TOP 50 AMERICAN IDOL PERFORMANCES
PART 1: 50-41
50. “On Broadway,” Scott Savol (Season 4).
Okay, okay!! I feel your tomatoes coming on already!! I agree that Scott
was my least favorite this past season. His past never bothered me that
much since he pretty much turned his life around, but he wasn’t much of
a performer and he had a relatively weak voice. That being said, I’ve always
liked “On Broadway” and I really liked what Scott did with it. He moved
around nicely and was really workin’ the vocals. Kind of a revival of Sweatin’
to the Oldies, I guess you could say. Too bad he was voted off the next
49. “Endless Love,” Rickey Smith (Season 2).
Oh Rickey, I miss you! Rickey was voted off a few weeks too early, especially
after this one-man performance of a classic duet. His voice really soared,
and he did indeed make me forget that Diana Ross (and Mariah Carey) were
even a part of the song! I did wonder about the hat he was wearing. Was
Miles Siggins trying to make him look like a newborn baby?
48. “I Surrender,” Anthony Fedorov (Season
4). Anthony wasn’t exactly Season 4’s Media Whipping Boy (that honor went
to poor Scott), but many of his performances were much-maligned by critics
around the country. It’s true, Anthony was pretty inconsistent during his
Idol run, but towards the end, he started to pick up steam. “I Surrender”
was his best performance. Not only was it a difficult song that he nailed,
it was a Celine song! You gotta give him “props” for that!
47. “Get Here,” Justin Guarini (Season 1).
I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of Justin. Don’t get me wrong…he’s
very talented and has charisma and potential, but he just doesn’t do much
for me. “Get Here” was a very mesmerizing performance that made him into
a contender for the final in Season 1 (even though he really was no match
for Kelly). What’s funny is that he was on Oprah performing this a few
weeks after the finale, and I remember it more than the first time.
46. “Sin Wagon,” Amy Adams (Season 3). Amy
was another contestant that was booted a few weeks too early. While that
didn’t happen until Week 3 of the finals, “Sin Wagon”, performed on Country
Night, proved that she deserved to be there. Spunky and energetic, Amy
fit this song perfectly and pulled it out of the hat with no problem at
all. I remember echoing to myself “Praise the Lord!” while I first watched
her…but I didn’t go around asking people to pass me the ammunition.
45. “Trouble,” Carrie Underwood (Season 4).
True, Carrie still has a way to go on her stage presence, but I really
thought she did a great job on “Trouble”. It’s not an easy song with all
the tempo changes, but her voice stayed right on with it note-for-note
to the end. It was another venture outside her comfort zone, and it worked.
And hey, you just HAVE to admire her mic stand kick. She probably pretended
it was Simon.
44. “I’ll Be,” Josh Gracin (Season 2). I love
Edwin McCain, but I was really sick of “I’ll Be” for a long time. Josh
came out in Group 4 of the top 32 and breathed some life back into it for
me. Great control, good stage presence, and the clean-cut, All-American
Marine image enhanced the song and helped propel Josh into the Top 12.
From then on, it was an interesting ride….with a few push-ups along the
43. “As Long as He Needs Me,” Nadia Turner
(Season 4). This was one of only two performances on the disappointing
Broadway Night that were worth talking about. Nadia came out at the end
of the night in an absolutely gorgeous blue dress and delivered an enthralling
rendition of a Broadway song that I barely knew (and I love me some showtunes).
It was also the night Simon declared her a steak among a bunch of hamburgers.
Fillet? KC Strip? Ribeye? C’mon, Simon, you should have elaborated on that
a little more. Ooh, now I have a sudden craving for a fillet…
42. “Proud Mary,” Trenyce (Season 2). Trenyce
has been making news for her mysterious e-mails to her fans about the Idol
expose’ and her admitted tryst with Corey Clark. While my opinion of her
is pretty low right now, I do want to recognize her awesome performance
from Neil Sedaka night. It was another situation where a contestant was
booted after their best night. Trenyce came out in a, um, colorful costume
and pretty much took this song to town, leaving everything on the stage.
