30 Songs From American Idol Alumni

With the inevitable happening in a matter of weeks now, one thing that the show that started it all can be proud of is that they have produced numerous pop stars and hit makers that undeniably made – even if it was a one hit wonder – an impact on radio, music charts and pop culture.

X Factor did produced famous boy group One Direction, power girl groups Little Mix and Fifth Harmony and diva belter, Leonna Lewis and on the The Voice corner, they haven’t really made stars even after 9 seasons, but American Idol was able to carve names out of its winners and some finalists and runner-ups doing well.

And as the farewell season starts rolling, I will be doing various list American Idol related that will serve as a good journey back to good ol’ memories and a celebration of the success that American Idol has made.

First: 30 SONGS FROM AMERICAN IDOL ALUMNI

For my first list, I will be enumerating 30 (this will be my staple wrap-up number for American Idol this year) songs that I thought were fantastically marked by an American Idol alumni. The list is very subjective as I have considered personal biases, radio impact and chart success. Also, I limited 3 songs for each Idol cos’ let’s be clear 30 is enough to list all of Kelly Clarkson’s hit songs! Haha. Also, the list will not include the coronation songs from the winners, cover songs nor recent American Idol winner, Nick Fradiani, as he hasn’t released any single or album yet.

So with no further adieu. Here it goes.

(Season 9/Winner): Lee Dewyze which won the 9th Season of American Idol released his debut single with so much expectations in his back from the bosses and idol pundits altogether. Too bad, such lovely, ray of light, uptempo track didn’t get a much deserve traction from both radio and mass appeal. Even so, I personally think that “Sweet Serendipity” has stayed true to its title, giving me such sweet feels and butterflies.

(Season 11/Top 7): Colton Dixon found his nichè in Christian music and rightfully so as he succeeded in that genre! “Never Gone” is such a solid single from Colton and it could pass also as a pop tune – if it was appreciated in that genre. Still, I think the song establishes a clearer career path and the song leaves a strong impression.

(Season 9/Hollywood Week): The argument if American Idol should take the credit on Tori Kelly‘s success right now still left me in the middle. One thing is for sure, American Idol will always be in her resume whether she made it to the final or not. “Nobody Love” is Tori’s biggest hit to date that she was recognized, loved and boomed dominantly in year 2015. She even scored a Grammy nomination for this. Rightfully so, the song is catchy and relevant and radio friendly. It also gave us a variety of her vocal capabilities as she played to some soft notes and then belt out that crazy yet delicious high register.

(Season 13/Top 2): Original, relevant and solid. Jenna Irene may not have won her season and luck on her career may be still up in the air, the singer song writer has penned a fantastic single that is riveting. Too bad, radio took a pass on it.

(Season 11/Top 2): Power vocalist and talented pop singer Jessica Sanchez is one of the gems that American Idol has produced. She can sing the phonebook to be honest. Her biggest hit, assisted by Ne-Yo, is pop-R&B dance tune that keeps the vibe alive, moving and fun. This is also a good escape from her usual power ballads during her American Idol run.

(Season 5/Top 4): Chris Daughtry is one of the best testament in Idol that you don’t have to win the show to make a career out of it. With a fantastic single like “What about now” that speaks message – simple yet powerful.

(Season 8/Top 2): Adam Lambert is a solid vocalist and one of the best discovery of American Idol but when he took a more midtempo and combining that vocal dynamics of his in “Whataya want from me”? I am sold. It is infectious, lss-inducing and a really good midtempo track.

(Season 4/Winner): Carrie Underwood not just won American Idol but she also carved her name in the music industry. Breaking records, selling top notch albums and representing Idol in the country genre. “Jesus take the wheel” is a good breed of country tune that never really felt country. With a powerful lyrics that seems to fit a story telling, Carrie sold the story and made millions out of it.

(Season 8/Winner): Powerful ballad. Kris Allen‘s vocals has been underated during and after his Idol run. But with the piano-themed pop ballad like “The Truth” there’s a dignified attitude and solid vocal power to a song that seeks for the truth. Ha.

(Season 8/Top 4): That gritty, rock quality on her voice made Allison Iraheta a compelling artist. “Scars” is a fantastic follow up from the pop-rock tune, “Friday, I’ll be over u”. It is soft yet edgy ballad that is emotional and tune-ful. I was hoping the radio would pick this up, but I guess it wasn’t enough.

(Season 7/Top 2): One of the more successful runner up, David Archuleta released a single that played in his teen spirit. A relatable, bubble gum pop tune made him even more closer to his fans and created new ones too. With a hook that is catchy and a simple lyrics, the relatable pop tune is one of the more succesful runner up single of an idol alumni.

(Season 7/Winner): David Cook won the hearts of many as he was one of those idol alumni who took risks and evolve the landscape of reality singing shows into a more groundbreaking performances. His sophomore single – alot better than the first – is a sad yet compelling pop rock hybrid. David’s vocals were front and center and the song just had that dynamics, allowing us to enjoy David’s gorgeous voice in full.

(Season 1/Winner): Kelly Clarkson‘s “Breakaway” is written to uplift you, to make you feel hopeful, to take chances or in her words, break away. It is the kind of song that simply wraps itself around you and then you feel more empowered and trusting and I think a lot of it is due to how Kelly sold the song. She just sand the hell out of it.

