American Idol 10th Anniversary – Eleven Favorite Performances (VIDEO)

In celebration of American Idol’s 10th anniversary (which was yesterday, but better late than never!) I give you my own personal favorite performances from each season.  These are my favs, what are yours?

Season 1 – Kelly Clarkson – Stuff Like That There – Top 6 Big Band

Kelly brought the house down with her rendition of “Stuff Like That There” for Big Band night. Kelly was well on her way to sealing the deal for her win.

Season 2 – Kimberley Locke and Frenchie Davis – Hollywood Week – Band of Gold.

This Kimberley Locke – Frenchie Davis duet was actually a group number for Hollywood Week. Kim and Frenchie said that none of the other girls wanted to sing with them because they were skeerd. I would be too, as the ladies pretty much blew the roof off the joint.

Season 3 – Fantasia – Summertime – Top 8 Movie Soundtracks & Top 2 Final

Without a doubt, the performance of the season. She performed it on Top 8 and then reprised the song for the Final 2.

Season 4 – Bo Bice – Top 3 – In A Dream – Top 3

Bo took a risk singing “In A Dream” a capella, but it paid off. The performance became one of the seasons major moments and helped propel him into the final.

Season 5 – Elliott Yamin – Moody’s Mood for Love – Top 20

The best thing about Elliott’s “Moody’s Mood For Love” was how it came out of nowhere. It’s rare for a contestant to kill so thoroughly with a song that’s so difficult and obscure. Elliott demonstrated his musicality and vocal chops with this performance. The you tube is the reprise he did on Top 3 results night.

Season 6 – Blake Lewis – You Give Love a Bad Name 

Blake took a huge risk when he reworked the Bon Jovi classic ‘You Give Love a Bad Name” but it totally worked and paved the way for Idols like David Cook and Kris Allen to re-arrange the songs they sang. Gamechanger.

Season 7 – David Cook – Always Be My Baby – Top 6 Mariah Carey

David Cook slowed up and re-arranged a Mariah Carey song, lending the tune a new poignancy and power.  He sang the hell out of it. And his brother, who was ill with brain cancer (and would succumb to the disease a year later) was in the audience.  David became emotional afterward after the judges effusively praised his performance.  It was pretty damn perfect all around.

Season 8 – Adam Lambert – Mad World – Top 8 Year They Were Born

Too bad Ken Warwick couldn’t keep his show running on time. Those watching via DVR missed the last performance of the night, which was Adam’s powerful version of the Gary Jules arrangement of Mad World.  Thank God for You Tube!  Adam’s rendition was and remains deeply moving.

Click to watch

Season 9 – Crystal Bowersox – Up To The Mountain – Final 2 – Winner’s Single

In Season 9, the Top 2 got covers as winner’s singles.  Crystal covered Patti Griffin’s “Up to The Mountain” and it was righteous, people, righteous. She totally killed it.  It was Simon Cowell’s last American Idol critique ever, and things get a little misty.

Season 10 – Casey Abrams – Your Song – Top 11 Your Song

I love this performance because Casey came back a week after being eliminated and saved humbled. He got back to basics, stripped away the pretense. But most importantly, he allowed himself to be vulnerable. A moving performance of one my favorite songs of all time.

Season 11 – Elise Testone – Whole Lotta Love – Top 9 Their Personal Idols

Elise showed us why she was the QUEEN of Season 11 with this amazing performance of Led Zepplin’s “Whole Lotta Love”.  She took the stage and owned it. Rocker girl. Artist.  Perfection.


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  • rayni

    I love these kinds of lists! 

    And I would agree with 10 out of 11 of your picks, but Casey Abrams? When you had Haley singing the heck out of “House of the Rising Sun”? or “Bennie & the Jets”? or even the Casey/Haley “Moanin’ ” duet – these were all much better moments that Casey alone. IMHO, of course :)

  • Anonymous

    Season 1. Natural Woman by Kelly Clarkson

    Season 2. Bridge Over Troubled Waters by Clay Aiken

    Season 3. Summertime by Fantasia (The performance that made me a fan of the show)

    Season 4. I Have Nothing By Vonzell Solomon

    Season 5. Over The Rainbow By Katherine McPhee

    Season 6. With A Broken Wing By Jordin Sparks

    Season 7. Billie Jean By David Cook

    Season 8. Ain’t No Sunshine By Kris Allen

    Season 9. Jealous Guy By Casey James

    Season 10. Benny and the Jets By Haley Reinhart

    Season 11. It’s A Man’s World By Joshua Ledet

  • Anonymous

    I picked Bennie and the Jets, but I can understand why others wouldn’t.  That was during the time where Haley didn’t seem to understand the meaning of the songs that she was singing, and her performance was incredibly sexy, and detached from what the song is about.  Even though both of those things are true, I think the performance still worked.

  • Lovesyesha

    Nice list! I wouldn’t be able to do a top 11, so here are my top 3 from each season:

    Season 1: Kelly – Stuff like that there, Kelly – Don’t Play that Song, Tamyra – A House in not a Home

    Season 2: Kimberley Locke – New York State of Mind, Clay – Bridge Over Troubled Water, Ruben – Nights on Broadway

    Season 3: Diana – Don’t Cry out Loud, Fantasia – Summertime, Jennifer – Weekend in New England

    Season 4: Bo – In a Dream, Carrie – Making Love out of Nothing at all, Bo – For the Love of the Money

    Season 5: Daughtry – Higher Ground, Katharine – Over the Rainbow, Elliott – A Song for you

    Season 6: Melinda – My Funny Valentine, Blake – You Give Love a bad Name, Lakisha – This Aint a Love Song

    Season 7: David C – Always be my Baby, Syesha – One Rock and Roll too many, Carly – Come Together

    Season 8: Allison – Someone to Watch over me, Adam – Mad World, Adam & Allison – Slow Ride

    Season 9: Siobhan – Paint it Black, Crystal – Up to the Mountain, Michael Lynche – This Woman’s Work

    Season 10: Pia – I’ll stand by you, Lauren – Candle in the Wind, Casey & Haley – Moanin’

    Season 11: Elise – Whole Lotta Love, Josh – When a Man Loves a Woman, Hollie – Bleeding Love

  • David I-Chen Lin

    Yeah…where’s “Over The Rainbow”? Still pretty good list though

  • Banished

    Season 7, Billie Jean, by David Cook.. Season 8  tie between Adam for Mad World, and Heartless by Kris Allen.. Summertime and Fantasia all the way too!

  • SamC

    my fav performance from this season has to be volcano. I know nobody else will agree but im a multitask idol watcher, doing a million other things while i watch it and volcano was really the only performance i just stopped everything else and just watched it.

  • EH

    I agree with a lot of your choices, mj. 
    Season 2: Bridge Over Troubled Water – Clay
    Season 7: Billie Jean – Cook
    Season 8: Tracks of My Tears – Adam 
    Season 10: House of the Rising Sun – Haley
    Season 11: Volcano – Phillip

  • Anonymous

    lol! Nice list MJ. I honestly can’t remember what all of them sang. So many seasons. So, instead I’ll list those that I still remember after so long or for the recent is my fav.

    Season 3: Fantasia: Summertime
    Season 5: Katherine: Over the Rainbow
    Season 7: David C: The World I Know, David A: Imagine
    Season 8: Adam Lambert: Mad World. Kris Allen : Heartless
    Season 9: Lee DeWyze: Simple Man, Siobhan: Paint it Black
    Season 10: Haley: Beanie and the Jets
    Season 11: Colton: Love The Way You Lie, Jessica: Sweet Dreams 

  • sue

    Good list, so many great performances from each season that it is hard to pick. But if I had to pick it might go like this:

    Season 1: “A Moment Like This” by Kelly Clarkson (Yes this song.) Maybe because it was the 1st coronation song or the moment or something but I will always remember how happy I was when Kelly sang this.

    Season 2: “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” by Clay Aiken

    Season 3:  “Don’t Rain on My Parade” by Latoya London

    Season 4:  “In A Dream”  by Bo Bice

    Season 5:  ” In The Ghetto” by Taylor Hicks (yes Taylor, lols)

    Season 6:  “You Give Love a Bad Name”  by Blake Lewis (I listened to this a gazillion times that season.)

    Season 7:  “Imagine” by David Archuleta but this season had so many to choose from.  :)

    Season 8: “Heartless”  by Kris Allen but again another outstanding season.

    Season 9: “The House of the Rising Sun” by Siobhan Magnus

    Season 10: “I (Who Have Nothing)”  by Haley Reinhart

    Season 11:  “Vienna”  by Elise Testone

    Man it was hard to chose just one from each season. Idol has really given us a lot of great moments each season throughout the years. I hope it never ends. :)

  • Anonymous

    I like your list.  I think I would switch out Clay’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” for Season 2.  

    For Season 6, I might put in “Funny Valentine” by Melinda Doolittle.  

    Season 7’s favorite performance is either “Little Sparrow” or “Music of the Night.”  

    Season 8 is “Ring of Fire” (by a hair).  

    Season 9?  Hard to choose.  Maybe “Come Together.”  It had a didgeridoo!

    Season 10 is “I (Who Have Nothing).”  Although, “Moanin'” is pretty great.  My favorite Casey performance was “Nature Boy.”

    Season 11.  I’m going to say “The Prayer.”  

  • Anonymous

    Lots of good choices on here. Lauren’s “Anyway” was my favorite ever. Crystal’s “Me and Bobby McGee” and Allison’s “Crybaby” were 2 other great ones.