The only thing that would have made it absolutely perfect was if she added
in the arm-rolling thing that Tina does. Oh well.
41. “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going,” Frenchie
Davis (Season 2). I will say that this is the only non semifinal/final
performance on the list, but BOY does it need to be recognized. It really
was a shame that Frenchie got the boot before the country got to see more
of her. This audition at first glance seemed a bit too over-the-top, but
a second look at it really sold me. She would have been a blast to watch!
I think this song is from Dreamgirls, which she ended up starring in on
Broadway. Although she did get screwed by Idol, she seems to be doing just
Some questions to think about for Part
1. Does the shark have pretty teeth?
2. Who is a link in your chain?
3. Do lonely rivers flow to the sea?
PART 2: 40-31
40. “Ain’t No Sunshine,” Christina Christian
(Season 1). At first, I wasn’t very impressed with Christina. Her voice
wasn’t very powerful, and her stage presence seemed a little stiff. However,
70’s week came around, and it was a brief turning point for her. This Bill
Withers song was absolutely PERFECT for her voice, and she sold it!! The
small, bleating vibrato enhanced the smokiness of the performance and probably
caused Simon to drool in his Coke cup.
39. “Circle of Life,” Jennifer Hudson (Season
3). Jennifer scored points from me for picking a song from The Lion King
(the best Disney movie ever) on Elton John night. She scored even more
points from Elton himself and the judges for delivering a towering performance.
Her booming voice was a great match for a song with such gusto and magnificence.
What did not air was a subsequent impromptu performance of “Hakuna Matata”
by Simon and Randy.
38. “Mack the Knife,” Clay Aiken (Season 2).
This was the Judges’ Pick for Clay in the Top 3 show. It’s the kind of
song that naysayers would have a field day with: “Broadway” Clay singing
a “lounge lizard” tune. Well, it’s a pretty cool song (NOT lounge music)
that Clay belted out like there was no tomorrow (including an impressive
glory note at the end), and that’s all that matters. Big Band music rocks
my world, too. And every time that Clay got to the line that said “Oh,
the shark has pretty teeth, dear,” I wanted to yell at my TV, “NO, Clay….YOU
have pretty teeth, my dear!”
37. “Time in a Bottle,” Bo Bice (Season 4).
In was the arguably the best show of Season 4, Bo put his own spin on one
of my mom’s favorite songs. His gritty timbre didn’t overshadow Jim Croce’s
smoother tone on the original, but brought a whole new audience to it,
including yours truly. I would love to hear a recorded version sometime….we’ll
see what happens.
36. “Minnie the Moocher,” Tamyra Gray (Season
1). Big Band night in Season 1 was so much fun. It was the first time that
a live band would be used all season, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
I was not familiar with “Minnie,” and Tamyra sure made me pay attention
to it. Jazzy, but fun, with a little scat singing, this number further
proved her to be a contender.
35. “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” George Huff
(Season 3). Bounce, bounce, everybody bounce! What a fun performance!!
George was easily the most likeable contestant of Season 3, and one of
the most likeable contestants of the franchise overall, and he certainly
put his fun personality into this song! While Ruben did a credible job
with it in Season 2, George breathed new life into it and proved that he
belonged there with Fanny, LaToya, and Co. I can’t remember what he wore
that night, but I do know that it didn’t prompt Simon to make any cow jokes.
34. “Amazed,” Josh Gracin (Season 2). After
the Disco Night travesty that was “Celebration,” Josh redeemed himself
the following week by going out and absolutely owning this Lonestar gem.
Heck, he even sounded just like them! He was definitely born to sing this
type of music, and he is currently doing just that and having some well-deserved
success. I know there were some that deemed him the Nikki McKibbin of Season
2, but I never felt that way at all. When Josh is in his element, he is
definitely on. You go, Josh!