(Season 4/Top 16): In a year where the likes of Ne-Yo, Chris Brown and Rihanna are emerging in pop culture, making pop & R&B music a more radio love fest – Mario Vasquez‘s “Gallery” is another gem. With its catchy beat, Mario’s simple lovely tone and a hook? This is a good ol’ recipe for a radio hit!

(Season 5/Top 2): Simple, lovely, Gorgeous! With an assistance from Zachary Levi, this Katherin McPhee single is her best to date.

(Season 7/Top 4): The beginning with the whistle like hum, it already catches your attention and then Jason Castro casts his spell through that gorgeous tone that is breezy, cool and vibrant making “Let’s just fall in love again” sweet, romantic and cheesy.

(Season 1/Winner): There’s a conviction to the track “Stronger” as it continues a trademark – strong message theme from Kelly Clarkson. “Stronger” begins slowly, allowing Kelly’s beautiful voice to hover and creep in you until it burst to a pre-chorus mid tempo and then catching you singing along on its catchy chorus!

(Season 3/Top 7): L-O-V-E, what is in me. Or, if you got real love lemme see you put your hands up? Look these lyrics phrases were one of the many reasons why this single worked on Jennifer Hudson. The track is relatable, simple and had so much dynamics without being overwhelming. “If this isn’t love” is catchy and lss inducing, you just can’t help but sing along.

(Season 9/Hollywood Week): One of the strongest single from Tori Kelly. “Should’ve been us” is bubble gum pop but not really, a dynamics loaded track without being overwhelming and a catchy midtempo.

(Season 7/Top 2): Again, for his second single, David Archuleta played on a relatable single this time turning a pop tune to a more emotional stint but still maintaining that bubble gum pop feel, which worked for his age and his fan base.

(Season 6/Winner): The steps sound in the back track provided a subtle meaning to the wholeness of her song. “One step at a time” is an uplifting track, giving a solid message behind a catchy rhythm and an infectious hook. Also, Jordin sounded really good.

(Season 10/Top 3): The piano driven single from Haley Reinhart is delicious at its best! It was written beautifully, sang brilliantly and is also an underrated single. The single allows Haley’s vocals to be front and center and I love it.

(Season 4/Winner): To actually deliver a solid country ballad is not a hard thing from Carrie Underwood but to make the tune sound like a pop ballad too. Seriously, I mistakenly took this as a pop ballad. Nontheless, “So small” is a gorgeous power ballad with Carrie’s vocals showing real strong.

(Season 5/Top 3): “Wait for you” is such a gem. It may be Elliott Yamin‘s one hit wonder but it did put him on the map of a successful idol alumni. The song had solid verses and a hook in the chorus that is memorable. 

(Season 8/Winner): For ne, “Better with you” is the best case of what Kris Allen‘s music should be. It was a guitar driven, acoustic tune with Krism vocals front and center. The track is infectious and catchy and the single is very pop friendly. But remind me again why it wasn’t picked up by radio nor became a mega hit? Even in the stripped down version sounded fantatsic!

(Season 5/Top 4): “Home” hits it right. It was relevant, current and solid. But the ambiance that the pop tune provided stings through the heart. Thanks to Chris Daughtry and his band, “Home” will always be remembered a single from an American Idol alumni.

(Season 11/Winner): A follow up to “Home”, his debut single post idol is another hit. with”Gone Gone Gone”, Phillip Phillips‘s success is not a fluke but rather a good call of how he transcends to viewers really well. The song was just catchy, infectious, now and relevant. It was a perfect theme for a good ride and the beat is memorable and will never be.. gone, gone, gone. Ha.

(Season 8/Winner): Originally by The Script but I heard they never really released it as a single, rather, season 8 champ Kris Allen released his version of the song as part of his debut album and was his debut single as well. The end thought? While it was a wordy tune, it was also a more nuanced take and polished and beautifully infectious.

(Season 6/Winner): With an assistance from Chris Brown, Jordin Sparks had a hit that hit the whole world in a hypnotizing LSS-inducing single. You just can’t help but sing along with “No Air”. It was a gorgeous R&B hit from them and the collaboration perfectly harmonizes from the two singers. The song elevated Jordin’s status.

(Season 1/Winner): Still holds the title of the best track of non-coronation songs from an American Idol alumni. Save from Phillip Phillips‘ “Home” because that song was just simply awesome, but Kelly Clarkson‘s “Since U Been Gone” is a delicious pop gem. It was solid vocally, gorgeously written and a strong statement from the Queen of Idol. End of note.

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List: American Idol Winners’s Coronation Songs

We all know by now that the longest running reality singing competition of the modern era is bidding its goodbye next year as the show that produced a long list of talented artists will have its curtain call. Yup, American Idol Season 15 will be the last and there is no clear view if it will be back in the future.

Nonetheless, here is a special list that I created where I compiled the winners’s coronation song. See whose single were complete dud in terms of quality and whose single created quite a buzz in terms of sales and quality.

In particular order,

A MOMENT LIKE THIS
Kelly Clarkson, Season 1

– The woman who started it all. With her consistent performances week to week, Kelly’s rally towards the first idol crown is heartfelt and victorious. She has the perfect story. Her voice is incredible and how she managed to keep it that good over the course of time is simply remarkable. Not to mention, the “Queen Idol” as the show’s fans call her, managed to sell records like pancakes up to this date and score multiple hit singles and grammy awards. The song is cheesy though for a victory song regardless of the fact that it was certified platinum. But what I like most about this? The moment when she is singing it and she’s fighting back her tears was just a moment, literally.