  • Gwen

    Season 1:  Kelly Clarkson – Natural Woman
    Season 2:  Ruben Studdard – Superstar and Clay Aiken – Solitaire
    Season 3:  Jennifer Hudson – Weekend in New England AND Fantasia – Summertime AND LaToya London – All By Myself
    Season 4:  Bo Bice – In a Dream (I’m still mad he didn’t win, lol.) AND Vonzell Solomon – Best of My Love
    Season 5:  Elliott Yamin – Moody’s Mood for Love (that is so underrated)
    Season 6:  Melinda Doolittle – My Funny Valentine AND I’m a WOMAN
    Season 7:  David Cook – Hello (because…HELLO!) AND All I Really Need is You (I still need that studio version)
    Season 8:  Kris Allen – Heartless
    Season 9:  Lee DeWyze – Beast of Burden
    Season 10:  N/A
    Season 11:  It’s a Man’s World – Joshua Ledet

    ETA: Oh, I can’t forget Jason Castro’s Hallelujah, though Idol has pretty much made me loathe that song.

  • Anonymous

    And I would agree with 10 out of 11 of your picks, but Casey Abrams?
    When you had Haley singing the heck out of “House of the Rising Sun”? or
    “Bennie & the Jets”? or even the Casey/Haley “Moanin’ “

      I knew that pick would be controversial. lol. Actually, Season 10 was a weird season for me. I enjoyed it, but had no real favorites. Can’t even name a favorite contestant. That’s just how it shook out for me.

    Come to think of it, I really liked Moanin’ a lot too. I could have picked that one, easily.

  • Anonymous

    Stuff Like That There was my all time favorite. It proved Kelly could be this generation’s Aretha Franklin. She was so versatile.

  • austin

    Too hard to pick just one standout for each season so here’s my Top 3
    1: Tamyra – House is not a Home, Kelly – Natural Woman, Justin – Get Here
    2: Ruben – Superstar, Clay – Bridge over troubled water, Kimberley – New York
    3: Fantasia – Summertime, Diana – Dont cry out loud, Jennifer – Circle of Life
    4: Carrie – Alone, Carrie – Independence day, Bo – In a dream
    5: Katharine – Over the rainbow, Mandisa – I dont hurt anymore, Daughtry – I walk the line (And Elliot – A song for you…one extra as one of the best seasons EVER)
    6: Jordin – I who have nothing, Melinda – Home, Lakisha – This aint a love song
    7: David Cook – Billie Jean, David Cook – Always be my baby, Jason – Hallelujah
    8: Kris – Falling Slowly, Adam – Mad World, Allison – Cry baby (best final 3 ever – we pretend the real 3 place finisher didnt happen…worst idol mistake ever)
    9: Crystal – Me and bobby mcgee, Crystal – Up to the mountain, tim urban (i know!!) – cant help falling in love
    10: Haley – House of the rising sun, Haley – benny and the jets, Haley – you and I (did anyone else have even close to a moment in season 10???)
    11: elise – whole lotta love, colton – love the way you lie, colton – piano man (Hard to assess as its so recent these are the three that really stick in my mind but they will change im sure)

    10 amazing years!

  • Amber Alkethairi

    Season 1- Kelly Clarkson- A moment like this 
    Season 2- Clay Aiken- Bridge over troubled water
    Season 3- Fantasia- Summertime
    Season 4- Carrie Underwood- Alone
    Season 5- Chris Daughtry- Wanted dead or alive
    Season 6- Jordin Sparks- I who have nothing
    Season 7-David Cook- Always be my baby
    Season 8- Kris Allen- Heartless
    Season 9-Crystal Bowersox- Up to the mountain
    Season 10-Lauren Alaina- Flat on the floor
    Season 11-Hollie Cavanagh- Bleeding Love

  • Anonymous

    These are always fun lists.  I only started watching in S6, so….

    S6:  Blake: You Give Love A Bad Name hands down, then his Time of the Season 

    S7:  David Cook:  Billie Jean or Hello, Jason Castro Hallelujah 

    S8:  Kris: Ain’t No Sunshine, Falling Slowly; Adam’s Mad World

    S9:  Casey James: Jealous Guy

    S10:  Lauren: Flat On The Floor, Anyway; Scotty: Gone

    S11:  P2: Volcano, Elise & P2: Somebody That I Used To Know

  • sue

     Oh yes “Falling Slowly” I forgot about that, love that so much. So many gooddies from season 7 and 8. :)

  • sue

     Lols, I love that Casey performance too. Casey and Haley were my favs that season. :)  I even loved Scotty’s performance of “Gone”.  lols 

  • s k

    Season 1 – Kelly Clarkson – I Surrender
    Season 2 – Ruben Studdard – Superstar
    Season 3 – Diana – Don’t Cry out Loud
    Season 4 – Scott Soval – Impossible Dream
    Season 5 – Kat McPhee – I Have Nothing
    Season 6 – Jordan Sparks – I who have nothing
    Season 7 – David Cook – Little Sparrow
    Season 8 – Adam Lambert – If I can’t have you
    Season 9 – Siobhan – Paint it Black
    Season 10 – Haley Reinhart – You and I
    Season 11 – Hollie – Bleeding Love

  • Karen W.

    Although I’ve watched all 11 seasons of idol, can’t remember much from the first couple of years.   Loved Carrie Underwoods – Alone,  David Cook’s – Hello, Blake’s Time of the Season, Lee DeWyze – Treat her Like a Lady,  Holly Cavanaugh – Bleeding Love

  • Doniel Treeley

    S1- Kelly: Stuff Like That There
    S2- Clay: Bridge Over Troubled Water
    S3- Diana: Dont Cry Out Loud
    S4- Carrie: Alone
    S5- Katharine: Somewhere Over The Rainbow
    S6- Jordin: I Who Have Nothing
    S7- Carly: Superstar
    S8- Kris: Heartless
    S9- Siobhan: Paint It Black
    S10- How do i choose?! Haley: Bennie, House of the Rising Sun, You and I, What Is…, I Who Have Nothing…
    S11- Jessica, The Prayer

  • Anonymous

    Ha! You and I see eye to eye on a lot. Guess that’s why I’ve been reading your blog for so long. Thanks for the list!

    When Bo sang a capella, I was sure he sealed the win. Kelly’s “Stuff” was unbelievably perfect. She sang it so authentically with sass, that I was sure she was a reincarnation of a singer from that era. And Elliott, Oh Elliott. Why his voice isn’t front and center on my radio is beyond me…….

  • Kariann Hart

    I have agreement with both Sue and Gwen’s list, and MJ also pick some I love!

    There is no need for anyone to laugh at your suggestion of Taylor Hicks, “In the Ghetto”  There were several of his performances I enjoyed.  I also liked David Archuleta’s, “Stand By Me.”  I think at least one Adam Lambert song should be on the list.  In addition, Jessica Sanchez and Diana DeGarmo had some powerful performances.

    In hind sight, Blake Lewis had some outstanding performances and no one has matched his uniqueness as of yet.  It is hard to decide between Siobhan’s “Paint It Black” and “House of the Rising Sun”!


    Did anyone notice our favorites are mostly older songs from the past?

  • GaryOC

    Season 1 – Kelly Clarkson – Natural Woman
    Season 2 – Clay Aiken – Bridge Over Troubled Water / Solitaire
    Season 3 – LaToya London – Somewhere / All By Myself
    Season 4 – Carrie Underwood – Alone
    Season 5 – Kat McPhee – Over The Rainbow
    Season 6 – Jordin Sparks – I Who Have Nothing
    Season 7 – Syesha Mercado – One Rock & Roll Too Many / A Change Is Gonna Come
    Season 8 – Adam Lambert – Mad World / Tracks Of My Tears
    Season 9 – None!
    Season 10 – Pia Toscano – I’ll Stand By You / All In Love Is Fair
    Season 11 – Hollie Cavanagh – The Climb / The Power Of Love

  • Anonymous

    I think I disagree with all of these, but mainly just because there are SO MANY good ones!


    (Season) 1 – Kelly Clarkson, “Before Your Love” performance finale
    2 – Trenyce, “Proud Mary”
    3 – George Huff, “Take Me To The Pilot”
    4 – Nadia Turner, “Tenderness”
    5 – Katharine McPhee, “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” or “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”
    6 – Jordin Sparks, “I Who Have Nothing”
    7 – Jason Castro, “Hallelujah” (I could go on for days about this season)
    8 – Kris Allen – Ain’t No Sunshine, Allison Iraheta “Alone”
    9 – Siobhan Magnus, “Paint It Black”
    10 – Haley Reinhart, “House of the Rising Sun”
    11 – Tie between Elise’s “Whole Lotta Love”, Jessica’s “The Prayer” (finale), Joshua’s “This Is A Man’s World”, and Colton’s “Love The Way You Lie”

  • Anonymous

    Season 1- (You Make Me Feel) Like a Natural Woman- Kelly Clarkson
    Season 2- Proud Mary-Trenyce
    Season 3-Weekend in New England- Jennifer Hudson
    Season 4-Alone-Carrie Underwood
    Season 5-Open Arms-Elliott Yamin
    Season 6-If We Hold on Together-Jordin Sparks
    Season 7-I’ve Just Seen a Face-Chikezie
    Season 8-Nothing
    Season 9-Up to the Mountain-Crystal Bowersox
    Season 10-Candle in the Wind-Lauren Alaina
    Season 11-Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You-Skylar Laine

  • Eriko

    Season 1 – Kelly Clarkson – Stuff Like That
    Season 2 – Clay – Bridge over Trouble water
    Season 3 – Fantasia – Sumertime
    Season 4 – Bo Bice – In A Dream
    Season 5 – Chris Daughtry – Hemorrhage
    Season 6 – Melinda Doolittle – My Funny Valentine
    Season 7 – David Cook – Billy Jean
    Season 8 – Adam Lambert – Mad World
    Season 9 – Crystal Bowersox – Long as I can see Light/Give Me One Reason/Bobby McGee
    Season 10 – Haley Reinhart – House Of The Rising Sun
    Season 11 – Elise – Whole Lotta Love (best from all seasons)

  • Jean White

    Season 1 – Didn’t watch until finale.. Kelly – “A Moment Like This”
    Season 2 – Clay – “Solitaire”
    Season 3 – Fantasia – “Summertime”
    Season 4 – Carrie – “Alone”
    Season 5 – Taylor – “You Are So Beautiful”, “In The Ghetto”, “Something”, “Just Once”
    Season 6 – Jordin – “I Who Have Nothing”
    Season 7 – David Cook – “Billie Jean”
    Season 8 – Kris – “Ain’t No Sunshine”, “Heartless”
    Season 9 – Crystal – “Me & Bobby McGee”
    Season 10 – James – “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”, “Uprising”
    Season 11 – Phillip – “Home”, “We’ve Got Tonight”

  • Joyed

    My favorites by season – I have a live version of almost all of these on my ipod!