33. “(Ain’t Goin’ Down) Till the Sun Comes
Up,” LaToya London (Season 3). Who would’ve thought that LaToya could pull
such a fast-lyric song like this off? Certainly not yours truly! LaToya
came out on Country Night and didn’t miss a beat! Even Darth Simon was
on his feet clapping along! Could this have been an attempt by Princess
LaToya to save him from Emperor Simon Fuller Palpatine and the Dark Side?
Well….it almost worked. Note: I’ve been on such a Star Wars kick lately.
I was afraid it was going to seep out sooner or later. ‘Scuse me.
32. “Chain of Fools,” Vonzell Solomon (Season
4). This song has certainly been done to death on Idol. Vonzell’s performance
was definitely one of the better ones out there. I wasn’t all that impressed
with her during the Top 24 semifinals, but once she got into the Top 12,
she took a huge step in the right direction. Her strong, fun-loving personality,
coupled with some spot-on vocals brought some true, natural soul to COF,
and made Top 3 night a true competition. There is no doubt in my mind that
Vonzie will get a record deal soon, but if things were to not work out
for some reason (And if Quiana Parler moves on to establish a solo career),
I would love it if she were to tour with Clay and do the COF duet. They’d
do some good growling together.
31. “Unchained Melody,” Clay Aiken (Season
2). When Clay announced on Top 3 night that he would be performing this
for Faye, I got tremendously excited. And he didn’t disappoint!! He absolutely
soared, and delivered a very well-placed high note towards the end. Not
to mention that Justin G. performed a rather popped-up rendition the following
night on the results show, and fell flat on his face (again, sorry Justin
fans…I couldn’t resist.). The only thing that kept me from ranking it higher
was the fact that the arrangement was way too fast
Some questions to think about for Part
1. What is another name for a humorous
2. What early '80s movie starred a very
young River Phoenix and a bunch of other preteen boys?
3..Who does the best "ooh-oohs" in the
PART 3: 30-21
30. “Flying Without Wings,” Ruben Studdard
(Season 2). I really liked Ruben in the earlier rounds of Season 2, but
he started to get too complacent for me, and that “Ruben magic” was missing
from his performances as he got further and further in the competition.
FWOW on the Tuesday finale brought that magic back for me. While many critics
slammed the song, I sat there watching and wishing that I had a lighter
so I could sway it around.
29. “Try a Little Tenderness,” Nadia Turner
(Season 4). Nadia has some of the best stage presence I’ve ever seen. She
may be the Queen of Odd Song Choices, but for the most part, her performance
skills more than made up for it. This was definitely a song that I didn’t
know, but even now I can still remember what it sounded like. I am a fan
of arrangements that start out slow, and then explode with an up-tempo
climax, so I totally ate this up. Weird as the song may have been, it was
definitely the one she needed to secure herself a spot in the Top 12.
28. “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” Vonzell Solomon
(Season 4). After stumbling with “How Do I Live,” Vonzie came back with
a vengeance. She was absolutely born to sing this! I did not detect any
vocal flaws, and of course, her personality gave the song that extra “oomph”.
It also seemed to be some sort of subliminal message to her fans: “Don’t
leave me this way, guys!” And of course, they didn’t!
27. “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” Diana DeGarmo (Season
3). Clive Davis did the right thing by picking this song for Diana on Top
3 night of Season 3. It’s quite an obscure song (to me, anyway), but she
absolutely nailed it! Clive was very impressed with what he heard, too.
It’s really a shame that RCA didn’t give her much promotion after the show.
Maybe they’ll reconsider when she’s a little older.
26. “My Funny Valentine,” Constantine Maroulis
(Season 4). This was the only other song besides Nadia’s ALAHNM worth mentioning
on Broadway night. The hilarious thing is that Connie claimed to be a rocker,
but delivered some serious goods on this number by becoming a crooner.