FLYING WITHOUT WINGS
Ruben Studdard, Season 2

– Ruben’s win was a shock but respectable. He isn’t a bad singer but people were actually predicting that eventual runner up is a lock for the win. The track is popular already. As a matter of fact, I remember that there is a Westlife version of this. Nonetheless, Ruben’s version score a pretty good recognition with this coronation song. His performance is decent and Ruben seems to be a charming, sweet guy that I think his qualities that made him win the season.

I BELIEVE
Fantasia Barrino, Season 3

– I’ve watched this and I was deeply touched on how much passion Fantasia showed during this performance. It was full of heart, her vocals were over the top fantastic and it was just a winning performance from the get-go. The song managed to score recognition in the Billboards Awards and charts. The song gave Fantasia a passport to fame aside of course from winning, the song itself was embraced really well.

INSIDE YOUR HEAVEN
Carrie Underwood, Season 4

– Carrie Underwood was the first country singer to win this show. Her vocal chops is backed up by a strong genre in the country is what pundits have always noted when she won. Yes, Carrie hasn’t made any risky moves during her season but her consistency made people love her. Now, she is one of the multiple selling country artist that American Idol has produced. If I’m being honest, Carrie is ranked second as the most successful Idol alumni and winner to date.

DO I MAKE YOU PROUD
Taylor Hicks, Season 5

– Taylor shocked the whole nation when he beat the preferred winner in this season, Katherine McPhee. Actually, people pegged 4th placer, rocker, Chris Daughtry to win the show but then in a surprise boot, he went home before the hometown visits. Now, regarding with the song, it was actually the fourth successful idol coronation song from the show. It managed to score big hits on Billboard charts as it debuted at no. 1 and the song managed to sell really well. While the song isn’t the best one, at this point I think “I Believe” still holds the best coronation song out of the 5, it is still a song that sells well during graduation hymns or victory tunes.

THIS IS MY NOW
Jordin Sparks, Season 6

– During this season, I think American Idol needs another successful winner that is why if I’m being completely honest, the song was penned for Jordin – point blank. The finale where Jordin and runner up, Blke Lewis sang the same coronation song which was right at Jordin’s alley. But then what more can I say, the youngest American Idol winner at that time, proved that her big pipes and consistent performances won the hearts of America. Regarding with the song? Haha. I still think it was super cheesy and it never lived up to a level of a really great coronation song. But well, it has a certain appeal that I am pretty sure was embraced well by the idol audience.

THE TIME OF MY LIFE
David Cook, Season 7

– David Cook started the trend of “WGWG” (according to the idol fanatics) on this show. His win paved way to some fans to conclude that America really prefers these type of guys to win the idol crown. But to his credit, David is actually one of the artists who started taking risks in his arrangements for his performances. With regards of the coronation song? It was actually one of the most successful ones from the show. It was certified platinum by RIAA and eventually becoming the best selling coronation song of an idol winner in June 2009. The song offers a lot of cheesy symbolisms from rainbows and dreams and stuff. But what works here, I think is David’s vocals sounded pretty good and despite the cheese-ness, it was still an eargasmic victory song.

NO BOUNDARIES
Kris Allen, Season 8

– Kris has probably – if not – the worst coronation song from the show. Haha. I think American Idol pundits really hated it. The writers penned the song with a woman singing it in mind. It was obvious on how Kris (even Adam whose voice were off the roof) struggled to stay in pitch. But in hindsight, the song actually gave Kris the advantage that it suits him well despite him struggling to keep her pitch strong. Also, Kris’ win came out as a surprise because it was a David-Goliath battle during that season and Kris was the clear underdog but he came out winning eventually. Nonetheless, like what I said was just all sorts of cheese. 

BEAUTIFUL DAY
Lee DeWyze, Season 9

– A U2 original, this is the second time the show used a song that was already popular for its coronation single. Criticisms rose from the get go when Lee began performing the song as it was not just an average version but his delivery is just poor. Also, this is another season where a “WGWG” won the show and it is also the season where the expected winner came out as an eventual runner-up. As for the song, it was already a gorgeous song to begin with. It just sucks how poor Lee delivered it.

I LOVE YOU THIS BIG
Scotty McCreery, Season 10

– For a coronation song, this is weird for me. But Scotty is the reason why American Idol picked up better ratings after some poor showing in Season 9. Aside from the show welcoming new set of judges, Scotty has a following that was unexpectedly expected – if that makes any sense. It was certified platinum and the song peaked at 11 on Billboard Hot 100. As for the song itself, I find it really odd. Haha. Or maybe it is not the usual victory anthem that you expect from a winner of such show.

HOME
Phillip Phillips, Season 11

“Home” is the biggest and best selling coronation song from an American Idol winner. And I must say, this is the best coronation song the show had to date. It was anthemic, folk, beat driven but it never possess that cheesy ballad that is usually featured on coronation songs. It sounded current, contemporary and solid. Plus, Phillip Phillips’ voice suited so well with song! At this rate, the song currently has the title of the best and biggest selling coronation song of the show.