    S1 – Kelly Clarkson – “Without You” (Reprise)
    I know they picked this song for her, but I got chills listening to her perform it.

    S2 – Clay Aiken “Don’t Let the Sun go Down on Me”
    His version gave me chills – loved his pure belts.

    S3 – I completely missed this season cause I was out of the
    country and didn’t have TV

    S4 – Carrie Underwood “Alone”
    Her hair was crazy that night, but her vocals cemented her as my S4 fave

    S5 – Daughtry “Walk the Line”
    I LOVED the arrangement of this version and felt the performance was amazing. I was shocked how little this performance gets cited for him years later  (people tend to cite Hemorrhage) but I think this performance was great. 

    S6 – Jordin Sparks “I Who Have Nothing”
    Chillllsss.  I had loved her all along, but this performance was emotional and vocal perfection for me.

    S7 – David Cook “Hello”
    I just thought everything about this performance came together – the vocal and song arrangement combined for a moment and made me forget I was watching a competition show.  I knew he would win after that performance.

    S8 – Adam Lambert “Mad World”
    I happened to be visiting my Mom that week and we both looked at each other after that performance and thought he was amazing.  I knew that version of the song before, and he did the eerie wistfulness of the song total vocal justice.

    S9 – Didi Benami “Terrified”
    For me, this season had very few moments, and this little number from Hollywood was a true moment of vocal perfection.  It cemented me as a fan of Didi, and she wound up becoming my S9 fave.

    S10 – Lauren Alaina “Candle in the Wind” or Scotty “Gone” or Haley “You & I”
    I didn’t really feel there were any “moments” this season, in the sense that no performance rose above the level of enjoyable for me into truly memorable afterwards.  But I remember liking these performances when they occurred.

    S11 – Hollie Cavanaugh “River Deep Mountain High” or Phillip Phillips “Volcano”
    I’m not sure these are moments that really lasted with me, but I remember really enjoying them when they happened.  And both were surprises for me – Hollie nailed the fun nature of this upbeat song, while Phil surprised me with a
    mature and well done song.

  • Kevin Lie

    where’s Kris and Haley????

  • Gwen

    I also think Bo Bice’s hair deserves an honorable mention.  It was so pretty when he sang “In a Dream.”  :D

  • Anonymous

    Love your list MJ! I didn’t watch from the beginning but love Kelly C Stuff Like That There-so awesome!

    Season 4 Same as MJ
    Season 5–don’t remember any that well
    Season 6 –My Funny Valentine (Melinda D)
    Season 7- Jason Castro I don’t want to Cry (loved the arrangement–don’t think he received the credit he deserved) Also, Brooke and Graham Nash –Teach Your Children
    Season 8- Ring of Fire (Adam)
    Season 9 Crystal Crystal Crystal–
    Season 10 I’m with MJ and Casey’s Your Song. Also Moanin and Haley’s Blue. I loved a lot of Casey & Haley performances
    Season 11 Elise Vienna

  • yes

    These lists are so much fun but also so damn HARD. Here are a few of my choices (didn’t watch all seasons):

    5: Elliot Yamin – A song for you
    7: Chikezie Eze – I believe to my soul
    8: Allison Iraheta – Papa was a rolling stone
    9: Casey James – Jealous guy
    10: Haley Reinhart – House of the rising sun
    11: Joshua Ledet – It’s a man’s man’s man’s world

  • austin

    Really interesting how many people are picking Hollie for Season 11. She was kind of under the radar the whole season but clearly had a big impact.

  • Anonymous

     I am not sure how personal favorites could be considered wrong or even controversial. It’s a personal favorite. You didn’t title the blog post –the greatest vocalist/performances ever on idol.

  • Gwen

    Gosh, I forgot about Chikezie.  I still believe “She’s a Woman” got him into the Top 10.

  • Anonymous

    It’s fun to read all of your favorites!  So, I’ll play too :)

    S1: Kelly – Natural Woman
    S2: Ruben – Baby I Need Your Lovin’
    S3: Fantasia – Summertime
    S4: Carrie – Alone
    S5: Taylor – Levon
    S6: Blake – YGLABN
    S7: Brooke White – Let it Be
    S8: Adam – Whole Lotta Love*
    S9: Can’t remember a thing
    S10: Haley: Bennie & the Jets
    S11: Skylar: Love Sneakin’ up on You

    *I might lean more toward Tracks of My Tears being my favorite Season 8 performance, but I had to pick WLL because it is Mr. Spens’s favorite AI performance of all time.  Those 2 performances, plus Kris’s Heartless probably rank in my all-time Top 10.  So, it was hard for me to pick a favorite at all for that season.  

  • Mick

    S1- Tamyra Gray: A House is Not a Home
    S2- Kimberly Locke and Frenchie: Band of Gold
    S3- Fantasia: Summertime
    S4- Bo Bice: In A Dream
    S5- Elliot Yamin: A Song For You
    S6- Melinda Doolittle: My Funny Valentine
    S7- Carly Smithson: Jesus Christ Superstar
    S8- Adam Lambert and Alison Iraheta: Slow Ride
    S9- Didi Benami: Terrified
    S10-  Paul McDonald and Kendra Chantelle: Blackbird
    S11- Elise Testone: Vienna

  • Anonymous

    Oh, I forgot about Brooke’s Let It Be. I loved that one, too – she’s another of my favorite Idols ever.  

    LOL poor S9.

  • Anonymous

    Ok, here’s my contribution:

    Season 1: Kelly “Stuff Like That There”

    Season 2: Clay “Bridge Over Troubled Water”

    Season 3: Diana “Enough is Enough” & George “Take Me to
    the Pilot”

    Season 4: Bo “In a Dream”

    Season 5: Kat “Black Horse & the Cherry Tree”

    Season 6: Melinda “I’m a Woman” & Jordin “I Who Have

    Season 7: David Cook “Hello”

    Season 8: Adam “Mad World”

    Season 9: Crystal
    “People Get Ready”

    Season 10: Haley “House of the Rising Sun”

    Season 11: Elise “I Want It All”

  • Kesia Monteith

    I have only started watching since season 8, so I’m depending on Youtube to help me, LOL

    Season 1: Tamyra Gray “House Is Not a Home”
    Season 2: Kimberly Locke “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” (Do auditions count?)/”New York State Of Mind” 
    Season 3: Latoya London “All By Myself”
    Season 4: Bo Bice “In A Dream”/Carrie Underwood “Alone”
    Season 5: Elliot Yamin “If You Really Love Me”
    Season 6: Jordin Sparks “I Who Have Nothing”/Melinda Doolittle “I’m A Woman”
    Season 7: Carly Smithson “Jesus Christ Superstar” (I have no clue why she went home that night)
    Season 8: Kris Allen “She Works Hard For The Money”
    Season 9: Crystal Bowersox “Up To The Mountain”
    Season 10: Haley Reinhart “House of The Rising Sun”/Pia Toscano “I’ll Stand By You”
    Season 11: Elise Testone “Whole Lotta Love”/Joshua Ledet “When A Man Loves A Woman”, “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World”/Skylar Laine “Wind Beneath My Wings”

  • Anonymous

    S1: Kelly Clarkson, Stuff Like That There
    S2: Kimberley Locke, New York State of Mind
    S3: Fantasia, Summertime
    S4: Bo Bice, In a Dream
    S5: Chris Daughtry, I Walk the Line
    S6: Blake Lewis, You Give Love a Bad Name (Top 6)
    S7: David Cook, Always be My Baby
    S8: Kris Allen, Ain’t No Sunshine (Top 2)
    S9: Lee Dewyze, Treat Her Like a Lady
    S10: Pia Toscano, I’ll Stand By You
    S11: Skylar Laine, Where Do Broken Hearts Go

  • Tinawina

    OOOHH!! FUN!!! Here’s mine:

    S1. Kelly – Stuff Like That There
    S2. Hard to remember anything clearly from that year, didn’t watch all that much of it
    S3. Fanny – Summertime. Honorable mention – Latoya – All By Myself
    S4. Bo- In A Dream
    S5. Mandisa – I Don’t Hurt Anymore. Honorable Mention: Paris’ audition
    S6. (tie) Melinda – My Funny Valentine, Blake – You Give Love A Bad Name
    S7. Cookie – Billie Jean (Honorable Mention: Brooke – Love Is A Battlefield, Chiekeze – She’s A Woman)
    S8. Kris – Heartless
    S9. Crystal – Up From The Mountain
    S10. Haley & Casey – Moanin’. Honorable mention: Casey – Georgia On My Mind
    S11. Josh – When A Man Loves A Woman. Honorable Mention: Jessica – Stuttering

    ETA: Looking over the list I realize how much I love it when someone nails a song that I wasn’t expecting or seems off the beaten track somehow. The element of surprise works on me. LOL

  • V Jemmy

    I’ll have to throw in my two cents for the five seasons that I watched.

