top 10 ‘American Idol’ Performances Ever

posted by lmarcus

elliotyaminpicidol.jpgI know Season 7 is still in high gear, but the last few weeks of the show have gotten me thinking about the best of the best. Here are my top ten “Idol” performances of all time.
10. Brooke White, “Let It Be”
The standout of Season 7 so far, Brooke (who accompanied her raw, lovely rendition on the piano) success gives hope to everyone who wants this year’s Idol to be a musician as well as a singer.
9. Frenchie Davis and Kimberley Locke, “Band of Gold”
I always think the Hollywood rounds don’t get enough airtime, and this duet performance from Season 2 shows how many other incredible performances we could be missing out on before the show even officially begins.
8. Elliott Yamin, “Moody’s Mood for Love”
Dark horse Elliott surprised everyone by choosing this old-fashioned standard, but this soulful performance helped propel him to a well-deserved third place finish in Season 5.


7. Melinda Doolittle, “My Funny Valentine”
Every song Melinda sang in Season 6 was a master class in performing, especially this one from the semifinals. She showed that she could sing any song, from any genre, and make it completely her own.
6. Clay Aiken, “Bridge Over Troubled Water”
Clay Aiken almost didn’t make it onto Season 2 of ‘Idol’ when he auditioned, as Simon deemed the dorky redhead “not commercial enough.” Clay put any doubts about his viability to rest when he soared through this Simon and Garfunkel classic, which became the B-side to his first hit single.
5. Chris Daughtry, “What a Wonderful World”
Season 5’s resident rocker showed that he was able to go soft when he nailed a version of this Louis Armstrong standard.
4. Carrie Underwood, “Alone”
Season 4’s eventual winner, Carrie Underwood established herself as a country singer but proved she could break out of her shell and rock the house with her cover of Heart’s ’80s power ballad.
3. Blake Lewis, “You Give Love a Bad Name”
On Bon Jovi theme night in Season 6, Blake took a huge risk by reworking the megahit song to include his trademark beatboxing and techno backbeats. It paid off, and his performance is possibly the bravest in the show’s history.
2. Kelly Clarkson, “Stuff Like That There”
Most people remember original “Idol” Kelly Clarkson belting out R&B and pop ballads, but in this number from Big Band Night she proved that she could get out of her comfort zone to do sexy, subtle, and saucy all at once.
1. Fantasia, “Summertime”
Fantasia–and many in the audience–wept after her breathtaking version of this “Porgy and Bess” song. Randy Jackson called it the best performance in the history of the show, and four seasons later he’s still right.



  • a stranger

    Oh my god I totally disagree you’re so wrong rah rah rah rah rah rah!
    Clay this and that rah rah rah rah rah rah.
    You should be fired rah rah rah rah rah rah.
    Rah Kelly Pickler rah.

  • Latrice

    i think his list is dead on!

  • Kranky

    I think your list is about right. I do wish Elliott Yamin had made a bigger name for himself. His first CD was not mellow enough. I much prefer his jazzy, billy holiday side.

  • nelida

    you forgot R U B E N

  • Kizzy

    I think Fantasia’s song wast remarkable. I cried also (smile). Saw her on Broadway in “Color Purple” and she still makes me cry.

  • Lisa

    You left out the best American Idol performance of all……that would be:
    BO BICE singing “In A Dream”…….just watched that video again last night, and have it on my iPod, and there is not another performance that comes close to that one. He has pure, God-given talent and needed no accompaniment whatsoever to showcase his voice!

  • Robyn

    I agree that you left out the best one EVER!! Bo Bice in a dream. He was brilliant and wrongly denied the title. He should have won and please don’t deny his the best performance ever eaither.

  • wood

    I think your list is accurate. But I’d have to have Fantasia on the list twice. I think Summertime is accurate for the #1 Spot. But she still should be listed for the song that she later released as a single. The final song that she and Diana Digarmo sang…what was the name of that….
    It was outstanding…I’m crying thinking about it.

  • Theresa Morgan

    Yes! Bo Bice. Amazing; I agree 100%! Bo’s performance on that song left me in awe.
    Beautiful!

  • Brandy Wilson

    What about Chris Daughtry’s season 5 performance of Fuel’s song “Hemorrhage?” That performance was so powerful the group asked him to join the band.

  • Charlene M Weir

    This was a right on target list..altho I do agree that Bo Bice should have been in there somehow!! I think some of the listed ones should have been the winners!!!

  • sue ziegler

    Fantasia will always be my favourite and Clay also for his work with Oprah helping put a smile on peoples faces. What is Fantasia doing now? I’m in Australia – love American Idol and love Simmons comments

  • Anonymous

    brook white shoulkd have already been cut Hello

  • Revina

    My absolute all time favorite is Clay Aiken!!! He could sing any kind of music (unlike the rest). In my opinion he should have been the season 2 winner
    Revina

  • Linda Tyler

    One of my favorite performances was, when Kimberley Locke sang, Somewhere Over The Rainbow. I thought it was beautiful. In my opinion, better than Katherine Mcfee. If there is a recording of Kimberley Locke’s version, I would love to purchase it. Linda Tyler
    >ltyler1431@comcast.net

  • Dee

    When Fantasia sang “Summertime”, the tears just rolled down my face, It is the single most moving Idol moment. She was the clear winner from day one. Chris Daughtery should have won his season, Elliott was good too. Clay Aiken and Kelly Clarkson are gifted singers and Brooke White has something special. I hope she wins, but it will probably be David Cooke. But then, most of the top four always seem to do well after Idol.

  • Marg Swanson

    Don’t forget Jordin Sparks singing “I who have nothing”, or Bo Bice “Drift Away” .. neither on their albums, but I am so glad I have downloads

  • Big John

    Fantasia Barrino is the phoniest, most insufferable Idol contestant ever…and that is her only claim to any kind of fame in this boy’s book!!

  • Deacon T

    After watching American Idol, April 8, 2008 performances, I say it is time for the young man with long locks of hair to leave. I say:
    ” Let the one with the Tiny-Tim performance to go home this week!”

  • Louise7

    I have great new to share with you, Melinda Doolittle will released her first album in fall and she also work on Holiday’s Cd. She have this powerful voice and great women of God. New website to support Melinda fans of her come join us at Mdstreetteam.

  • Louise7

    The date of Melinda Radio talk have change http://www.blogtalkradio.com/search/Melinda+Doolittle
    UPCOMING SHOW: 10/19/2008 3:00 PM
    Host Name Tyler Graves
    Show Name Moments With Melinda – Show 4
    Show Length 1 Hour
    Show Description In this episode of Moments With Melinda, Melinda will discuss her new single “It’s Your Love” as well as her upcoming debut CD! Fan calls will be accepted
    Call-in Number: (646) 716-9978

  • Louise7

    Good news for you Melinda Doolittle fans! She’s set to release her debut album titled, Coming Back to You on Hi-Fi Recordings in January 09. Produced by Grammy-nominated producer Mike Mangini (Joss Stone, Run DMC, The Jonas Brothers), Coming Back to You was recorded with a team of live musicians in Nashville and New York City.
    The first single, “It’s Your Love” will be released to radio in October.
    “Keep yourself updated with Melinda’s career at http://www.melindasbackups.com
    melindasbackups.com is a web site owned by Melinda Doolittle. Melinda’s Backups™ is a non-profit supportive association inspired by Melinda and authorized by her to operate this web site on behalf of her fans.

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