I AM BEAUTIFUL
Candice Glover, Season 12

– While most of the American Idol pundits thought that Candice win was a fluke not because she is a bad singer – no she is a fantastic singer – but her win felt like there is no really competition during her season to begin with. Aside from crowd favorite, Angie Miller, Candice’s road to the crown is easy. With her song at this point holds the lowest ranking idol coronation song on Billboard and it never really managed to pick up a strong following afterwards. While she sang the song beautifully, for me, it is more a self representation than a victory anthem. But hey, at least, it is not the worst coronation song but it didn’t really sell well as well.

AS LONG AS YOU LOVE ME
Caleb Johnson, Season 13

– Caleb’s coronation song didn’t even chart and that made his coronation song as the worst selling out of the coronation songs this show has. But while the song sounded pretty, it was an unconventional one. Like Candice’s, this felt more like a single for Caleb and not a victory song. But then there is an audience for this type of song.

BEAUTIFUL LIFE
Nick Fradiani, Season 14

– Recently minted American Idol champ probably has the second best coronation song of this show to date. With an upbeat, anthemic stomp featured on a song that reminds us why Phillip Phillips’ “Home” was the best selling coronation song of all time. It was written well. It has enough cheese but it wasn’t overwhelming cheesy. It sounded current and the urgency in Nick’s voice fit well with song. Currently, it is doing well on charts but I am hopeful that Nick will be American Idol’s second to the last chance of success story. We all know, the last two winners were dud disappointing.

American Idol XIV: 20 Best Performances (Wrap-Up)

On my list, there are 45 live performances this season that stood out for me. So pardon me if I really had a hard time narrowing down this list to the 20 Bests and 7 Honorable Mentions.

This season is a rollercoaster ride but I will always say that this is probably one of the strongest crop of Top 12 American Idol has ever had.

The list is comprise mostly of live performances from Top 24 up to the finale. I would love to put performances from House Of Blues but then that was pre-Top 24. Nonetheless, this list is completely subjective and as much as possible, I tried to keep it from being bias and give out a very compelling list.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

TIGHTROPE
Tyanna Jones
Top 11: Party Songs
Watch it here.

SHAKE IT OUT
Quentin Alexander
Top 5: Arena Anthems
Watch it here.

RUNAWAY BABY
Adanna Duru
Top 11: Party Songs
Watch it here.

WINGS
Tyanna Jones
Top 12: Audition Songs
Watch it here.

MY IMMORTAL
Jax
Top 3: Hometown Dedication
Watch it here.

ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG
Nick Fradiani
Top 6: American Classics
Watch it here.

WIDE AWAKE
Rayvon Owen
Top 12: Audition Songs
Watch it here.

– –

20. I WON’T GIVE UP
Nick Fradiani
Finale: Simon Fuller’s Choice

– It is a refreshing sight to see Nick behind the piano. For him to pull this trick at the right time is a genius move in my book. Not to mention, his vocals here were solid and spot on. There is a delicate quality in his lower register that we rarely hear and the verses sounded beautiful. Watch it here.

19. ALWAYS ON MY MIND
Rayvon Owen
Top 6: American Classics

– Rayvon’s voice has this quality that is both soothing and exciting. The way he caressed each and every verses of his performance is like butter melting. It’s such a beautiful performance and this just showed a vulnerability that we haven’t seen from him before. Watch it here.

18. IT’S A MAN’S MAN’S MAN’S WORLD
Clark Beckham
Top 12: Audition Songs

– Clark continued his streak of solid to great performances and there is no stopping this guy. Sure, this is yet another old song choice for him that is inevitable because of the theme but then should we really complain if it is this good? I mean, his control with his voice is admirable. The vocal choices were beautiful as well. Watch it here.

17. BRIGHT LIGHTS
Nick Fradiani
Top 4: Judges’ Hometown

– Nick’s upward trajectory in the competition is real people. He has been having real solid performances for a couple of weeks now and if this continues, we might find him at the top. This is yet another solid performance from Nick. His voice sounded gorgeous. His stage presence is strong and the vocal choices were spectacular. Watch it here.

16. IN THE AIR TONIGHT
Quentin Alexander
Top 9: Songs From 1980s

– Quentin mastered the art of drama in his performance. Sure this is yet another dramatic, melancholic arrangement but it just worked perfectly as a whole performance. His voice sounded nice with the song. A couple of pitch issues but the performance is simply enticing. Watch it here.

15. MAKE IT RAIN
Clark Beckham
Top 7: Billboard Hot 100

– See, Clark is capable of doing something current and he nailed it beautifully. His vocal choices were spectacular. His voice sounded divine with the track and the way he navigated the verses of the song is effortless. This guy is serious and with his body of work, he just solidify his rally for this season’s American Idol crown. Watch it here.

14. BELIEVE
Rayvon Owen
Top 4: Soul Songs

– Who would believe that a Justin Bieber ditty would sound this beautiful? Yes, on paper, this looked like a mismatch but somehow the arrangement of the song worked well on the type of artist Rayvon wanted to be. His vocals were not perfect as he crack in the middle but then that actually made it even more beautiful. It was passionate, genuine and gorgeous. Watch it here.