    Season 3 – I have to say none because the only song that I remember from this season I hate with a passion.

    Season 5 – Katherine McPhee – Over the Rainbow (Sooo hard to narrow this season to just one).

    Season 8 – Adam Lambert – Mad World

    Season 9 – Casey James – Jealous Guy

    Season 10 – Haley Reinhart – Rolling in the Deep (first time I’d ever heard the song)

  • Anonymous

    These would be my favorite songs, listed by artist, in no particular order. I missed quite a few seasons and I’m really biased towards season 7!

    s3: Fantasia Barrino: Always on my Mind (she won me over with this performance) and Summertime
    s7: David Cook: The World I know, Always Be My baby, Hello and All I really Need is You. 
    s7: David Archuleta: Stand By Me and Shop Around
    s7: Carly Smithson: Come Together
    s7: Syesha Mercado: One Rock n Roll too many, Yesterday
    s7: Jason Castro: Helleluliah & If I fell.
    s7: Chikezie: She’s a Woman (perhaps not one of the best performances, but certainly one of the most entertaining!)
    s8: Adam Lambert: Ring of Fire &  Mad World
    s8: Kris Allen: Heartless & She Works hard for the Money (the latter, only because it was one of my favorite performances of what seemed to be a really bad song choice).
    s11: Joshua: It’s a Man’s World
    s11: Elise: Whole Lotta Love
    s11: Skylar Laine: Born This Way

    I just realized that more than half of my favorite post-idol songs are by people who didn’t make this list!

  • Cory ??

    Oh Wow, that Summertime brought me back to when I feel in love with Fantasia (I wasn’t originally a fan when Season 3 started.) I was a huge Leah Labelle supporter.

    Some of my all time favorites would have to be:

    Jessica Sanchez – Stuttering
    Katharine McPhee – All Is Fair In Love
    Jennifer Hudson – I Believe In You and Me
    Haley Reinhart – Benny and the Jets
    Jessica Sanchez & Jennifer Holiday – And I’m Telling You (Finale Duet)

    That’s all I can think of right off the top of my head.

  • luvadamlambert

    Can’t believe I’m been watching *every* episode since I was 5- season 2! Thank you mom and dad !!

    Anyway mad world makes me cry every time <3 and I would have killed you if it wasn't your favorite mj lol jk

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t watch all of every season so I don’t have a favorite performance for all 11. And then for some seasons I have more than one. I’m a rebel like that lol.

    1 – Kelly Clarkson : Natural Woman & Stuff Like That There
    3 – Fantasia : Summertime (I stood up and clapped. Legit.)
    5 – Kat McPhee : Black Horse and the Cherry Tree
    6 – Blake Lewis : You Give Love a Bad Name
    7 – David Archuleta : Shop Around (this gets overlooked alot. I think it might have been the most fun he had with a performance on AI and it showed) & Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me 
         Jason Castro : Hallelujah
         David Hernandez : Papa Was a Rolling Stone (I have no idea how many times I rewatched this. A lot. So random)
         David Cook: Billie Jean (jfc was he ever HOT singing that) & Baba O’Riley
         Syesha Mercado : One Rock and Roll Too Many
    8 – Adam Lambert : Feeling Good & A Change is Gonna Come
         Allison Iraheta : Crybaby (going home version)
    9 – Casey James : Jealous Guy
    10 – Haley Reinhart : Bennie and the Jets
    11 – Jessica Sanchez : Stuttering 
           Phillip Phillips : Beggin’

    I might possibly have a slight bias towards season 7. Maybe.

  • Cory ??

    Oh how could I forget Kendra Chantelle’s “Impossible” performance last year, that was probably my favorite performance of Season 10. 

  • Anonymous

    I have a narrow list…
    s1  – tie Kelly, Natural Woman, Don’t Play that song, Walk on By, Stuff Like.., Reprise of Without You
    s2 – Ruben Superstar
    s3 – LaToya All by Myself
    s4 – Bo, In a Dream and Vehicle
    s5 – Taylor In the Ghetto
    s6 – Jordin I Who have Nothing
    s7 – Cookie Always be my Baby
    s8 s9 s10 all a blur
    s11 – Elise pretty much all of hers 
    I would have to give an honorable mention to most of the group numbers of Season 7…GREAT STUFF!
    Honorable honorable mention: Bo Bice and the whole cast doing Sweet Home Alabama on the finale. Still my fav finale evahhh!

  • Tiffany

    s1- KC  A Moment Like This
    s2- Ruben- Kiss and Say Goodbye
    s3- Fantasia- Summertime and Fool in Love
    s4- Bo- Money and Dont Let the Sun Go Down
    s5- Taylor- You Are So Beautiful, Mandisa- I Dont Hurt Anymore, Elliot- Trouble
    s6- Blake – You Give Love a Bad Name
    s7- David A – Imagine,  David C- Billie Jean
    s8- Kris, Aint No Sunshine  Adam- Black and White
    s9- Casey – Jealous Guy
    s10- Haley- House of the Rising Sun
    s11- Josh- Its a Mans World and Jar of Hearts, Elise – One and Only

    These are the ones that I have replayed over the years and can think of without even trying so I guess that makes them my favorites :)

  • Ryan

    casey as the season 10 surprised me. but listening to it reminded me how much i LOVED last seasons elton john episode. first lauren does candle in the wind, then casey and your song, and haley comes out and SHOCKS me with bennie and then jets (i hated her before) but these past two seasons have been pretty amazing. congrats nigel, watever ur doing is working!!!!!

  • Shana Collier

    I’m going to try to list my favorites for the seasons I watched.  In order to make it more accurate to what I was honestly thinking those years, I’ll try to make them be from my favorite that season.

    3. Jon Peter Lewis “Jailhouse Rock”
    4. Constantine Maroulis “Bohemian Rhapsody”
    5. Elliott Yamin “Trouble” 
    6. Blake Lewis “You Give Love a Bad Name”
    7. David Cook “Always Be My Baby”
    8. Adam Lambert “Ring of Fire”
    9. Casey James “Jealous Guy”
    10. James Durbin “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”
    11. Colton Dixon “Love the Way You Lie”

    What a talented GROUP! And yes, you can blame me for being someone who loves WGWGs

  • Anonymous

    I’ve watched every season though it was tough to pick anything from seasons 2 and 3, just not my style of music those years at all.

    1. Kelly, I Surrender
    2. Clay, DLTSGDOM (i know…but it’s the only one I remember)
    3. Fantasia, Summertime
    4. Carrie, Alone
    5. Chris Daughtry, Hemorrage (In My Hands)
    6. Blake, YGLABN
    7. David Cook, Billie Jean
    8. Kris, Heartless
    9. Lee, Simple Man
    10. James, WYSLMT
    11. Phillip, Volcano

    Yep, I like rock music.

  • Cookie Dunker

     Season 1 – Kelly Clarkson – Stuff Like That
    Season 2 – Clay – Bridge over Trouble water
    Season 2-Clay-Solitaire
    Season 3-Jennifer Hudson-Weekend in New England
    Season 4-Carrie Underwood-Alone
    Stopped watching after season 4

  • Gwen

    OMG.  Paris Bennett.  Forgot her, so “These Foolish Things” needs to be added to my list.

  • Anonymous

    I only started watching in Season 5, so I’m going to start from there:
    S5: Elliott Yamin – A Song for You
    S6: Blake Lewis – You Give Love a Bad Name
    S7: David Archuleta – Imagine
    S8: Matt Giraud – So Small
    S9: Lee Dewyze & Crystal Bowersox – Falling Slowly
    S10: Haley Reinhart – I Who Have Nothing
    S11: Joshua Ledet – It’s a Man’s World

  • Rhoda Walsh

    Clay Aiken’s “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” or “Solitaire” from Season Two belong on your list.  Clay’s beautiful versions of these two songs are Classics!

  • ZsusK

    Ooo! I’ll play!  OK. I’m going to restrict myself to only one performance per season. But, that doesn’t mean there weren’t other killer performances each year that I loved just as much.
    1. Tamyra Gray – A House Is Not a Home (I loved all of Kelly’s performances, but this one was one of the defining moments of the season.)
    2. Ruben Studdards original audition of Superstar. (I think this audition set the tone for the season. It was, as Simon said, a season about substance over style.)
    3. Fantasia’s Summertime. Still love it.
    4. Bo Bice’s Whipping Post. All the fuss was about Constantine, Mario, and Carrie.  Bo changed that with this early performance.
    5. Elliott’s A Song For You (Suddenly he was a contender.)
    6. Melinda Doolittle’s “I’m a Woman”
    7. This is a tough one. I have about 5, and each from a different contestant. But, I’m going to stay loyal to my fave from that season and go with Michael John’s “It’s All Wrong But It’s All Right.” Very sexy interpretation.
    8. Adam’s “Ring of Fire.” I could name about 4 other Adam performances, but this was one of the most controversial performances ever, and really let the audience know they had someone quite different on their hands. 
    9. Crystal’s final 2 night.  Seriously. She blew the roof off the joint 3 times. (Yes I’m cheating.)
    10. This is a real challenge because I truly didn’t find any moments. It was one of my least favorite seasons. For me, the biggest moment was when they saved Casey. But, if I have to pick a performance I’ll go with Haley and Casey’s “Moanin.” 
    11. Joshua’s “It’s a Man’s World.”  

