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.


Tyanna Jones
Top 11: Party Songs
Watch it here.

Quentin Alexander
Top 5: Arena Anthems
Watch it here.

Adanna Duru
Top 11: Party Songs
Watch it here.

Tyanna Jones
Top 12: Audition Songs
Watch it here.

Top 3: Hometown Dedication
Watch it here.

Nick Fradiani
Top 6: American Classics
Watch it here.

Rayvon Owen
Top 12: Audition Songs
Watch it here.

– –

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


On TV: Jamie Foxx sings “In Love By Now” with Rayvon Owen

This season of American Idol may have not help the ratings decline of the once hit tv show who will be respectfully bowing down for its last season next year but I must say the recently concluded Idol celebration and winner announcement night for Season 14 brought out probably one of the most entertaining and best idol finale this franchise had.

One of the most memorable TV moment in my book from last night came from this wonderful duet. This is fantastic. And it might have help Jamie Foxx save face from that horrible singing he did during the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. This is Jamie Foxx. Him behind the piano, singing a wonderful ballad and his voice is gorgeous. Not to mention, he was joined by American Idol Season 14 4th placer, Rayvon Owen on stage and it was just a marvelous ballad duet!!!

Real good singing here!

Check out the performance below:

On TV: Idol Judges Performed A Rihanna-Bruno Mars Medley

Last night, the season 14 finale happened and we have crowned the newest idol. But other than that, the 2-hour finale was filled with bombast performances, cheesy goodness of classic hits and performers and the idol top 12 showcasing what they can do best. Such a strong talent this season.

One highlight of last night for me is the judges performing a medley of Rihanna’s “Diamond” and Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven”. Jennifer Lopez is so gorgeous and I feel like she never really aged at all – in fact I feel like she’s getting younger every year. Haha.

This is a compelling performance compared to last year’s awkward one. The vocals were stronger. This is the best vocal performance that I’ve heard Jennifer and Keith isn’t bad as well. Wished Harry sang too but that piano breakdown of his is sexy enough, so I’m good!

This is nice! Go check it out below:

American Idol XIV – Finale & Winner Announced


It was the season of the underdog and come from behind dark horse contestant. The guy who not even one would expect to come out and potentially overran front runners like Jax, Joey Cook and runner up and season-favored, Clark Beckham.

In a season where variety scored a great promise to a season that is both up and down but in the end, the total body of work of the season is simply great. I enjoyed this ride to be honest. We had varieties artists that gave us some spectacular performances.

In the end, Mr. Consistency who people relegated on the sides because well, Clark was just performing covers with not enough confidence but not bad as well. But then something happened along the way where his confidence picked up, he became the solo artist from just a front man of a band and his charisma and how he worked the stage is just admirable. Not to mention, Nick has this voice that is malleable to different sounds that I am sure Scott is very much happy. He can do pop, folk, rock yet maintain that radio ready quality that appeals to a mass of viewers.

Congratulations to Nick Fradiani! I must say, this is a well deserve come from behind win.


Adanna Duru sang with Janelle Monae.
Jax performed with the great Steven Tyler!
Clark Beckham did what he does best with Michael McDonald.
Nick Fradiani performed with his “twin”, he does look like him, Andy Grammer.
Joey Cook sang “Cool Kids” with Echosmith.
Quentin Alexander nailed that Vance Joy duet!
Rayvon Owen, OMG! that duet with Jamie Foxx is golden.
Tyanna Jones started the show with a performance with The Jacksons.
The Top 6 girls performed a medley of songs with and by Nile Rogers and Chic.
The Top 5 Boys on the other hand performed with Ricky Martin!

Other performances include:

*Jennifer Lopez with Prince Royce and Pitbull.
*Pitbull also performed with Chris Brown and idol finalist, Qaasim Middleton.
*Youngest Idol contestant, Daniel Seavey performed a medley songs of NKOTB with New Kids On The Block themselves.
*The judges also performed and another special performance of Keith Urban and his new song.

American Idol XIV – Top 2 Showdown (Finale)

As we all know, coming on this week, we still have three (3) artists remaining on the contest but the harsh reality of this season’s format is that at the top of the show, one will bid his/her goodbye making it an almost finale slot.

And tonight America has spoken the eliminated artist that will settle in third place is…


Yup, Jax who has been a front runner is the least vote getter after last week and I feel bad for her because she spends days preparing for her 3 songs to perform, only to found out that she will not even sing, even at least one of her songs. Booo.