13. BACK HOME
Nick Fradiani
Top 3: Hometown Dedication

– Yup, Nick is in a quest of getting in that finale. He is just peaking at the right time. His song choices were always spot on. This Andy Grammer hit is a perfect fit for him. His vocals sounded great. His phrasing is lovely. There is a quiet confidence in his delivery that is just oozing with so much charisma and star power. Nick is a serious threat and I won’t be surprise if he sneak in on that final 2 showdown. Really good job. Watch it here.

12. MISS INDEPENDENT
Joey Cook
Top 8: Kelly Clarkson’s Playbook

– This is like “Fancy” all over again. There is a genius body of work in here. The arrangement thought leaves a lasting impression and Joey is in her element. Her vocals sounded pretty awesome and her pitch is almost on point. After that disastrous performance last week? Joey manage to pull herself back in the running. Watch it here.

11. BANG BANG (MY BABY SHOT ME DOWN)
Jax
Top 24: Open Theme

– I admit, there are pitch issues here but I just didn’t mind after her performance. It was just a dramatic yet passionate performance from Jax. The way she navigated the verses of the song felt like she meant every single word of the song. It’s like she welcomed us in that bubble of drama and you loved drowning on it. This seems to be polarizing because Jax is, but there is a right balance of quirk and contemporary that perfectly worked. Watch it here.

10. WHAT HURTS THE MOST
Nick Fradiani
Top 4: Soul Songs

– Who knew? For weeks, Nick has been depicted as someone playing it safe, sounds like he is doing the same thing every week and even if he hasn’t really had any bad performance, he never really had that stand-out. But Nick surprise us when he dropped that guitar and sang the soul out of this Rascal Flatts hit. It was just vocally outstanding. I never knew he had that range. The quality in his tone surprisingly work in here and the whole thing was just riveting because of that dynamics play he did. Watch it here.

9. I PUT A SPELL ON YOU
Quentin Alexander
Top 24: Open Theme

– Quentin broke out of the pack when did an interesting but riveting performance of “I put a spell on you”. It was dramatic, intense and surprisingly engaging. The vocals weren’t perfect but he managed to pull off something exciting even if there are no bombast on the vocals and production. It was something magnifying at its best and dramatic in its own. Watch it here.

8. THE TROUBLE WITH LOVE IS
Clark Beckham
Top 8: Kelly Clarkson’s Playbook

– Clark, again, managed to pull some incredible vocal acrobats, sing that high notes effortlessly and put on a dynamic, compelling performance like he has been singing the song for years. It was just magical and the vocals here are ridiculously fantastic! He is making it hard for the others to catch him in a race that is clearly in his hands. Watch it here.

7. SINCE U BEEN GONE
Rayvon Owen
Top 8: Kelly Clarkson’s Playbook

– I thought Clark won the night with that performance but here comes Rayvon and he sang the hell out of this Kelly Clarkson hit. The slow downed arrangement works perfectly well with Rayvon’s voice. His vocals were gorgeous. The phrasing is lovely. This is like a ball of cotton and the vulnerability in his delivery is simply fantastic. Watch it here.

6. STAY
Tyanna Jones
Top 7: Billboard Hot 100

– Tyanna this week laid it all on the line. Her performance spoke so much emotions. Her delivery is such a beautiful and emotional moment. Her vocals were top notch. This is her best performance to date. Watch it here.

5. MAMMA KNOWS BEST
Sarina-Joi Crowe
Top 24: Open Theme

– Sarina tonight just came out with guns and blazing. Her bombast stage presence showed how much she wanted this and how the hell she missed the chance 4 times prior this. But I think those “No’s” that she had before made her stronger and now, she is an all out performer. Her vocals sounded great. Her phrasing was marbelous. This is a solid and strong start for the comeback kid. Watch it here.

4. WHITE FLAG
Jax
Top 5: Arena Anthems

– For an arena anthem theme, Jax pulled a sincere, honest, genuine water cooler performance that proved how powerful she can be as a performer when she’s behind the piano. There’s a sense of musicality from her here. No drama, no bizarre stage movements – just her and her voice. That quiet quality in her delivery is just beautiful. Really good job. Watch it here.

3. SUNDAY MORNING
Clark Beckham
Top 11 Redux: Movie Themes

– Who would’ve thought that this summer California vibe track from Maroon 5 would sound soulful and gritty? Yup. Clark just turned this song into another cover that is compelling and spectacular. It is current, vocally powerful and gorgeous. This is such a nice job from Clark. Another one great performance from Clark. Watch it here.

2. FANCY
Joey Cook
Top 11: Party Songs

– It took me awhile to decide if this is the best performance of the season or not. For me, it holds that ranking not until the #1 outshines Joey’s marvelous take on this Iggy Azalea hit. Yes, it was an original from Postmodern Jukebox and for me, Joey did justice with it. Her vocals were gorgeous, quirky and strong. Watch it here.

1. BEAUTIFUL LIFE
Nick Fradiani
Finale: Coronation Song

– Joey holds this spot not until this happened. Yup, Nick suddenly burst out of his comfort zone, delivered one of the best coronation song this show has ever had and his performance was just strong. Aside from the fact that the song sounded tailor-made for him, there is a new found confidence in him. His stage presence is just very charismatic and he is oozing with star quality that at this moment, we saw how much growth he had. He had the perfect story of an underdog who is just safe and uncomfortable when performing to the guy who managed to control the stage, to sing great and engage the audience like he is in his own concert. Such a shining moment from Nick and because of that I will reward him in my list – aside from him winning the American Idol crown in a come from behind fashion. Watch it here.