  • Stefan Wind

    Season 4: Constantine – Bohemian Rhapsody
    Season 5: Kellie Pickler – Fancy
    Season 6: Blake Lewis – You Give Love a Bad Name
    Season 7: David Cook – Hello
    Season 8: Kris Allen – Heartless
    Season 9: Siobhan Magnus – Paint it Black
    Season 10: Haley and Casey – Moanin’
    Season 11: Hollie Cavanagh – The Power of Love

  • Anonymous

    I’ve watched every season. My favorites:

    S1. Kelly-Stuff Like That There

    S2. Clay-To Love Somebody

    S3. Fantasia-Summertime

    S4. Bo-Whipping Post

    S5. Daughtry-Wanted-Dead or Alive

    S6. Blake-You Give Love A Bad Name

    S7. Cook-Always Be My Baby

    S8. Adam-Whole Lotta Love

    S9. Lee-The Boxer

    S10. Haley-Benny and The Jets

    S11. Phillip-Volcano

    Favorite duets on Idol:

    1. Lee and Crystal-Falling Slowly

    2. Adam and Allison-Slow Ride

    3. Phillip and Elise-Somebody That I Used To Know

    4. Haley and Casey-Moanin

  • katy

    Season 2, seriously, KimLo & Frenchie? No way they outsang or out performed Clay & Ruben. Still think Clay’s To Love Somebody was the best and Ruben’s Superstar.

  • ??????

    S1: (Didn’t watch but what I’ve seen) Kelly Clarkson – Stuff Like That There
    S2: (Didn’t watch but) Clay Aiken – Bridge Over Troubled Water
    S3: (Didn’t watch but) Fantastia – Summertime
    S4: (First performance I ever remember seeing on Idol) Carrie Underwood – Inside Your Heaven
    S5: Katharine McPhee – Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Chris Daughtry – Hemorrage (In My Hands)
    S6: (too many to pick! lol) Jordin Sparks – Broken Wing, Melinda Doolittle – Funny Valentine
    S7: David Cook – Hello, Carly Smithson – Here You Come Again, Jason Castro – Daydreamer & Hallelujah, Brooke White – I Am… I Said (fun fact, studio version still #5 most played song on my iPod since 2008)
    S8: (Without any question in my mind) Adam Lambert & Allison Iraheta – Slow Ride. (Also loved) Kris Allen – Ain’t No Sunshine
    S9: (Eek everything about this season was just NO for me but..) Crystal Bowersox – Me And Bobby McGee
    S10: (Ok I’m not gonna say all Haley b/c that’s not fair lol but if I had to pick ONE Haley moment then…) Haley Reinhart – I Who Have Nothing. (Otherwise I loved this because she flipped it to country) Lauren Alaina – Candle In the Wind, (and I also LOVED) Casey Abrams – Georgia on My Mind (in Hollywood)
    S11: (By far) Elise Testone – Whole Lotta Love, Vienna. (But I’m gonna have to go all Slezak right now lol and say…) Skylar Laine – The Show Must Go On

  • Barth

     2. Ruben Studdards original audition of Superstar. (I think this
    audition set the tone for the season. It was, as Simon said, a season
    about substance over style.)”

    Clay Aiken’s version of Superstar wasn’t shown until the American Idol Rewind in 2007. It is easy to see why, his was much better than Ruben’s.

  • Platonic Tech

    This is too much of a Sophie’s Choice for me.  I am torn between the shock of reworkings of songs and the poignancy of beautiful songs done well and quirky joy of an underdog shining, all in the same season.  I mean, how do you pick between Season 7’s shock of Cook’s Billy Jean, the poignancy of David A’s “Imagine,” or  Amanda Overmyer’s  “You Cant Do That.”  Or Season 8’s Kris Allen doing “Heartless,” Lamber’s “Mad World” or Allison/Adam’s “Slow Ride”?  Can’t. Be. Done.

  • Anonymous

    Quite a few performances that I’ve really liked such as Hollie’s “Save Me,” but loved almost all of P2’s and everything from Adam.  As I’ve mentioned before, IMO Adam’s ACIGC is the finest vocal ever on Idol.

  • Emily

    I missed season 1, so…

    2: Band of Gold for prefinals, Solitaire for finals
    3: Summertime: still the moment for me. Just indescribable what watching it was like
    4. Alone. In A Dream. idek I missed a lot of this season because of college
    5. I’d have to agree with yours, but I have a soft spot for Paris Bennett’s audition
    6. Melinda: I’m A Woman/My Funny Valentine, Blake: YGLABN or Time of the Season, Jordin: I Who Have Nothing
    7: prefinals: Brooke’s Love is a Battlefield, finals: Carly’s Here You Come Again, DCook: Billie Jean, Little Sparrow, the studio of ABMB (sorry but the live version is flat and shaky and we all know it)
    8: holy hell. Tracks of My Tears. Cry Baby (the sing out), Falling Slowly/Heartless/Ain’t No Sunshine (reprise)
    9: surprisingly Paint it Black. Jealous Guy.
    10 hmmm probably Moanin. House of the Rising Sun
    11. Vienna/WLL, almost the entirety of Vegas 

  • Mateja Praznik

    1. Kelly Clarkson – Natural Woman
    2. Clay Aiken – Solitaire
    3. Fantasia – Summertime
    4. Carrie Underwood – Alone
    5. Daughtry – Hemorrhage
    6. Jordin Sparks – I Who Have Nothing
    7. David Archuleta – Imagine
    8. Adam Lambert – Mad World
    9. Siobhan Magnus – Paint It Black
    10. Haley Reinhart – House Of The Raising Sun
    11. Jessica Sanchez – Stuttering

  • Ryan

    I’m 14 so i didnt start watching until season 6, but i have watched plenty performances from the first 5 seasons to have favorites. so my list is:
    Season 1: Kelly Clarkson- Stuff Like That There
    Season 2: Kimberly Locke- Band of Gold (top 3)
    Season 3: Im sorry everyone, i just don’t like fantasia’s voice. but i will put summertime here, along with Diana Degarmo’s Don’t Cry Out Loud
    Season 4: Carrie Underwood- Alone (AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! :D)
    Season 5: Katherine McPhee- Over the Rainbow 
    Season 6: Jordin Sparks- Broken Wing (my hometown girl SLAYED it!!!!)
    Season 7: David Cook- Billie Jean
    Season 8: Adam and Mad World. Kris and Heartless. Allison and……. anything she sang. these were the ONLY good contestants of S8
    Season 9: Crystal Bowersox- ___________ fill in that blank. even her worse was better then the others best.
    Now for the BEST SEASONS!!!!!! :D
    Season 10: Lauren- Flat on the Floor, Anyway, Candle In the Wind/ Haley- House of the Rising Sun, Rolling in the Deep, Bennie and the Jets. Pia- I’ll Stand by you. James- Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow. Casey- Your Song. Scotty- Gone
    Season 11: Hollie- how do i choose?!?!?!?! My real favorite of the season was Bleeding Love. But MANY honorable mentions- The Climb, Rolling In The Deep, River Deep Mountain High, Perfect, Faithfully, Power of Love, Reflection, All the Man That I Need. Skylar- Where Do Broken Hearts Go, Wind Beneath My Wings, Fortunate Son, Stay With Me, The Show Must Go On. Joshua- Mans World, WAMLAW, To Love Somebody. Jessica- AIATY, Sweet Dream, IWALY. Elise- Whole Lotta Love, Vienna. Phillip- Volcano

  • Anonymous

    1 – ALL of Kelly’s!  Gun to head, I would probably say Without You on Results Night when the audience stood up one-by-one as she was finishing.  I miss those days of non-mandatory standing ovations.  But that’s another topic!

    2 – Clay: To Love Somebody.  Loved this season so much!  Ruben was actually my fav, lol.

    3 – Diana: Don’t Cry Out Loud/Jennifer: Weekend in New England – absolute tie. 

    *Raises hand* –>  Only person on the planet who doesn’t like Fantasia’s “Summertime” (apparently). 

    4 – Carrie: Alone

    5 – Truly cannot name one that stands the test of time.  I was a Daughtry fan then, though.

    6 – Boycotted after Taylor won.  Jordin Sparks fan now.

    7 – Jason: Somewhere Over the Rainbow

    8 – ALL of Adam’s.  Gun to head, I would have to pick…Ring of Fire.

    9 – Lee: Treat her Like a Lady 

    10 – Casey: Nature Boy 

    11 – Didn’t watch enough to have a fav.  Semi-boycotted after the treatment of Haley.

    That was fun!  I am surprised at some of my answers, after really thinking about them.  I love my list because I truly went with favorite performances, rather than performers, except in the cases of Adam and Kelly where fav performer/performance were always one-in-the-same.  Others, like Casey and Lee, weren’t even my favorites that year but undoubtedly delivered the Moments that kept me coming back to to Idol year after (almost every) year despite its flaws.  And there are quite a few, but I will always have a special place in my heart for AI.

  • Anonymous

    Oh I’m so happy someone mentioned David Archuleta’s “Shop Around”. I remember being blown away by that performance.  He just seemed too young to pull that one off!

  • Itsmekg

    My favorite performance from season 8 was Allison singing “Cry Baby” on her exit.  That really moved me.

    If I tried to pick my favorite from each season, I would be lost, because as the seasons progressed, I remember the individual more than the performance.

    Adam was a stand out as was Allison and Kris from S8

    I liked Bo Bice, Taylor Hicks, David Cook, Fantasia.

    My favorite performance from S11 was Joshua – When A Man Loves A Woman, then It’s a Mans World. 

  • Anonymous

    I agree with what you said about David’s A’s Shop Around. It really was one of his best!

  • Anonymous

    I limited myself to 1 favorite per season, but most seasons I could have listed several.  ( David A’s Imagine and David C’s Hello for Season 7, Adam’s Mad World for season 8, Siobhan’s Paint it Black for Season 9, just to name a few.)  I hope all of my links work.  I didn’t watch every episode between Season 2 & part way through Season 7, but I’ve seen enough on youtube to make a call on Seasons 3-6.

    Season 1 – Kelly Clarkson – Natural Woman.  (That high note on “alive” got my attention.)

