It was actually tough to narrow down the best of this season of American Idol because there is a really great pool talent here. Even during the wild card and semi-finals round, there are really spectacular performances from the contestants.
So I just thought of choosing performances from the finals round (Top 13 to the finale). Be aware though that this can be extremely bias so I don’t expect all of you to agree with my choices. So with no further adieu, let’s start ranking!
20. Jessica Sanchez
Dance With My Father
– Simple. Sweet. Vocally great!
19. Skylar Laine
Wind Beneath My Wings
– And then the best performance of tonight goes to Skylar – who is a country singer, who dropped all those uptempo-country style she’s doing before – and perform something that is not in her element but she was rewarded really well. Her vocals sounded fantastic. It was nuanced pretty well. And the over all delivery is really nice.
18. Joshua Ledet
– Post-idol, I think this is the kind of artist Joshua can work on. It is current, his vocals were nice, his tone is beautiful and there is some youthful effect to this that I personally thought worked.
17. Jessica Sanchez
You Are So Beautiful
– The last time this kind of drama and staging happened in this show, it was really successful. (Ehem! Katharine McPhee) So it is actually a risky move for Jessica to create this kinds of staging. But man, it worked really well with her vocals really soaring beautifully. It was simple, sweet and gorgeous.
16. Phillip Phillips
U Got It Bad
Top 7 Redux
– Redoing this into a slow downed, acoustic version could work if it is just a cover taken out of youtube but there something unassuming to this performance that is quite endearing. The sexy quality added effect and Phillip’s vocals were front and center!
15. Jessica Sanchez
Everybody Has A Dream
– Underrated but at least she had standing ovation from the judges, well they always stand up! Haha. But here is why this performance is underrated: Jessica’s delivery is simply sublime. It wasn’t over the top yet there’s power in it that is beautiful.
14. Phillip Phillips
We’ve Got Tonight
– Who knew? This is something unexpected from the kind of artist Phillip is but somehow, all the stars were aligned, and made it work in his favor. His vocals were outstanding. His phrasing is beautiful. And his gorgeous interpretation is sweet and lovely that I end up getting swooned by him.
13. Elise Testone
– On paper, I already love this because this is one of my favorite Billy Joel song of all time. But to be fair, Elise sang the bee-jeezus of the song. Her raspy yet gorgeous tone was front and center. Her dynamics were great. The liberties she took was spectacular and the runs? Oh my God! Lovely!!
12. Jessica Sanchez
– Everybody thought that this week she will do an uptempo which is a contrast from a week to week ballad she does and the audience expected a Beyonce uptempo version of the track. But boy, Jessica, out of nowhere pulled a rearranged, slow down version of the song and provided a haunting, deliciously beautiful and lovely version of Sweet Dreams. In the end, I just didnmt complain for I thought this was wonderful.
11. Phillip Phillips
– He got the best winning song of the night and that basically sealed the results. Phillip owned the song. He may not like it but this just made his post-Idol career skyrocketed into greater heights. The song itself is campy and infectious and folk-pleasant which made Phillip’s vocals’ front and center.
10. Jessica Sanchez
– How can she get eliminated (later on saved by the judges) with this stunning performance? My guess falls on the song being not that popular. Yes, the unusual song choice (not because of genre but with how it wasn’t as familiar as I wish she could’ve chose with) left it a little polarizing but Jessica absolute killer voice, impeccable dynamics and great vocal control made this performance worth mentioning. Her runs were delicious. The liberties she took were amazing.
9. Hollie Cavanagh
Rolling In The Deep
Top 7 Redux
– The song has been covered a lot of times but somehow this performance of Hollie of the said song sneaked in and impressed me big time. It sounded fresh even if she didn’t rearrange anything of the song. It sounded youthful but there is an emotional connection that I thought only Adele can pull. This is pleasant to watch and listen which made me realize that Hollie has that quality in her voice.
8. Colton Dixon
Love The Way You Lie
– Colton knows the idol playbook well and during this week he managed to play his card in his favor. His performance is simply beautiful. The piano, the staging and his vocals were spot on. His phrasing sounded nice which usually is thin and shrill but in this performance, he got so much control and dynamics that translated to such beautiful rendition.
7. Jessica Sanchez
And I’m Telling You
– Intense! And for her to sing this song without moving her feet from where she stands? That must be really hard especially with the emotions and vocal power she has invested with her performance. This is an absolute vocal master class!
6. Hollie Cavanagh
– Hollie to me is an inconsistent but very decent performer. I mean, she can really sing beautifully but with this crop of talents she’s with, she usually is in the middle of the pack and I’m not really sure if that is doing her well but during this week, Hollie pulled the biggest surprise and deliver probably a stunning version of this Leona Lewis hit. Her vocals were on point. It wasn’t too much but it wasn’t too less as well. The liberties she took were beautiful too.
5. Jessica Sanchez
– Sublime! Divine! It’s just a wonderful moment. Sure, at first I was wondering why she would do another slow song for her reprise because her first round performance is already a diva ballad but I just can’t find fault with this idea anymore. Her vocals were soaring and gorgeous. The delivery was stunning. And her dynamics? delicious!
4. Elise Testone
Whole Lotta Love
– I never knew that Elise could actually a rock song more than what Colton can do. Haha. This is solid. Elise seems to let out all her frustrations and leave it all on the line and end up giving probably her best performance to date. Her vocals were spectacular. Her stage presence is palpable. I absolutely like this and I am not even a fan of hers. Haha.
3. Joshua Ledet
It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World
– The difference between Joshua Ledet and Jacob Lusk (Season 10) is that Joshua knows how to deliver over the top performance but still manages to sing on key, his overwrought vocals were deliciously placed and his emotions were impeccable.
2. Phillip Phillips
– The staging was genius. The vocals were fantastic. Phillip pulled this out of his bag of tricks and he did it at the right time which eventually I thought this sealed his place in the finale.
1. Jessica Sanchez
I Will Always Love You
– Phenomenal! When I found out she will be doing this Whitney song, I admit, I was a bit worried. But man, Jessica nailed this one with flying colors. Probably will go down as one of the best performances in Idol history.