American Idol 13: 20 Best Performances(Wrap-Up)

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Caleb Johnson has been crowned as the new American Idol and if I’ll be very honest, I am not sure if his post-Idol career will be as successful as his run on the show. I would prefer if America voted for Jena Irene. Lol.

With that being said, it is a season of artist and singer-song writers where most of the contestants are far from pop artists. Haha. It is a rollercoaster ride this season. Some weeks are really great while some weeks, you just hate watching the contestants. Oh, though talents are impressive this season.. it is so hard to root for any of the contestant unlike the past seasons no? Well this is tad better than Season 12 and 9 still. Haha.

Anyway, here are my chosen 20 performances that I consider the bests of the season.

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20. Jessica Meuse
Summertime Sadness
Top 5

– It is liberating to see Jessica in this way. And she pulled it off really well. Her vocals suited the song. It was gorgeously sang and beautifully phrased.

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19. Alex Preston
Always On My Mind
Top 6

– His vocals cracked a bit but there is a beautiful quality in his delivery that I adore. The simplistic style and the vocals – front and center – were delicious and lovely.

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18. Majesty Rose
Happy
Rush Week

– The colored vocals and cool interpretation created a distinct style for Majesty. That is the beauty with her voice. It sounds so easy and warm. This is a really nice take of the song which I think worked really well for her.

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17. Jessica Meuse
You & I
Top 4

– Jessica recovered from the underwhelming two performances she did before this and her vocals soared really beautiful on the track. It was gorgeously phrased. Her transition sounded natural and her grit is simply lovely.

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16. Alex Preston
Say Something
Top 4

– The arrangement worked despite some minor flaws. His voice sounded divine and the staging looked really beautiful.

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15. Emily Piriz
Glitter In The Air
Top 13

– And then this happened. That night, Emily completely outperformed her competition. The song did her well. Her vocals was tasteful. The liberties she took sounded really nice and her delivery is simply beautiful.

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14. Sam Woolf
Time After Time
Top 8 Redux

– The acoustic take is nothing really new with the track but with Sam, his vocals were front and center. You would hear how beautiful his tone is and his pitch is just perfect.

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13. Alex Preston
Stay
Top 3

– I am not sure about this performance but watching it back, I knew why it worked. There is something special about this performance that worked. Alex’s vocals were stunning and the arrangement created texture different from the melancholic, R&B ballad of Rihanna. Here it is powerful yet sublime.

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12. Caleb Johnson
Dazed & Confused
Top 9

– He rocked the song like no one else can. And that is what’s good with Caleb, when he is in his element, he shines! His vocals were insane. His stage presence is unbelievable. A couple of butchered notes turned scream but I digress.

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11. Alex Preston
Fairytales
Top 8

– For an original song, this is infectious, catchy and to be honest a good one. It is radio ready, current and somewhat relatable. The simple arrangement made it easy to embrace.

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10. Jessica Meuse
Blue Eyed Lie
Top 8

– For an original song, this is pretty impressive. The vocals were strong. The dark, edgy and yet emotionally attached writing and arrangement made this performance more so a fantastic one.

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9. Caleb Johnson
Maybe I’m Amazed
Top 4

– Eventual winner’s best performance in my book. This showed us that Caleb is a singer with a delicate dynamics. It wasn’t just the screaming same old party he did every now and then. There were emotions in here, there’s a proper build up and the whole thing just speaks volumes of great vocal dimension.

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8. Alex Preston
A Beautiful Mess
Top 13

– With only the guitar, a spotlight and Alex’s gorgeous tone? This is a knocked out performance that is worth mentioning. It was lovely at its best and everything, especially his vocals, were spot on.

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7. Jena Irene
Rolling In The Deep
Top 8

– The first half is fabulous, the second half is golden. The arrangement sounded authentic especially the first half and once the band hits in, everything just came together. Oh, did I mention, she sounded great? Yup she is.

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6. Malay Watson
When I Was Your Man
Top 10

– Malaya has probably the best growth arc in the competition. Her performances were gradually getting better each and every week and I love the fact that she is listening from the technical stuff that Keith and Harry are advising her, to the stage presence that Jennifer is reminding her. She peaked beautiful in this performance. It was full of dynamics, her vocals were strong and everything just came together.

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5. Jena Irene
Unbreakable Me
Wild Card

– Probably the best out of all the original songs performed in that season. It sounded radio friendly. Her vocals were great and the writing was just relatable and strong.

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4. Sam Woolf
It’s Time
Top 6

– I personally think that this is in both critics and the season’s most underrated performance. To be honest, the performance showed us personality and confidence that was missing from Sam since his audition. His vocals were spot on and he delivered a really compelling performance that night.

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3. Jena Irene
Decode
Top 11

– The performance was incredible. It was vocally impressive and the dynamics were reallys trong. Her voice sounded nice and the way she navigated her verses is simply spot on.

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2. Jena Irene
Creep
Top 7

– Perfect song choice for her! Her vocals were superb. The dynamics were head strong and when she soared, it was magnificently powerful!

