Donovan has diligently been watching this past season of American Idol and writing brilliant articles forecasting who is going home each week, and in lieu of his hard work (and all the Idol hype as season eight nears completion) I decided to compile my own person list of top five all-time performances. There have been some incredible performances from past winners Carrie Underwood and Jordin Sparks, as well as some TERRIBLE numbers by the one and only Taylor Hicks (still blows my mind that this ‘soul patrol’ dude pulled off the win).
It was tough scouring through the countless numbers and stretching my mind to think back over the past eight years for those performances that truly stood out from the rest. This is my own personal list, and although not everyone will agree with my choices, I’m pretty sure I’m right.
I’m sure everyone won’t agree with me on this first choice, but honestly, I don’t care. In the most recent season of American Idol, Lee DeWyze selected ‘Still the One’ from Shania Twain’s collection of hits, and his performance was the tipping point for his career, making him the front runner of the competition. The studio version is just as incredible as the live performance. His voice is so haunting, and I absolutely love this guy.
From season eight, runner up Adam Lambert tackled one of the most beautifully-haunting songs ever to grace the airwaves, Gary Jules’ Mad World. This has always been one of my favourite songs and the boy did me proud when he took to the stage and belted this gem.
In season seven, the veteran rocker David Cook sang his way to the title of American Idol, with one song acting his turning point and ‘moment to shine’. Tackling Chris Cornell’s version of Billie Jean during Michael Jackson week, Cook offered up one of the most outstanding rock performances to date.
Edging out his rival on my list, unlike reality, David Archuleta’s performance of John Lennon’s Imagine (from the John Lennon songbook collection) was unbelievable. Over the course of the season we saw this young boy grow into a man and an artist, and similar to David Cook, this was Archuleta’s turning point in the competition. The clip I grabbed was from the live finale for season seven versus the original (it was easier to find).
The coveted #1 spot surprisingly goes to a woman (sadly I just noticed that this list is predominantly men), and no one is more deserving than the endearing single-mother LaKisha Jones. In season six of American Idol she took on the powerhouse ballad And I’m Not Telling You I’m Not Going by Jennifer Holliday (before she lost her touch). No joke, every time I watch this clip I get choked up and shed a tear. LaKisha has absolutely amazing spirit and arguably THE most incredible performance to date.