Soooooo……rocker + crooner =…crocker? Ok, so Connie “crocked” and pouted
his way to becoming a contender with MFV. But I kind of wished he’d lightened
up on the pouting. A few pouts here and there is sexy, but 30 of them in
2 minutes?? That’s a smidge of a distraction. You’re still cool anyway,
25. “No More Tears (Enough is Enough),” Diana
DeGarmo (Season 3). I am not a fan of Disco night on Idol. To me, that’s
almost begging to be called a glorified karaoke cheesefest. Nevertheless,
there are always a few disco performances that are worthy of watercooler
buzz. Diana’s was one of them. She starts out slow, and slowly builds to
an explosive chorus, exhibiting wonderful vocal control, and matured performance
skill….and I did not trace any evidence of karaoke. To me, this was the
performance that secured Diana’s spot in the finale.
24. “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” LaToya London
(Season 3). Another Big Band night!! Why didn’t they do this for Seasons
2 and 4?? Oh well. Anyway, DROMP (what an acronym) was the best performance
of the night, and prompted me to give LaToya a standing O in my living
room. I loved how resonant her tone sounded on it and how well she held
her notes. She was so robbed!
23. “Stand By Me,” Bo Bice (Season 4). I wasn’t
sure how Bo would handle SBM. I really wasn’t. It always seemed like a
song that was too vocally easy. Bo surprised me by pulling off one of his
best vocal performances to date. Nicely held notes and a good rock growl
made it sound like I was hearing it for the first time. And hey….he didn’t
have on his sunglasses (the sunglasses are OK, but not always appropriate)!!
Insert your own judge joke here because I’m fresh out right now.
22. “Build Me Up Buttercup,” Clay Aiken (Season
2). Neil Sedaka night was my favorite night of Season 2, and arguably of
all 4 seasons. This was due largely in part by Mr. Aiken and his “Buttercup”.
Clay came out and brought about 2000 kJ of energy with him dipping, diving,
slipping, and sliding round the stage. Not to mention that his voice was
technically and emotionally perfect for such a “dorky” song. Neil himself
proclaimed Clay the Andre Agassi of Idol and threatened to kill anyone
else that dared offer him a record deal. Fortunately for Clive Davis and
Co., Neil wasn’t serious about the killing part.
21. “Crying,” Carrie Underwood (Season 4).
I disagreed with Simon about this performance being “wooden”. Carrie’s
voice flowed with the violins perfectly, and I felt a definite air of “sadness”
in it. I thought it was the most emotion Carrie put in a ballad to date.
Simon’s girlfriend probably needs to screw him over some time…maybe then
he’ll do his own version of “Crying.”
Here are some questions to think about
for Part 4:
1. What do a plane, a train, and an
automobile have in common?
2. What is the current time of year?
3. What apparatus is used to aid in
a form of punishment?
PART 4: 20-11
20. “Best of My Love,” Vonzell Solomon (Season
4). Vonzie is adorable. One of the most likeable contestants of Season
4. This performance officially told me who she was and showed me what she
could do….and that is LIGHT UP THE STAGE!! Usually whenever I hear BOML
I think of the ABC Family Channel (not sure why), but now if I hear it,
I picture Vonzell up there walking around on the catwalk behind the judges,
interacting with the audience, and singing her little heart out. It was
truly her beginning as the “dark horse” of the season.
19. “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” Kim Locke
(Season 2). This is another one of my mom’s favorite songs, and Kim sure
did it justice! Very haunting, and her rich timbre gave it a sultrier vibe.
The competition did indeed start for her with this performance, and began
to make me more of a fan of hers. I wonder what Bonnie Raitt and Nancy
Wilson thought of it…
18. “Whipping Post,” Bo Bice (Season 4). I
never listened to the Allman Brothers Band, so I was not familiar with
this song. But boy, did I want to be after watching this performance! Bo
came out and brought a whole new flavor to the concept of Idol by showing
off his rock roots and absolutely commanding everyone’s attention! It was
also the debut of Bo’s signature mic stand carry, which now has a place
in the Heart Pitter-Patter Hall of Fame.
