Undeniably, American Idol has been one of the most famous singing competitions in the whole world. In fact, this series has produced many contestants as true artists in the music industry. Some of the successful American Idol contestants are the Academy Award and BET Award winner Jennifer Hudson (Season 3 contestant), Grammy award winners Kelly Clarkson (Season 1 winner), Fantasia Barrino (Season 3 winner), Carrie Underwood (Season 4 winner) and many more.
However, the question is “What does it take to be the next American Idol?”
Aside from having a good singing voice, stage presence or even looks, a wanna-be idol should also know his music genre, because a creative song choice can also be a strong factor in winning the entire competition. Obviously, considering the past seasons many hopefuls really did a great job in giving justice to their performances but booted off unexpectedly. Somehow, I may agree with Mariah Carey’s statement that a lot of times it is the familiarity of the song that would pull people in.
Here’s the list of 10 likeable song renditions from the past American Idol contestants that received positive feedback from the judges and viewers, and even earned thousands of views in Youtube.
10 – Constantine Maroulis – Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody (Season 4)
It’s really ironic until now that this rock singer from New Jersey who has a lot charisma was eliminated and didn’t make it to the Final 5. Nevertheless, his memorable and excellent performance of Queen’s classic “Bohemian Rhapsody” was one thing people will always remember during his season.
9 – Haley Reinhart – The Animals’ House of the Rising Sun (Season 10)
Her Idol journey was like a roller coaster ride, there were vicissitudes. However, this girl from Illinois set off on the journey and made it to the final 3 in the Season 10 of AI. Her rendition of The Animal’s House of the Rising Sun was indeed unforgettable. I love those growls she has. And you can really identify her as an artist through listening to her voice.
8 – Danny Gokey – Mickey Gilley’s Stand by Me (Season 8)
Danny Gokey finished as third finalist in AI Season 8. This guy from Wisconsin proved that aside from his great vocal range, he can also endow us a terrific arrangement just like when he performed Mickey Gilley’s Stand by Me. He almost changed the tempo of the original song and made it as his own.
7 – Didi Benami – Katharine McPhee’s Terrified (Season 9)
It was Didi’s first solo performance during the Hollywood week when she sang Katharine McPhee’s terrified that made her one of the front-runners in the competition. Honestly, I love how she connected ultimately to the song. It was very affectionate and emotional. This girl from Tennessee was the 10th place finalist in 9th Season of American Idol.
6 – Joshua Ledet – James Brown’s This Is a Man’s World (Season 11)
This performance was surprisingly good. It was technically flawless and powerful. It feels like I am watching a Grammy’s performance. Indeed, Joshua’s soulful voice along with those emotions really made this song fabulous, impeccable! Meanwhile, he finished as third finalist in American Idol Season 11.
5 – Clay Iken – Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge over Troubled Water (Season 2)
I am sick of hearing this song in most singing competitions however there is really something with Clay that I should say made this rendition likeable. He gave us some of his incredible vocals especially on the last note that wowed the judges and audience. Furthermore, I also love his stage presence every time he performs.
4 – Fantasia Barrino – Abbie Mitchell’s Summertime (Season 3)
Aside from her winner’s single I Believe, Fantasia’s Summertime was also one of her big moments. She has perfect pitch and can hit high and low notes powerfully while sitting down. Seriously, until now every time I listen to her rendition, I get shivers. That is why no doubt she won the said season of American Idol.
3 – David Cook – Mariah Carey’s Always Be My Baby (Season 7)
On Idol it would be hard and frightening for boys to perform a female-focused song ,not until when I was completely surprised and was really astonished how David Cook showed vulnerability when he sang his own version of Always Be My Baby by Mariah Carey. He got so much soul oozing out of him and I must say he really dominated that night!
2 – Jennifer Hudson – Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing (Season 3)
This is one of the best and huge songs of music legend Whitney Houston and I was impressed how Jennifer able to pull it off. Those certain notes were the most impressive moments of her powerhouse performance. Nonetheless, she may not have won the whole competition but this performance can still produce goosebumps.
1 – Jessica Sanchez – Billy Joel’s Everybody Has A Dream (Season 11)
It was a smart move to pick an inspirational song considering her age. Vocally, she was fantastic and she really looked comfortable on stage. Her own rendition of a Billy Joel song was very phenomenal and full of emotions. She really nailed it as if that song was written for her. All in all, this was indeed one of her finest moments during her Idol journey.