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Added by Courier on 1 Mar 2012 11:58
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Favorite American Idol Performances

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People who added this item 910 Average listal rating (718 ratings) 5.1 IMDB Rating 4.1
American Idol (2002)
#50 David Cook - Billie Jean

Let's start the list off with a great performance of one of my favorite songs of all time. It took me a really long time to come around to this one. Billie Jean is easily my favorite Michael Jackson song, and easily in my Top 10 songs of all time, so to hear someone sing such a different version of it really threw me off at first.

#49 Siobhan Magnus - Think

Siobhan was a great singer but one that you don't hear too much about anymore. She was a little weird sometimes, but she had a big voice that's really showcased in this classic.

#48 Casey Abrams - Georgia On My Mind

Casey was among my favorites when he first auditioned. As the season progressed, I steadily lost interest in him, but this performance during Hollywood week really blew me away.

#47 Clay Aiken - Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me

Clay is easily among my Top 10 idolists ever, and this performance still blows me away every time I hear it. I have no idea how he ended up in the Wild Card, but thank god the judges put him through.

#46 Melinda Doolittle - My Funny Valentine

It wasn't until recently that I started taking a liking to this performance. I never really cared for it before, despite others always including it in their lists. After listening to it a few more times, Melinda does do a great job.

#45 David Cook - Music of the Night

Another great performance by David Cook. The note he hits at the end is incredible.

#44 Kellie Pickler - Suds in the Bucket

I really liked Kellie on Season 5 and always thought she was a good singer. She has a great tone to her voice that really invokes that country twang.

#43 Carrie Underwood - Trouble

Anybody who knows me would know that Carrie was going to show up sooner or later on this list. The first season of Idol that I watched from start to finish was Season 4, and I immediately picked Carrie as my favorite from when she first auditioned. She will always be my all-time favorite Idol, and her rendition of this Elvis Presley song is fantastic.

#42 Adam Lambert - Satisfaction

I always really liked Adam. He was an incredible performer on the show and he could hit some ridiculous notes. This was his first performance on stage and he blew everyone else out the water.

#41 Kelly Clarkson - R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Kelly has got to be among the Top 5 singers to voice-wise to ever come out of Idol, if not #1. This performance will always be in my top 50, she sounds great, singing with incredible power and control.

#40 Casey James - Jealous Guy

I always liked Casey, but he didn't have the big voice that other Idol greats had. This performance was packed with so much emotion, though, that I had to put it in here.

#39 Carrie Underwood - Alone

Another amazing performance by Carrie. This is the one that prompted Simon to declare her the winner and the best Idol sales-wise in the shows history. Several other idols have sang this song, but none of them have come close to singing it with the power and intensity that Carrie did.

#38 Chris Daughtry - Dead or Alive

Chris is definitely in my Top 10 favorite idols, and this performance in the Top 24 made me a lifelong fan of his.

#37 Jordin Sparks - I Who Have Nothing

Like Carrie, Jordin was my favorite from the day she auditioned. She sang this with so more power, I had no idea her voice was this big beforehand.

#36 Crystal Bowersox - Natural Woman

Probably my 3rd favorite live performer in the show's history, Crystal always brought it all to every performance. This rendition of Natural Woman during Hollywood Week really showcased the authenticity and power in her voice.

#35 Didi Benami - Terrified

This is really the only song Didi sang that I enjoyed, but man did she sing it well.

#34 Clay Aiken - Build Me Up Buttercup

A great performance by Clay, it was a welcome mix up between his bigger ballads. It's unfortunate that Simon never gave him a fair chance from the start of the show and always tried to take shots at him.

#33 Fantasia Barrino - Summertime

Like Billie Jean and My Funny Valentine, it took me awhile to come around to this one. A lot of people would tell you that this is still the greatest performance in the show's history. Whether or not you think it's the best, Fantasia's performance of Summertime was still amazing.

#32 Danny Gokey - What Hurts the Most

I really love how much emotion Danny sings this with.

#31 Michael Lynche - This Woman's Work

This performance is one of those guilty pleasures that some people have. I never really liked Michael and always thought his dance moves were atrocious in this performance, but for some reason I still find myself listening to it over and over.

#30 David Archuleta - Imagine

Again, just like Summertime and the others, it took me a long time to come around to this one. Once I did, though, I realize just how incredibly David sings this John Lennon classic. He sounds so believable and makes it seem so effortless.

#29 Crystal Bowersox - Long As I Can See the Light

Get used to seeing Crystal on this list. This is another solid performance of hers.

#28 Katharine McPhee - Somewhere Over the Rainbow

This one is so hard to place. Katharine looks incredibly attractive in this performance, and she sings the song incredibly as well. There are so many performances in Idol history that its hard to rank them from worst to best.

#27 Crystal Bowersox - Me and Bobby McGee

Another great Crystal song.

#26 Crystal Bowersox - Midnight Train to Georgia

After hearing "put your guitar down" for several weeks, Crystal did so, and man did she sound great. I was a little worried at first, but she did a great job with this one.

#25 Elliott Yamin - A Song For You

I always liked Elliott and thought he had one the best voices to ever come out of the show.

#24 Carrie Underwood - Independence Day

Carrie's voice is perfect for this song. She sounds just as good as Martina (and that's saying something) without having had years of experience beforehand.