17. “Stuff Like That There,” Kelly Clarkson
(Season 1) . Kelly showed she was the one to beat with this performance.
She chose a song that was a perfect showcase for her voice in the Big Band
genre, wore her hair in a very appropriate (and darn cute) style, wore
a great outfit, and conquered. She was Miss Versatility, and just kept
on going in the following weeks. Again, insert your own judge joke here
because I still can’t think of anything.
16. “What a Wonderful World,” Anwar Robinson
(Season 4). It’s really a shame that Anwar didn’t live up to his potential
on the show most weeks. It seems to me that he was thinking too much during
the performances, and not feeling enough. WAWW was a big exception. I LOVED
the bluesy arrangement, and Anwar totally felt what he was singing. The
emotion led to an automatically pitch-perfect performance that I wish he
would have recorded on the Showstoppers CD. I’m still crossing my fingers
that he records it someday because I will totally buy it, whatever format
it comes out in. And Simon, we just know you listen to this song in your
free time, you old softie, you.
15. “A House is Not a Home,” Tamyra Gray (Season
1). Ok, I admit that I actually missed this performance. However, it did
get quite a bit of Season 1 watercooler talk, so I downloaded the mp3 to
see what the fuss was about. It’s really interesting, because you could
totally hear the nerves in Tamyra’s voice. However, the nerves quickly
took on the role of sadness and loneliness and made it work! What a bone-chiller!!
Anwar and Ruben were the other contestants to tackle this song, and they
could not even come close to the emotional intensity Tamyra put in it.
To me, this song belongs to her.
14. “A Whole New World,” Ruben Studdard (Season
2). Roo sounded so much like Peabo Bryson on this song, it was somewhat
scary! It was also the night Gladys Knight dubbed him the Velvet Teddy
Bear. It’s another song that I would have liked to hear an updated recorded
version of, but I think it’s doubtful right now. Nevertheless, it was still
great, classic Ruben. Dang, my jokes are escaping me…
13. “Vehicle,” Bo Bice (Season 4). When it
was announced that the April 19 theme would be Seventies Dance night, I
was horror-stricken. That’s another way to say “disco”, and you know how
cheesy I think Disco night always is! Well, this was a very disco-y show
that didn’t do much for me at all….until Bo came out at the end and saved
the show. Great God in heaven, this rocked! Mic stand domination, running
around the stage, growling vocals….this was rock n’ roll showmanship at
its best. And hey, it’s a seventies song that you can still dance to. What
would have made it even better was if Simon was shown slam-dancing in a
mosh pit the audience created.
12. “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me,” Clay
Aiken (Season 2). This performance holds a very special place in my heart.
Clay’s original audition was quite a shock, and really intrigued me. However,
I declared to keep an open mind for a while longer before I decided who
to pull for. For a couple weeks, I was torn between Clay and Roo, but DLTSGDOM
sealed the deal. Clay looked dashing wearing a Miami Vice-like suit that
enhanced his lanky but lean frame, and delivered a truly effortless performance.
His timbre was smooth, the dynamics of his voice flowed perfectly with
the song, and his jade greens glowed with a subtle passion as he looked
both relaxed and “into the moment”. I didn’t look into any mirrors after
he was finished, but if I would have, I’m sure my pupils turned into hearts....another
definite induction into the Heart Pitter-Patter Hall of Fame.
11. “Summertime,” Fantasia Barrino (Season
3). I’m not a huge fan of Fantasia. I like her personality, and she DOES
have talent, but her timbre is too scratchy and rough on my ears, and her
diction drives me up the wall. So why is she one notch above DLTSGDOM?
Well….it just happened to come out this way (and that pained me). But you
have to admit….this was a fantastic performance. She really did bare her
soul on this song, and demonstrated the most vocal flow she would have
all season. It also goes to show that sitting sprawled out on the stage
Some questions to think about for the
1. If you think about Manhattan a lot,
what are you experiencing?