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1. Jena Irene
Can’t Help Falling In Love
Top 4

– On paper, this is potentially be a mess but something happened and Jena made it work for her strengths. Her vocals were fantastic. The arrangement sounded original and savvy. The emotional connection was there and the dynamics, oh my god! It was an absolute great job!

American Idol 12: 10 Best Performances (Wrap-Up)

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If I’m going to be honest, I hated this season of American Idol. It’s simply uncomfortable to watch, from the lack of chemistry between the judges to the silent war between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. Even the format of this season is a little off for me, maybe because the changes was needed to create drama that they don’t even need because Carey-Minaj already brought it on the table. Such a sad season to watch. Plus, the talent this season is blah. Not that they are not good – in fact we have 2-4 artists that were soectacular – but they left me cold. It’s like you can’t find any reason to actually root for someone.

Nonetheless, as a tradition already.. Here is my chosen 10 (Haha see, that’s how much I dislike the season) best performances of American Idol Season 12.

Here you go..

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10. Candice Glover
Ordinary People
Top 20

– Her vocal choices were outstanding. She delivered this John Legend song with so much soul and power.

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9. Angie Miller
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
Top 3

– It was an interesting song choice but a great departure from the usual piano themed performance of Angie. I expected her to do it on piano again but she decided to take center stage, perform it with her vocals front and center and she delivered a fantastic emotional performance.

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8. Amber Holcomb
What About Love
Top 7

– I like this. Amber sounded very current. Her vocals were on point. Her phrasing sounds so nice. And she got legs for days to be proud of. Haha. Nonetheless, this was still a solid performance from sweet little girl Amber.

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7. Candice Glover
Straight Up
Top 5

– This is the week we’ve seen something laid back from Candice. In here, there are no power vocals or crazy runs but a water cooler performance that I love. Her vocals here were front and center. And her dynamics were gorgeously placed.

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6. Angie Miller
Never Gone
Top 20

– Angie during this time just sealed her fate as a serious contender. There’s magic everytime she is playing the piano while singing. There is so much passion and soul on her delivery. Plus, this is a song from Colton Dixon – not that popular – but she made it work and delivered a really telling performance.

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5. Janelle Arthur
You Keep Me Hangin’ On
Top 8

– I didn’t expect it and Janelle run away as a winner this week. The staging looked beautiful. Her risk was worth it and I could actually hear her sing — on key! This is an amazing performance from Janelle!

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4. Kree Harrison
See You Again
Top 4 Redux

– Kree is a diva. I mean she will sing her heart out just like Candice. But during this moment, she took it back – laid back – and deliver probably her best performance to the date. It was simple, elegant and vocally stunning!

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3. Candice Glover
I (Who Have Nothing)
Finale

– She performed this during the first live shows and it was impressive. She did it again during the finale for her reprise performance, and it was an absolute killer performance. Wow! Those vocals were amazing!

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2. Angie Miller
Who You Are
Top 4

– ANGIE MILLER! Wow. This is her best performance to date. Her vocals were spot on. Her phrasing was gorgeous. Everything here just worked together beautifully!

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1. Candice Glover
Love song
Top 6

– Vocal masterclass! Candice can sing the phonebook effortlessly.

American Idol 11: 20 Best Performances (Wrap-Up)

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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!

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20. Jessica Sanchez
Dance With My Father
Top 6

– Simple. Sweet. Vocally great!

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19. Skylar Laine
Wind Beneath My Wings
Top 8

– 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.

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18. Joshua Ledet
Runaway Baby
Top 7

– 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.

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17. Jessica Sanchez
You Are So Beautiful
Top 5

– 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.

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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!

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15. Jessica Sanchez
Everybody Has A Dream
Top 10

– 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.

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14. Phillip Phillips
We’ve Got Tonight
Top 3

– 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.

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13. Elise Testone
Vienna
Top 10

– 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!!

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12. Jessica Sanchez
Sweet Dreams
Top 9

– 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.

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11. Phillip Phillips
Home
Finale

– 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.

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10. Jessica Sanchez
Stuttering
Top 7

– 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.

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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.

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8. Colton Dixon
Love The Way You Lie
Top 7

– 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.

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7. Jessica Sanchez
And I’m Telling You
Top 4

– 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!

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6. Hollie Cavanagh
Bleeding Love
Top 5

– 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.

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5. Jessica Sanchez
The Prayer
Finale

– 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!

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4. Elise Testone
Whole Lotta Love
Top 9

– 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.

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3. Joshua Ledet
It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World
Top 4

– 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.

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2. Phillip Phillips
Volcano
Top 4

– 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.

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1. Jessica Sanchez
I Will Always Love You
Top 13

– 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.

American Idol 10: 20 Best Performances (Wrap-Up)

Season 10 of American Idol welcomes us with new set of judges: Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez who will join resident judge, Randy Jackson in the panel.

All in all, the season was a rollercoaster ride. From the shocking boot of Casey Abrams to his eventual “save” to another shocking early elimination of power house diva, Pia Toscano. Also, the show picked up good ratings after a disastrous season 9.

ETA: This is my blog during the arly days of me having a secret blog about idol. I started doing idol blogs in season 7.

Here are the 20 Best Performances of American Idol Season 10.