It is an hour long finale showdown between front runner, Clark Beckham and peaking at the right time underdog, Nick Fradiani. Surprisingly, this was an entertaining and solid cases of performances that I am not sure who will eventually get that confetti shower tomorrow night. I can see this to be a close fight.

Now let us see how the night went..


Georgia On My Mind

– I’m glad he chose to do this performance once again. When he first did it i. House of Blues round, Clark captured the soul of the song. His vocals were soaring as usual and the strong conviction he put is what made him the perennial front runner of the group. In here, he showcased that same magic that made people root for him. Good Job! 8

Bright Lights

– It was a great contrast from Clark and a smart choice for Nick! It is again a solid performance from Nick, which is something admirable with Nick. He is ridiculously solid! Haha. This had enough grit, wonderful phrasing and the way he worked thatconfidence is not offending but charming! 8


Ain’t No Sunshine

– It is so hard not to compre this from Kris Allen (Season 8 winner) but looked, the idea of Clark taking it in an acoustic guitar, his vocals front and center and the soul that he put, just worked perfectly. This is yet another strong showing from Clark and I am glad he manage to show this at this point because in the recent weeks he has been failing to deliver. Realky good job! 8.5

I Won’t Give Up

– I must admit. I loved this! It was refreshing to see Nick do something different. And his playing the piano is the welcoming surpise. But what really worked for me is the fact that he took a pop ballad, delivered it beautifully and his vocals were not perfect but I didn’t mind because all things just came all together!! This is such a lovely moment and he draws me naturally! 8



– For an original song, this isn’t bad. Actually it had that coronation song quality that could really sell. Not to mention, this is not the kind of music that you would actually think Clark can deliver but somehow he made it work for himself. That glory note in the end is beautiful. My only problem though is that Clark seems to be tentative on stage. I’m not sure if he is not feeling his song or he is just really anxious about everything, but it is quite obvious with his awkward stage movements. 7.5

Beautiful Life

– Clearly, for me, hands down… Nick won this round! Yes he doesn’t have the perfect vocal acrobats like Clark but this song and his delivery is golden! You can see him enjoying, and that passion was just lively and real. That genuine feeling you feel that he really wants this so bad and it shows and translated beautiful! The song also is very radio friendly, current and perfect fits in Nick’s sound and voice! 9

American Idol XIV: Top 3

The hometown packages were emotionally and the best! I love this part of the competition, as always. We see and understand all of the remaining contestants. I also love the fact that they held the results at the end of the show when everybody got to perform. It leaves the stress of not knowing out of the window and quite frankly the remaining 4 got their performances elevated to more ease and worry-free deliveries. Real good stuff tonight!

The contestants are singing 3 songs tonight. One is picked by Scott Borchetta (in house mentor), the judges also got their pick and lastly a hometown dedication.

So we’ll do it differently tonight. I will rank the artists per round and that includes the eliminated one tonight.



– –


Want To Want Me

– He started with falsetto already and that missed the dynamics within the song. He sang it decent with a couple of pitch problems here and there but the overall delivery is quite nice. Except for that strained high note, Rayvon was able to keep the vocals pretty. 6.5

3. JAX
My Generation

– This was fun and quite a performance from Jax. I mean, nothing here is soectacular or groundbreaking but she managed to keep that concert feel here. Her vocals were pretty with some pitch issues but it was actually an entertaining performance more than a vocal performance. 7

Beautiful Day

– I thought this was good. Yes, this is not the strongest vocals from Clark but ut was a refreshing side of him. I hated it when he wailed towards the end but the overall impact of the performance is quite good. 7

Because The Night

– This was right in Nick’s wheelhouse. Again, there is nothing really groundbreaking he did but that confidence and stage presence is something that he was able to master week to week. He is actually very riveting on stage and his vocals were once again, solid and consistent. And I think that is Nick’s biggest advantage out of the 4.. he is simply consistent. 7.5


Sitting On The Dock Of Bay

– While this is Clark back in his comfort zone, there is something strained in his vocals that I wonder if he was actually having vocal issues or he is pushing too hard because of the pressure of delivering those big notes. But then parts of this is actually wonderful. Clark managed to keep his vocals quite gorgeous. 7.5


– Rayvon looked really comfortable with the song and the fact that he has been performing this many times showed. His vocal choices were wonderful as well. Lovely delivery. 8

Back Home

– I can see Nick in this kind of tune. His vocals soared in this beautiful rhythmic track of Andy Grammer. The confidence is yet again there and he has mastered that pretty well. The vocals here are also spot on and I love how he connected with the audience quite well. This is a very charismatic and great vocal performance from Nick! 8.5