2. What are 3 ways to say "solo"?
3. Who is Silvergirl?
10. “New York State of Mind,” Kim Locke (Season
2). Prior to Billy Joel Week, Kimberley was being treated rather unfairly
by voters. She had been giving solid performances every week, but was in
the Bottom 3 three times! Then came NYSOM. I had my doubts, since this
wasn’t my favorite Billy song at the time, but after the first couple notes,
my brain was silenced. Her voice was absolutely PERFECT for it! Not to
mention, she looked gorgeous in her outfit and matching beret. She chose
the perfect time to step up and tell the public, “THIS is why you should
vote for me!” And it worked.
9. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Constantine Maroulis
(Season 4). “Astonishing.” That was the only word Simon used in his critique
of Connie’s performance. And he was pretty much dead on. It was quite a
large risk picking such an “anthemic” song like this, but Connie did the
right amount of crooning at the beginning, and the right amount of rocking
toward the end to turn it into one of the top performances of the season.
Even the editing was well-done, weeding it down from a 6-minute song to
a 2-minute song and keeping cohesion. It motivated me to dig out my Wayne’s
World soundtrack that I hadn’t listened to in about 7 years. The only thing
that bummed me was the fact that the edited-out part was my favorite of
the whole song. Wouldn’t it have been hysterical to hear Connie chirp out
“I see a little silhouette-o of a man…Scaramouche! Scaramouche! Will you
do the Fandango?” I would have dug that.
8. “All By Myself,” LaToya London (Season
3). LaToya was the “Who?” girl of Season 3’s Top 32. And she sure answered
that question during her round of 8! She pretty much walloped the other
7 with an extremely resonant, clear, and controlled rendition that I think
seriously rivals Celine’s (Yes, I said it)! It was a fantastic first impression
that pretty much held up the rest of her run on the show. My friend and
I predicted she would end up in the Top 3, but we were one daggone spot
off. I’m tellin’ ya, she was robbed!
7. “To Love Somebody,” Clay Aiken (Season
2). In hindsight, it seems as though there really wasn’t much watercooler
buzz about this performance. That could be partly due to the fact that
Mr. Hipshake made his debut that same night, causing estrogen levels around
the country to skyrocket to dangerous levels, and cementing a permanent
spot in the Heart Pitter-Patter Hall of Fame (but I digress). TLS was indeed
one of Clay’s most professional performances on the show. Everything, from
his clean-cut brown suit to his relaxed confident presence to his soaring
voice, made it look like he had been doing it for 20 years. It was yet
another moment where he seemed to be saying “I’m the real thing, and I’m
here to stay.”
6. “Without You,” Kelly Clarkson (Season 1).
This was one of the few Judges’ Round songs throughout all 4 seasons that
worked. It was a huge challenge taking on an EXTREMELY difficult song that
only Mariah Carey and Harry Nilson (the original artist) have tackled,
and an even bigger challenge to overcome that kind of pressure, coupled
with the pressure of the competition. Kelly had been giving excellent performances
every week, but her speaking voice was very nearly gone by the Top 3. How
would her singing voice do this? Well, she did it. She took every iota
of vocal muscle she had left in her, and nailed every daggone note! My
roommate at the time and I sat in our dorm room watching that night, and
afterwards, she turned to me and said, “Ooh, she’s gonna win!” All I could
say was “Yup.” ‘Nuff said.
5. “Alone,” Carrie Underwood (Season 4). This
was the first performance of Season 4 to give me chills! Just when I thought
Carrie was never going to step outside the country music box, she did just
that, and chose the p-e-r-f-e-c-t song for her voice. Her timbre didn’t
sound much different than Ann Wilson’s, so it was almost like reliving
the original 1987 version. It actually made me glad for the extra show
so I could watch it again. I wasn’t really crazy about the high-teased
hair, but it’s an 80’s song, and she dressed the part….nothing wrong with
that. I’m just glad she didn’t put on 40 lbs of blue eyeshadow.