#23 Carrie Underwood - Could've Been

This is a pretty low-key, slow-tempoed song, but it has so much going for it. Carrie looks absolutely stunning, probably the most attractive I've ever seen any girl look on the show, before or since. She sings with perfect pitch and control, it's hard to say anything wrong about this one.

#22 Taylor Hicks - Do I Make You Proud

Anyone who doesn't think Taylor deserved to win obviously hasn't listened to this one. I'm a much bigger Chris Daughtry and Elliott Yamin fan, but even I can admit that Taylor had a great voice.

#21 Jordin Sparks - Broken Wing

Like Carrie with Independence Day, Jordin sounds just as good as Martina on this one. Great performance.

#20 Blake Lewis - You Give Love a Bad Name

Blake probably had the smallest voice of any runner-up in the show's history, but this performance was incredible. I'm a huge Bon Jovi fan, but this rendition was just too good to not enjoy. Probably the biggest re-imagining of a song in the show's history.

#19 Kris Allen - Heartless

Kris was a lot like Blake, a guy with a good but not so big voice. He really performed this one well, doing what Blake did back in Season 6 in re-imagining a song everyone knows.

#18 Lee Dewyze - Beast of Burden

I'm including the Studio version of this because I think it is 100x better than the live performance. I probably account for 1/2 of the YouTube views on this video.

#17 Lee Dewyze - You're Still the One

Again, I'm including the Studio version as well because Lee's studio voice is so much better than his live one. This is one of my all-time favorite songs, but Lee sings it so well and with so much emotion.

#16 Paul McDonald (& Kendra Chantelle) - Blackbird

Although I thought he sounded god-awful pretty much every night of the live shows, this performance in Hollywood was amazing. His tone of voice is just so unique.

#15 Andrew Garcia - Straight Up

Very similar to Paul McDonald, Andrew just blew me away with this performance. I think it alone is what carried him all the way to the finals.

#14 Lee Dewyze - Hallelujah

Another spectacular performance by Lee.

#13 Pia Toscano - I'll Stand By You

Probably the biggest surprise in the shows history (even bigger than Chris's 4th place). This ballad ranks among the all-time great idol performances.

#12 Haley Reinhart - Rolling in the Deep

Get ready to see a lot of Haley Reinhart. She has such a unique voice, able to sing the big notes both softly and with an awesome growl. She really took this song and made it her own. If the judges (Randy in particular) had ever given a smidgeon of the adoration they heaped upon Scotty and Lauren, Haley would have won the season with ease.

#11 Clay Aiken - Bridge Over Troubled Water

It's crazy how this song went from being my easy #1 to #11. That isn't to stay it's not a spectacular performance. Clay's voice is so good, he makes everything he sings seem so effortless.

#10 Carrie Underwood - Angels Brought Me Here

The song that really put Carrie right even with Kelly in terms of a big, powerful voice. Absolutely incredible.

#9 Crystal Bowersox - Up to the Mountain

Another great Crystal performance.

#8 Haley Reinhart - I Who Have Nothing

Haley's rendition of I Who Have Nothing really puts Jordin's to shame. That's saying something, because Jordin really hits some big notes. However, Haley sings this song with so much more emotion and conviction, there's just no comparison.

#7 Crystal Bowersox - People Get Ready

Yet another great Crystal song, she sings this one with so much emotion, she can't even keep it all in towards the end.

#6 Haley Reinhart - House of the Rising Sun

After receiving even more undue criticism from the judges, Haley came out and delivered this incredible performance. How anyone could have thought she wasn't the most talented singer on Season 9 is beyond me.

#5 Adam Lambert - Black or White

The greatest stage performer in the shows history, this one approaches Michael Jackson's level. What's even more amazing is this was Adam's first performance on the big stage, and for once I agree with everything Paula says.

#4 Matt Giraud - Human Nature

I'm sure there's someone whose glad to see this performance this high on my list. Personally I find Matt's live version to be sub-par, but wow, his studio version is just unreal. Amazing amazing performance.

#3 Matt Giraud - You Found Me

Just like Human Nature, Matt's studio version of You Found Me is just incredible. I honestly cannot believe how well he sings, how easily he hits every note, how honest he sounds, everything.

#2 Haley Reinhart - Benny and the Jets

Haley took a very peculiar song that a lot of people probably were not aware of and completely and totally made it her own. It was this performance that made me a die-hard Haley fan.

#1 Adam Lambert - Tracks of My Tears

When I decided to make this list, I was afraid of the big decision I would have to make as to what song I would put at #1. I figured it would be an incredibly difficult decision, as there have been so many performances on American Idol that it would be hard enough narrowing them down to a Top 50, let alone picking one to be the best.

However, once I started going through all the songs, I never even thought twice as to which song should be here. This was probably the easiest choice on the entire list.

Adam just sings this song so well. Tracks of My Tears is an incredible song to begin with, and Adam sings it with so much emotion and also makes it his own. He even gets the standing O from Smokey Robinson himself.

It's so unfortunate that people never gave Adam a chance because of his sexual preference. I wish they could just enjoy and appreciate him for what he is, an amazingly talented artist.

This is a list of my favorite American Idol performances of all time. NOTE: These are only performances that I can remember off the top of my head. It is very very likely that I have forgotten a few, so if I do not mention a great performance, then let me know.

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