20. DANIEL
Thia Megia
Top 11 Redux: Elton John

– This is an underrated performance that week and I can’t believe how the judges didn’t really appreciate it. For me, this was pure. It was vulnerable. There was an ounce of emotions displayed. Her vocals were spot on.

19. IF YOU DON’T KNOW ME BY NOW
Stefano Langone
Top 12: Year They Were Born

– Stefano usually gets the compliment for being good looking and having that hot body. But here, Stefano showed how well he can sing. And for that week, he came out on top. He sounded fantastic. His voice wasn’t perfect but it was well connected.

18. MAYBE I’M AMAZED
James Durbin
Top 13: Personal Idols

– I didn’t really thought this will work, but somehow James draw me in during this performance. His vocals weren’t perfect but it has that vulnerable that made the whole performance compelling. Also, there was less whiny notes hit here because he was able to pull it back more. Good job!

17. TURN ON THE RADIO
Lauren Alaina
Top 24: Open Theme

– Lauren to me is a little obnoxious. I would even choose the other Lauren over her if I had a choice but she caught me by surprised during the first night (semi-finals) of live shows. I know, Lauren can sing but I never really thought that she has this sass and how she managed to playfully sing the song with so much confidence and fun draws me in.

16. WITH A LITTLE HELP WITH NY FRIENDS
Casey Abrams
Top 13: Personal Idols

– The grit in his voice worked well with the track. It was infectiously soothing with so much texture and color. Casey managed to keep it focused and faithful to the original but making it sound now as well. Great job!

15. ALL IN LOVE IS FAIR
Pia Toscano
Top 11: MoTown

– With her vocals almost perfect in every note she hit, this was probably one of her most polished performance of the season. Pia was able to connect with the lyrics and the audience, and she showcased an amount of emotions that provided a stellar rendition of a song that could be too old fashioned for her.

14. I NEED YOU NOW
Stefano Langone
Wildcard

– Who knew? I mean, the fact that he scored a wildcard position over let’s say, Tim Halperin is shocking but when he started navigating the verses, hitting the right notes, keeping his composure and delivering a strong and solid wildcard performance? Stefano deserved that spot on Top 13, hands down.

13. ROLLING IN THE DEEP
Haley Reinhart
Top 7: Songs From The 21st Century

– Nothing groundbreaking but it sounded really beautiful. It was vocally gorgeous. The grit was perfect. There are dynamics and texture in her performance that surpass a possible comparison to the original.

12. GEORGIA ON MY MIND
Kendra Chantelle
Wildcard

– Robbed! Seriously? The judges choosing Naima and Ashton over her is still baffling. Kendra brought out the feisty side of her with so much tenderness during the verses where it was needed. She managed to keep the vocals strong and delivered – like Stefano – a top 13 spot performance.

11. HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE RAIN
Casey Abrams
Top 9: Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

– He didn’t need to “rock it out” to say that he was doing something rock and roll. The grit in his voice matched by some interesting vocal choices proved that Casey can draw an audience in a simple manner. It was deliciously delivered and gorgeously sang.

10. CANDLE IN THE WIND
Lauren Alaina
Top 11 Redux: Elton John

– I was really surprised on how much I liked this performance. Lauren managed to mix a good amount of power and restraint. The country twist on the arrangement sounded quite nice and her vocals were her best to date.

9. WILL YOU LOVE ME TOMORROW
James Durbin
Top 6: Carole King

– The a-capella  part in the beginning sounded divine. It allows us to listen on James’ vocals alone. The other half was able to support the first half and everything just worked perfectly.

8. GONE
Scotty McCreery
Top 5: Now Songs

– It was naughty but nice. It was fun, entertaining and Scotty sounded pretty good! It is also nice to not that he pulled this one out at the right time – solidifying his place as a contender for the crown.

7. OUT HERE ON MY OWN
Thia Megia
Top 24: Open Theme

– Doing the song in a complete a-capella the entire time is risky but Thia’s gorgeous tone and her flawless delivery made it a wise move. It was divine, pure and most of all, genuine!

6. YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND
Scotty McCreey
Top 6: Carole King

– YES! Scotty took a risk and rearrange the track in his alley. It was smart and at the same time worked to his advantage. He sounded pretty good as well.

5. I (WHO HAVE NOTHING)
Haley Reinhart
Top 4: Leiber & Stoller Song Book

– Strong! Powerful! Amazing! Haley brought the drama in a beautiful way!

4. YOUR SONG
Casey Abrams
Top 11 Redux: Elton John

– This is the week after he was saved and Casey pulled a water cooler performance that exposes how good his voice is and how well he can connect. It was beautifully done and his voice was just lovely the entire time.

3. I’LL STAND BY YOU
Pia Toscano
Top 24: Open Theme

– Coming to this week, Pia was just another cannon fodder. We barely knew who she was. But then here she comes, slaying a song beautifully and everything is just history. Pia came out swimming with her bombast vocals, adorable confidence and a beauty that made her a complete package!

2. THE HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN
Haley Reinhart
Top 5: “Then” Songs

– There is drama in here that doesn’t scream theatrics. Her vocals were front and center. Her ability to connect was palpable. Haley just did it again! She is proving how good she is as a vocalist and how well she managed to pull one good performance after the other. Great job!

1. BENNIE AND THE JETS
Haley Reinhart
Top 11 Redux: Elton John

– One word: Amazing!