4. “Solitaire,” Clay Aiken (Season 2). Neil
Sedaka had good reason to cry. Not only did he have a brilliantly-written
song already in his library, but that song received a glorious rejuvenation
by Clay. And all Clay did was stand there and sing. With only one light
on in the entire auditorium, which was very appropriately fixated on him,
Clay was frozen in place. His face was somewhat stoic, yet hints of sadness
seemed to be slowly igniting in his eyes as the song progressed. The light
made him look 10 years younger, highlighting his cheekbones and allowing
a few freckles to poke through. He looked pale, fragile, breakable….almost
traveling back in time to the geeky-yet-vivacious little boy he would one
day write about. His body did not move an inch, except for a couple slight
tilts of the head, and the contorting of his lips in song. His voice showed
wonderful range, yet understated what the song really meant to him. The
audience didn’t know it yet, but he was singing of real-life abandonment.
And he decided to wait another year to fully tell them. Right then, on
that stage that night, he was just there to sing. He was just there to
perform. He was just there to be “Solitaire”. And he was.
3. “Natural Woman,” Kelly Clarkson (Season
1). This was the second time I ever saw Kelly, and it was definitely the
most vivid memory I have of her Idol run. 3 big things happened here: 1.
Kelly wore the cutest outfit EVER, looking like a 21st-century Punky Brewster
in her overalls and fedora. 2. Towards the end of the song, she unleashes
a high note that, although beautiful, almost seemed inhuman. 3. After she
was finished, a fan immediately comes up to the stage, kisses her on the
cheek, and gives her flowers. Aside from those standouts, the rest was
pure, pitch-perfect beauty. It was the night that the country truly got
to see what that “dorky” little Texas girl was made of. She may not have
been show much at all in the early rounds, but that night began a period
of Idol history that people will never forget.
2. “In A Dream,” Bo Bice (Season 4). Hoe.
Lee. Cow. This was the performance of Season 4. While Bo was the most consistent
one, he needed a huge performance to pull out ahead of Carrie and Vonzell,
both of whom I feel he was tied with before Top 3 night. Singing without
the band was indeed a risk. I’ve sung a capella both solo and with choir
ensembles in high school and college, and I can tell you that it is NOT
easy to stay on pitch without accompaniment. Without any instruments to
compare to, may people easily veer off and go sharp or flat without even
noticing it. Bo stayed on pitch perfectly throughout the entire song, and
showed more vocal range than he had all season. Even though it didn’t win
him the competition, it earned him a mention in the Idol history book.
And now, the King of Idol performaces…
1. “Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” Clay Aiken
(Season 2). Where do I begin with this one? I remember exactly what I was
doing the night it happened. I had just finished my third year of college,
and was home for a week before going back for a couple summer classes.
My mom decided to watch Idol with me, even though she had only seen one
episode. While we watched, she noted how Ruben didn’t seem to be living
up to all the hype, and that Clay was edging him out. Then came BOTW. Clay
starts out with a nice, flowing baritone, filled the chorus with a clear
ringing tenor, and ends with a MONSTER of a glory note that pretty much
blasts the roof off of the Universal Amphitheatre. As I watched him, a
sense of pride was washing over me, like I was watching a relative, or
my best friend perform. I fought tears through most of the song as I sat
there thinking, He’s doing it….he’s really doing it! When Clay hit his
last note, I couldn’t hold it in any longer. Tears began to stream down
my face, and I unknowingly began to slide out of my chair. My mom gave
me an odd look at first, then seemed to understand the effect Clay’s performance
had on me. “He gets my vote,” she said calmly. It was also dinnertime when
the show was over, but I was unable to eat due to the rollercoaster of
emotions that were churning inside of me. I forced down what I could, then
ran upstairs to my bedroom to vote. I could only get 1 vote in the whole
time, but that almost didn’t matter to me as I kept reliving Clay’s performance
in my head and continued fighting tears. No performance ANYWHERE had ever
done anything like that to me. And it was highly unlikely that any other
performances ever would.