    Season 2 – Clay Aiken – Bridge Over Troubled Water (In JLo’s words “I got goosies”)

    Season 3 – Fantasia – Summertime (2nd performance best I’ve ever seen)

    Season 4 – Carrie Underwood – Alone (I was speechless when she sang this)

    Season 5 – Chris Daughtry – I Walk the Line (He showed a huge range with this song)

    Season 6 – Melinda Doolittle – My Funny Valentine (She captured my heart with this performance)

    Season 7 – David Cook – Billie Jean (Game changer)

    Season 8 – Kris Allen Heartless (Media sat up & took notice with this one)

    Season 9 – Katelyn Epperly – The Scientist  (Out of left field – I know, but I loved it.)

    Season 10 – Casey Abrams & Haley Reinhart – Moanin’

    Season 11 – Colton Dixon – Love the Way You Lie (Perfect in every way)

  • jobeob987

    I didn’t begin watching AI until season 4 so here goes:

    AI4:  Alone — Carrie Underwood
    AI5:  A Song for You — Elliot Yamin & Over the Rainbow  — Katharine McPhee
    AI6:  I Who Have Nothing — Jordin Sparks
    AI7:  Billie Jean — David Cook
    AI8:  Ring of Fire  — Adam Lambert (blown AWAY by this!)
    AI9:  People Get Ready — Crystal Bowersox
    AI10:  Bennie and the Jets  — Haley Reinhart
    AI11:  And I Am Telling You  — Jessica Sanchez

    BTW, these are my faves of each season. If I had to choose 11 overall favorites, they’d probably be mostly Adam Lambert’s with Ring of Fire topping the entire list. I think he and Allison Iraheta broke AI for me. It was never the same afterwards. ;-)

  • Larc

    I agree with a lot of choices, but there are a couple of different ones I liked.

      1- Kelly – “Stuff Like That There”
      2- Clay – “Build Me Up Buttercup”
      3- Fantasia – “Summertime”
      4- Carrie – “Alone”
      5- Chris – “Hemorrhage (in My Hands)”
      6- Melinda – “My Funny Valentine”
      7- David A. – “Imagine”
      8- Adam – “Mad World”
      9- Crystal – “Me and Bobby McGee”
    10- Scotty – “Gone”
    11- Joshua – “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”

  • Anonymous

    I only started watching Idol during season 7.

    Season 7 : Everything and anything David Cook performed.
    Season 8 : Mad World Adam Lambert
    Season 9 : Don’t remember
    Season 10: Don’t remember
    Season 11: Bleeding Love, Save Me and almost all of what Hollie Cavanagh performed.

  • Anonymous

    Hmm, not much caught my attention as much as Lee’s Treat Her Like a Lady & Simple Man.

  • Cassie Gildert

    Season 1-It’s really hard to remember this long ago and I was pretty young, but I’m going to say “Natural Woman” by Kelly Clarkson.
    Season 2-didn’t really watch this season until the finale.
    Season 3-I don’t remember many songs this year, but one I did like was “Enough is Enough” by Diana Degarmo.
    Season 4-“Alone” by Carrie Underwood and “Time in a Bottle” by Bo Bice.
    Season 5-“I Walk the Line and “Hemmorhage” by Chris Daughtry.
    Season 6-“You Give Love a Bad Name” by Blake Lewis
    Season 7-Without a doubt, “Always Be My Baby” by David Cook. Been on my IPod for 5 years.
    Season 8-“Mad World” by Adam Lambert. Still my favorite performance ever on the show.
    Season 9-“The Boxer” by Lee Dewyze.
    Season 10-“Maybe I’m Amazed” by James Durbin and “If I Die Young” by Lauren Alaina.
    Season 11-“Home” by Phillip Phillips.

  • Bill Konigsberg

    Hmm… great choices all. Here are mine.
    Season 1: Tamyra Gray – A House is Not a Home
    Season 2: Clay Aiken – Bridge Over Troubled Water
    Season 3: Fantasia – I Believe (honorable mention to Matt Rogers for “Hard to Handle,” I loved that performance!)
    Season 4: N/A – Didn’t care for that season!
    Season 5: Elliot Yamin – Moody’s Mood for Love
    Season 6: Melinda Doolittle – I Got Rhythm
    Season 7: David Archuleta – Imagine (honorable mention to Alexandrea Lushington for Spinning Wheel)
    Season 8: Adam Lambert – Mad World (honorable mention to Kris Allen for Falling Slowly)
    Season 9: Siobhan Magnus – Superstition
    Season 10: Haley Reinhart – Benny and the Jets (honorable mention to Haley for What Is and What Will Never Be)
    Season 11: Elise Testone – Vienna Waits

  • halo9125

    Only a handful stick out in my mind- Adam’s Mad World is still one of my all time favorites. LaKisha Jones “This Ain’t a Love Song” and Jordin Sparks “I Who Have Nothing” stand out. And of course, Pia’s “I’ll Stand By You” and “All In Love is Fair”.

  • AJ Srichantra

    This is my list of faves based on my reaction watching the live performance and being wowed as well as studio versions that have the most number of plays:

    S1: Kelly Clarkson – “Stuff Like That There” and “Natural Woman”, Tamyra Gray – “A House Is Not A Home”S2: Clay Aiken – “Solitaire” & “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, Kimberley Locke – “New York State Of Mind”, Trenyce – “Come See About Me” & “Proud Mary”
    S3: Fantasia – “Summertime”, Jennifer Hudson – “A Weekend In New England” & “Circle of Life”, LaToya London – “Don’t Rain on My Parade”
    S4: Carrie Underwood – “Alone” & Bo Bice “In A Dream”
    S5: Katharine McPhee – “Somewhere over the Rainbow” & “Come Rain or Come Shine”, Daughtry – “I Walk the Line”, Elliott Yamin – “Moody’s Mood for Love”, Paris Bennett – “These Foolish Things” & “Fever”, Mandisa – “I Don’t Hurt Anymore”, Kellie Pickler – “Walking After Midnight” (Dang this was a good season, I liked way too many)
    S6: Melinda Doolittle – “My Funny Valentine”, “Nutbush City Limits”, “I’m A Woman”, “Home”, “Have A Nice Day” (can you tell she was my fave that season?) LaKisha Jones – “And I’m Telling You”, “This Ain’t a Love Song”, Blake Lewis – “You Give Love A Bad Name”
    S7: David Cook – “Billie Jean”, “Always Be My Baby” David Archuleta – “Imagine” Brooke White – “Let It Be”, Carly Smithson – “Come Together”
    S8: Adam Lambert – “Mad World”, Tracks of My Tears”, “A Change Is Gonna Come”, “Whole Lotta Love” (pretty much all his performances for me) Allison Iraheta – “Cry Baby”, “Someone to Watch Over Me”, “Hot Stuff”, and “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” (Does “True Colors” count with Cindy Lauper in the Finale?)
    S9: Crystal Bowersox – “Up to the Mountain” & “People Get Ready”
    S10: Pia Toscano – “I’ll Stand By You”, Haley Reinhart – “What Is And What Should Never Be”, “House of the Rising Sun”, “I Who Have Nothing”, “Bennie and the Jets”
    S11: Jessica Sanchez – “Sweet Dreams”, “Stuttering”, “And I’m Telling You (both the competition performance and the duet with Jennifer Holiday)”, “Steal Away”, “Try a Little Tenderness” & “I Will Always Love You” Elise Testone – “Whole Lotta Love”, “Vienna”, “Let’s Stay Together”. Joshua Ledet – “It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World”, “When A Man Loves A Woman” “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me (with Jessica)

    I guess I was a little to overzealous with this list. haha.

  • Jean White

    Aw, I love your Season 10 pick – for me it will always be the “moment” of the whole season. :)

    ETA: tigervixxxen, et tu!

  • Axxxel

    Oh yeah, agree with season 8 and 9…

  • Charlotte Jones

    I can’t fairly play this game as I only tuned in seriously last year.  But I do love that entire clip of Casey’s from season 10.  He is my Idol of choice, I loved the comedic intro, the look after the make-over, and particularly his interpretation of the song.  I also loved Moanin’ and hope Casey and Haley really do continue to turn out duets, like the upcoming, Hit the Road Jack on Casey’s album set for release on June 26.  I also loved Elise’s Whole Lotta Love.  Thanks MJ.

  • Anonymous

    Love your enthusiasm – enjoyed your post very much.

  • Kitty Armistead

    I can only remember from season 3 up, so we’ll start there.

