The 5 Best ‘American Idol’ Performances Of All Time

Helga Esteb /
Helga Esteb /

American Idol premiers tomorrow on Fox and, well, with all the drama between Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey, this season is already shaping up to be a hot mess! For two nights a week we’re all going to be treated to singers as well as “singers.” And for most of them, getting that gold piece of paper after their audition means they will finally be free to quit their job as a telemarketing specialist, move to Hollywood and become a star. In preparation for all the excitement, here in no particular order are 5 of the best performances in American Idol history.

Melinda Doolittle, “I’m A Woman”

Melinda Doolittle finished third place on Season Six of Idol, and I was really hoping she would go for the gold. But America chose Jordan Sparks instead, a decision that till this day I still don’t know how to process. Melinda’s biggest problem on the show was that the judges always said she was too “old.” But whatever — she can really sang. Behold Miss Doolittle sanging a Peggy Lee classic, “I’m a woman.” You can feel every word. Hands down one of the best performances because she is taking you to CHURCH. Praise him!

Kris Allen, “Heartless”

I never really understood why anybody liked Kris Allen, I mean, except for the fact that he’s so freaking adorable and that’s sort of all you need to win. But when his season got to the Top Three and he was up against Adam Lambert and Danny Gokey, Kris brought out the big guns and did an acoustic version of Kanye West’s “Heartless.” I’m sorry but…the other contestants got BLINDSIDED. You know you’re talented when you cover a song and it’s better than the original.

Elise Testone, “Whole Lotta Love”

Oh, Elise Testone. SOMEBODY GIVE THIS BETCH A RECORD DEAL. I didn’t really watch last season all that much, and frankly I only tuned in to see what Elise was doing. Can we talk about why she was in the bottom three almost EVERY WEEK? Elise is a real singer. Her voice is so special — raspy, full of soul, and she can hit all those notes in between notes. Watch her version of Led Zepplin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” I’m always drawn to these kinds of singers on Idol, and America never picks them.

Fantasia, “Summertime”

With a voice like hers, Fantasia should be much more famous than she is right now. Even though she won Season Three of Idol, personal problems have kept her from reaching her full potential. But still, her cover of “Summertime” is IT. Make no mistake. Probably knowing that singing “Summertime” was her best chance at winning, she killed the song and that helped her beat Diana DeGarmo, who after Idol achieved some fame on Broadway.

Jennifer Hudson, “Circle of Life”

Jennifer Hudson is so charming and amazing and I’m so happy that her post-idol career has taken off. Too bad she was in the bottom two twice before getting eliminated. But no worries because SHE HAS AN OSCAR. Betch is getting paid. Here, J.Hud serves us Elton John and the “Circle of Life” with such power, passion, and presence that when you watch it, you can tell that she would end up exactly where she is today.

All this leaves me curious about what’s going to happen on this season of Idol. In my mind the wrong people always win. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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