1. JAX
My Immortal

– This is Jax in her element. The overall impact of this is lovely. Her vocals were strong albeit some pitch issues. The drama is perfect. That soothing, haunting quality in her tone provided the perfect quality in this song and arrangement. Really nice! 8.5


4. JAX
Misery Business

– While I love the fact that it was a stripped down performance, her verses were barely understandable. She really has a problem with intonation when she sings fast verses. She jumbles her words badly. But again, this is still quite lovely but a miss. The song choice seems to be perfectly fit for her but she didn’t really took advantage of that. 7

I’ll Be

– I love this song but seriously judges, Jick is better than this. The vocals here were fine but nothing spectacular or memorable. He did still have that consistent vocals that is his winning advantage eversince. 7

You Are So Beautiful

– Gorgeous! The lovely vocals sound like butter melting in you. It was soothingly gorgeous. A little over the top in parts but it was really a lovely vocal performance. 8

Earned It

– I felt uncomfortable with his high register but I didn’t mind, this is Clark letting go and just performing! His vocals were soaring gorgeously. And this just proves that Clark can do current. He needs to listen and be open to the suggestions no? This was like really good from him! 8

American Idol XIV: Top 4

It’s the top 4! Wow the end is near and I can’t wait to see who will take the idol crown. Tonight, Martina McBride performs, as well as judge Harry Connick Jr. Another idol will be eliminated and this time they held the elimination in the middle part of the show and it’s a poor taste of idea because they even ask the eliminated contestant to sing. I mean, the person is way too emotional for that. Yikes. Anyway, the remaining idols will sing two (2) songs: Judges Hometowns and Soul songs. Hmmm. Another vague theme huh?

Here is how the night went..



– This is hard to critique. Of course, I would love to see her go out in fashion but the emotional state of her provide a shaky performance with so much flats and sharp notes here and there. Hmm. And she only sang 1 song so yeah. 4.5

– –

Clark Beckham

– While there is energy behind this performance, Clark failed to connect fully and drawing us out to an almost messy delivery. The whole thing isn’t focused if that is the right term and the vocals here proved my theory in the previous weeks that his register in the recent weeks sound shrieky and thin when he tries to reach those high notes. The weird transition from the middle singing to him suddenly going a bit for a piano breakdown is jarring too. There are parts that he sounds really good but as a whole, this is a performance not as clean and focused as it was visioned for. 6

Clark Beckham

– Yup! Clark delivered his weakest performances in this crucial night and this is by far his weakest week. While I like the idea behind this performance, the risky moves from Clark and the bluesy, almost pop twist of the song would be a home run if only Clark put some connection in this performance. There is something missing in this performance for it to completely work. Maybe that sexy vibe that Harry was talking about is the missing link. But then, to be frank, the idea could work if it was executed spot on – even Clark’s vocals here are underwhelming. 6.5


– If only she stayed on the piano the whole time, this could 100% be another great performance from Jax. The first half sounds great but the second half is messy. Her vocals were weak as well and the phrasing here is a little muddled. Oh, her voice sounds hoarsed too. 6.5

Rayvon Owen

– I like the pop ballad twist he bring out here albeit some theatrical moments making his delivery too much. The vocals were fine but it lacks that connection that could elevate this to another great Rayvon performance. 7


– Whoever that back up singer is, she screwed herself and Jax’s overall performance. Haha. That back up singer’s pitch is really off. I like Jax here. Her subtle moments were sublime. Her vocals sounded beautiful despite some pitch issues. Yeah. This was fine. 7.5

Nick Fradiani

– For third week in a row, Nick had a solid night! And this performance showed us a more rock ballad of Nick. Keeping his vocals tight, maybe need more loosening up, and the strong range that he displayed is really beautiful. This could’ve been his moment if only there are parts that he was a little stiff but he is going there. This is quite beautiful! Good job! 8

Rayvon Owen

– This could pass as a potential coronation song if ever Rayvon will reach the finale no? The lyrics itself can speak volumes for a coronation song. But other than that.. this is actually a fantastic vocal performance from Rayvon. Sure, his phrasing is a little muddled but the overall impact is passionate and gorgeous. Really strong! 8

Nick Fradiani

– This is an absolute treat. Yes, there is nothing really changed or unique from here but his vocals sounded so good. His pitch was on point. The stage presence was impeccable. His charisma is undeniable. The overall vocals were strong, solid and beautiful! Nick knows what kind of artist he wants to be and his delivery on this Matchbox 20 ditty is spot on gorgeous and compelling! 8.5