    S3: “Summertime” (duh), JHuds, “The Circle Of Life”, The Huff, “Take Me To The Pilot”

    S4: Bo, “Vehicle”/”Stand By Me”, Carrie, “Bless The Broken Road”/”Love Is A Battlefield”/”Sin Wagon”/”Trouble”, Vonzell, “Best Of My Love”

    S5: Mandisa, “Never” (I LOVE HER), Taylor, “Play That Funky Music” (don’t judge me, I loved it), Chris, “Higher Ground”

    S6: Melinda Doolittle (pretty much all of it), Lakisha, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”/”This Ain’t A Love Song”, Blake, “Time Of The Season”/”You Give Love A Band Name”/”Virtual Insanity”

    S7: DavidC, “All Right Now”/”Billie Jean”/”Always Be My Baby”, Brooke, “Let It Be”/”Love Is A Battlefield”/”Every Breath You Take”, Michael, “It’s All Wrong, But It’s All Right”/”Don’t You (Forget About Me)”/”We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions”/”Light My Fire”, Amanda, “I Hate Myself For Loving You” (I have a weakness for rocker chicks)

    S8: Adam, “Black Or White”/”Slow Ride”/”The Tracks Of My Tears”, Kris, “Ain’t No Sunshine”/”Heartless”/”She Works Hard For The Money”, Allison, “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone”/”Someone To Watch Over Me”/”Cry Baby”

    S9: Crystal Bowersox (pretty much all of it), Siobhan, “Wicked Game”/”Think”/”House Of The Rising Sun”, Didi, “Terrified”/”Rhiannon”/”Play With Fire”, Katelyn (ROBBED), “The Scientist”

    S10: Haley, “What Is And What Should Never Be”/”Bennie And The Jets”/ “I (Who Have Nothing)”/”House Of The Rising Sun”/”You And I”/”You Really Got A Hold On Me”, Lauren, “Flat On The Floor”/”Born To Fly”/”Turn On The Radio”, James, “Living For The City”

    S11: QUEEN ELISE (except for “I Want To Know What Love Is), Phillip, “In The Midnight Hour”/”Hard To Handle”/”Still Rainin'”, Skylar, “Stay With Me”/”Born This Way”/”I Heard It Through The Grapevine”, Hollie, “Rolling In The Deep”, Jessica, “Love You I Do”, “Raise Your Glass” (group performance on results night, special mention)

    Thumbs up to anyone who read all the way through that! :-)

  • Anonymous

    didn’t really watch until Season 5
    Season 6 Melinda Doolittle  My Funny Valentine and almost every song she sang
    Season 7 David Archuleta   Imagine, Shop Around, DL9TSGDOM etc etc.  Also loved many other performances.  Still favorite season of all time.
    Season 9 Siobhan House of the Rising Sun
    Season 10 Haley Bennie and the Jets
    Season 11 Holle  Bleeding love

  • austin

    So interesting to see who the enduring favourites are from each season. Also interesting to see from peoples choices which seasons had one or two stand out performers and which had a wider field of contenders. SEems to be:
    Season 1: Kelly (A little love for Tamyra, but Justin totally forgotten)
    Season 2: Ruben and Clay (The season was all about who would win out of those two an dthey are clearly still the standouts from that year)
    Season 3: Fantasia (most people mentioning J.Hud but Latoya London forgotten)
    Season 4: Bo and Carrie (Just as this season was all about those two)
    Season 5: one of the most talented fields, so hard to pick a winner that year and peoples picks come from a variety fo people – taylor, kat, elliot, daughtry, mandisa. Though the lasting stand out seems to be kat mcphee or daughtry
    Season 6: Jordin, Melinda and Blake (this season all about those three and lakisha, but she seems to be forgotten)
    Season 7: Like season 5 such a talented year with so many mentioned – david c, david a, jason, carly, brooke, syesha. no definitive stand out looking back.
    Season 8: Adam, Kris and Alison (teh season was all about them and everyoen is calling them. interesting a lot of people saying these three were the best ever)
    season 9: Crystal (she should have won clearly as she has dominated peoples favourite from thsi season. interesting still a lot fo love for siobhan magnus)
    season 10: Haley (the clear favourite. most interesting here is how even lauren has got mention, but very few people pick a scotty song – shows how he really never had a moment on teh show…how did he win????)
    Season 11: Elise/Holly/Josh (liek seasons 5 and 7, so many good people and so hard to pick a winner throughout. people have mentioned colton and phillip an djessica too, but elise and holly seem to get most peoples votes)

    So which season do people think was the best ever? What about top 5 idols of all time looking at their whole body of work on the show (but discounting what they have done since)?

  • Axxxel

    Just mentioning the season I watched and I had my OMG-moment:
    Season 2 : Ruben Studdard: A whole new world
    Season 5 : Katharine Mc Phee: Somewhere over the rainbow
    Season 6 : Blake Lewis : You gave love a bad name
    Season 7 : David Cook : Billie Jean
    Season 8 : Adam Lambert : If I can’t have you and Kris Allen: Heartless
    Season 9 : Shiobhan Magnus : Paint it black
    Season 10 : Jacob Lusk : You are all I need to get by (he got a kiss from Steve Tyler hehe).
    Season 11 : Colton Dixon: Love the way you lie

  • guinness 416

    Interesting to see everyone’s picks.  I’m surprised by how many people are picking a Skylar song as their favourite this year!  Not criticizing anyone, just surprised!  I’ve not watched every year but Elise’s “Whole Lotta Love” is probably the Idol performance I’ve enjoyed the most of any season, and been most impressed by. 

  • Barth

     “So which season do people think was the best ever? What about top 5
    idols of all time looking at their whole body of work on the show”

    cool idea but like the original thread topic, it isn’t very accurate for all seasons because a large number didn’t start watching until after the first few and best, in my opinion, seasons.

  • V Jemmy


    season 9: Crystal (she should have won clearly as she has dominated
    peoples favourite from thsi season. interesting still a lot fo love for
    siobhan magnus)

    I completely forgot about Crystal…  Wow.  I would trade Casey James’ Jealous Guy for Crystal’s Me and Bobby McGee.

  • Patroo

    I started watching since season 7

    S7 : David Cook – Always Be My Baby

    Although he was known for his creative arrangements, everyone was like, David and Mariah, no way! But he turned this sweet girly popsong into a haunting angsty anthem. 

    S8: Kris Allen – Falling Slowly

    He choose to sing this song that not everybody knows, but imho was the moment he became the frontrunner. Of course there was Adam, but for the humble and gentle Kris, this was the perfect song at the perfect moment.

    S9: Lee DeWyze – Treat Her Like A Lady

    He had the potential, but he never showed it. Part of the reason was because he was terrified on the stage. With this song he let it all out and surpassed himself.

    S10: James Durbin – Maybe I’m Amazed

    With this subtle performance he has shown America he is not Adam Lambert 2.0, but an amazing singer. 

    S11: Phillip Phillips – U Got It Bad

    I became very impatient and tired with his performances, which all sounded the same to me, until he performed this song. Making this Usher-classic into an unplugged jam-session was a very nice treat.

  • Sassycatz

    Ah, this is fun.

    Season 1 — Although I’ve seen a Youtube video of Kelly Clarkson singing “Stuff Like That There,” I did not actually watch the season, so I’m prepared to believe it would’ve been my favorite, but who knows?

    Season 2 — First season I watched just to see what all the hullabaloo was about. I was a Clay fan during the show, but never followed him after it was over. I liked a number of his performances but can’t really remember which I liked the best.

    Season 3 — Fantasia’s Summertime. Hands down.

    Season 4 — I tuned out during this season, since I’m not a country fan. I liked Bo Bice the best, though. His A cappella performance of “In a Dream” was fabulous.

    Season 5 — Many good performances this season, but the one that stands out for me is Elliott Yamin’s “Moody’s Mood for Love.” Great performance of a song not well known to the audience.

    Season 6 — Ironically, even though I was not a fan of this season, I actually have two favorite performances: Melinda Doolittle’s “My Funny Valentine” and Blake Lewis’ “You Give Love A Bad Name.”

    Season 7 — Needless to say, this was my favorite season and, for me, there were so many excellent performances. I could list all but a couple of David Cook’s, easily — especially “Billie Jean” — but I’ll narrow it down to his “The World I Know,” because it was the perfect end. Pure emotion and defiance and capped off a competitive run that encompassed not ONE repeat performance. Take that, Simon Cowell!

    Season 8 — Kris Allen’s “Heartless.” That performance won him the show.

    Season 9 — Crystal Bowersox’ “People Get Ready.” She broke down at the end and I started to cry as well.

    Season 10 — Casey Abrams, with his bass, performing “Georgia on My Mind” either in Hollywood or Vegas. (Can’t recall which.) What a cool cat. ;-)

    Season 11 — Elise Testone’s “Whole Lotta Love”  Very sexy interpretation. Just loved how she played with the notes.

  • Anonymous

    Love lists, love many of your choices, my list is
    in no particular order

    In a dream, Bo Bice
    Summertime, Fantasia
    Superstar Ruben
    Taylor, Trouble
    Adam, Tracks of My Tears
    Tamyra , Fool in Love
    Crystal, Up To The Mountain
    David A., Angels
    Jessica Sanchez, Youre Gonna Love Me

    I wanted to represent all seasons but I could
    not leave Tamyra off, hence I had to leave off
    Blake or Melinda but just wanted to mention
    They were standouts that season.

    I also made my list before I viewed comments.

  • Anonymous

    My favorite performances from my favorite Seasons were:
    S1: Kelly- Stuff Like That There
    S2: Clay-Bridge Over Troubled Water
    S5: Elliott-A Song For You
    S7: David Archuleta -Imagine or Shop Around ( Loved both performances)
    S8: Adam Lambert- Ring of Fire or Tracks of My Tears
    S10: Casey Abrams- Your Song (Loved it)
    S11: Phillip-Volcano

  • saffagirl

    I’ve only been watching since season 6, so here goes:

    6 – Melinda Doolittle – “My Funny Valentine” (Best vocal performance I’ve heard on AI, I was hooked on American Idol from this moment on)
    7 – David Cook – “The World I Know” (Just so moving)
    8 – Kris Allen – “To Make You Feel My Love” closely followed by “Heartless”
    9 – Crystal Bowersox – “Up to the Mountain” (so much emotion)
    10 – Haley & Casey – “Moanin'” (Best duet on AI, for me)
    11 – Phillip Phillips – Volcano (A performance I never thought Phillip was capable of)

  • Anonymous

    I forgot about David Archuleta’s singing “Angels”. I agree that was another favorite performance by David in S7.


    S1:  Kelly Clarkson, A Natural Woman
    S2:  Ruben Studdard, Superstar
    S3:  Fantasia, Summertime
    S4:  Bo Bice, In A Dream
    S5:  Katherine McPhee, I Have Nothing
    S6:  Didn’t watch it much
    S7:  Didn’t watch it much
    S8:  Adam Lambert, ALL OF HIS PERFORMANCES
    S9:  Adam Lambert mentor episodes (sorry didn’t watch the whole season)
    S10:  Haley Reinhart, Blue, Bennie and The Jets, I Who Have Nothing
    S11:  Jessica Sanchez, And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going

  • Anonymous

    *in no particular order*

    1) Kelly – Natural Woman
    2) Ruben – Let’s just Kiss and Say Goodbye
    3) Fantasia – Summertime
    4) Bo – In a Dream
    5) Daughtry – Hemorrhage, Kath – Somewhere Over the rainbow and Elliott A song for you
    6) Melinda – Have a Nice Day
    7)  Cook – First Time Ever I saw your Face, World I know and Billie Jean; Carly – Come together; Michael – It’s all wrong but It’s alrigh; Syesha – Vanishing.
    8) Allison “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “Hot Stuff”, Kris “Heartless” and “Falling Slowly”
    9) Crystal – As Long as I can see the light.
    10) Haley – House of The rising sun.
    11) Jessica – And I’m Telling you, Elise – Whole Lotta Love, Joshua – It’s a man’s world.

  • Anonymous

    Haleys house of the rising sun should have been your season 10 pick.  But other than that i agree with your choices!

  • Cathy Mcguire Kosak

    I don’t quite know…season 8 I REALLY thought Adam should have won…which was a little before I learned more..( I think he’s extremely talented) didn’t watch season 9..wasn’t planning on watching season 10 either…..happened to turn it on one night & heard Scotty’s audition….that was it, I WAS HOOKED!!!..he is the best thing in MANY years…no other AI WILL EVER COME CLOSE TO THIS AMAZING SINGER…many of us agree….can’t figure out some of these favorite picks…but to each his own !!!!

  • Anonymous

    I’m surprised by how many people are picking a Skylar song as their favourite this year!

    She was my favorite this season, and I don’t even like country music.  I just think that girl’s got something special, and she’s super fun to watch.

    S8: Kris Allen – Falling SlowlyHe choose to sing this song that not everybody knows, but imho was the moment he became the frontrunner. Of course there was Adam, but for the humble and gentle Kris, this was the perfect song at the perfect moment.

    That was an awesome performance.  One of the things that made that season so fun, was every time I thought they’d finally run the bus over him, Kris came back out swinging.  I loved that about him.


    As I’ve mentioned before, IMO Adam’s ACIGC is the finest vocal ever on Idol. 

    I don’t think I’d ever be able to settle on one “finest vocal” for this show.  But, if I had a gun to my head, I’d likely pick something by Adam or Kelly.  Those 2 just always make it look so effortless.  (And, while I know she’s an acquired taste, I think Fanny has an amazing instrument).  

    And, speaking of Archie’s “Shop Around”: I was not a fan of his that season, but that was easily his best performance for me.  I thought he did great that night.  

    Season 5 was the hardest to pick for me, because I’m a huge fan of Taylor’s voice (seriously, I’m not joking about that).  But, a lot of my favorite emotional, TV moments came from Elliott. (Season 5 is still my favorite overall season).  Season 8 was also difficult, because there were so many truly good performances from Adam, Kris & Allison.  (Season 8’s was my favorite finale.  That was the first time I REALLY liked both in the top 2, and I thought they both gave stellar performances.)

  • Anonymous

    My Faves:

    Season 1 – Kelly Clarkson “Natural Woman”, “Stuff Like That There”
    Season 2 – Clay Aiken, “Solitaire” I guess. I don’t remember much from this season.
    Season 3 – Diana DeGarmo “Don’t Cry Out Loud” LaToya London, “Somewhere”, “Don’t Rain on My Parade” Anything NOT by Fantasia
    Season 4 – Carrie Underwood, “Angels Brought Me Here”
    Season 5 – Chris Daughtry “I Walk the Line”, Katherine McPhee “Someone to Watch Over Me”
    Season 6 – Jordin Sparks, “I Who Have Nothing” “Broken Wing” Melinda Dolittle “I Am Woman”,  “Trouble is a Woman” Blake Lewis “You Give Love”


  • Anonymous

    Season 1 – Tamayra Grey – A House is not a Home
    Season 2 – Clay Aiken – Bridge over Troubled Water
    Season 3 – Fantasia – Summertime
    Season 4 – Bo Bice – Whipping Post
    Season 5 – Chris Daughtry – Hemorrhage
    Season 6 – didn’t watch
    Season 7 – Archie – Imagine
    Season 8 – Adam Lambert – Born To Be Wild (I could have picked many many more)
    Season 9 – Lee and Crystal – Falling Slowly
    Season 10 – Haley Reinhart – House of the Rising Sun
    Season 11 – Jessica Sanchez – Sweet Dreams

  • Enough already!

    Guess I should weigh in…didn’t start watching until S8, but saw a lot of the Taylor Hicks and Carrie Underwood years that was shown constantly for a few years on the TV Guide channel.   S- 8 would be Adam IICHY and ACIGC, which I feel was the best song ever on the few seasons I watched.   S9, can’t think of a single one that stands out, S10 I like Scotty and his throw back country ways, S11 I like Jessica very much doing Whitney, but wish she had given a little more Jessica vibe to the song.  

  • Kesia Monteith

    Even thought I only tuned in from season 8 and onwards, I have some memory of what was going on in other seasons, especially if I flipped through the channel and stumbled on a performance.

    I could barely remember a thing about season 4. Depended on youtube the most for this season. There was no one I cared for expect to look up things about Bo. 

  • Kathleen Moore

    Believe it or not, most of my favorite performances from each season didn’t come from my favorite idol. 

    Didn’t watch seasons one or two.

    Season 3: Fantasia’s I Believe.  Yes, it’s hokey and syrupy.  However, Fantasia made it perfectly believeable.  No one else should ever sing this song again.  No one.

    Season 4:  Constantine’s My Funny Valentine.  Not one of my favorite seasons.  I guess I like the arrangement.  Or maybe the song itself (see season 6).

    Season 5:  Kat’s Over the Rainbow.  I’m one of the original members of the Soul Patrol; however I love Kat’s rendition of this.  Flawless.

    Season 6: Melinda’s My Funny Valentine.  Probably the best singer ever on Idol.

    Season 7:  Carly’s Blackbird.  To me, the most underrated performance on Idol ever.  I don’t know anyone who liked it, and it landed her in the bottom three.  But I think it’s breathtakingly stunning.

    Season 8: Adam’s Ring of Fire.  An interesting, controversial take on one of my favorite country songs.  But it works.

    Season 9: Crystal’s Long As I See the Light.  Beautiful version of one of my favorite CCR’s song.

    Season 10: Haley’s You and I.  Wow!  Just Wow!

    Season 11:  Jessica’s The Prayer (from Vegas)  Made her a contender

  • Anonymous

    Oh fun list things! 

    S1: Kelly “Stuff Like That There.” 
    S2: Clay “Solitaire.”
    S3: Fantasia “Summertime”
    S4: uhh  I guess Bo’s “In A Dream,” didn’t really watch or care. Just caught clips years later. 
    S5: uhh  “Moody’s Mood for Love,”same as S4.
    S6: Blake “You Give Love A Bad Name.”
    S7: David Cook “Billie Jean.” 
    S8: Adam “Track of my Tears,” and “Mad World” (couldn’t make myself choose)
    S9: Casey James “Jealous Guy.”
    S10: Haley “House Of The Rising Sun.”
    S11: Phillip Phillips “Volcano.” 

  • Patroo

    From Season 8, I also want to mention Adam Lambert – Born to be Wild

    With this performance, I think he really schooled all the other finalists that AI ever had (including the last 3 seasons). Not only did he go all the way with his vocals, but the staging, the lights, the electro-infused rendition of a motor rock classic shows his potential as a refreshing new artist. In all eleven seasons, I never witnessed a performance that was so electrifying, daring en completely insane! The last 15 seconds of that performance will go down as the most fearless vocal in the history of AI.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, man, this is hard! I have so many Idol songs on my iPod I should probably be embarrassed… but here goes.

    Didn’t watch Season 1 (but I sure do love “Stuff Like That There”).

    Season 2: Ruben Studdard “Superstar”
    My mom and I had an ongoing battle over her beloved Clay but he just really wasn’t quite my thing – though I could always concede that he was mega talented :)

    Season 3: Fantasia “Summertime”
    It was just that good. Goosebumps! I also have an enormous soft spot for her top 2 night performance of that damn “I Believe” because it just felt all kinds of right. And made me cry.

    Season 4: Bo Bice “In a Dream”
    I LOVED me some Bo. Loved. As much as I love Carrie now, she was definitely #2 for me that season. That said, her “Alone” was pretty darn spectacular (though big props to the backup singer on that one!).

    Season 5: Elliot Yamin “A Song for You”
    I loved that performance. Elliot is awesome.

    Season 6: Melinda Doolittle “My Funny Valentine”
    Thought it then, think it now – she’s exquisite. What a professional, amazing performance.

    Season 7: David Cook “The World I Know”
    I STILL love it. “Hello” was the gamechanger for me for him – I’m such a stereotypical “had me at Hello” fan haha. But that last performance? That one did me in. I never have gotten over the guy. Still play it a LOT on my iPod.

    Season 8: Damn, can I cheat? I think I equally love Kris’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” and Adam’s “Ring of Fire” for totally different reasons. 
    Kris’ song was just gorgeous and really cemented him as one of my favorites — still listen to that one on the iPod too. Adam’s totally impressed with vocals and ballsy-ness. And hell, Allison’s “Cry Baby” is up there probably in a three-way tie, specifically her “sing out” performance with that voice paired up with the tears that hurt my heart. Loved all three of them.

    Season 9: Crystal Bowersox “Long As I Can See the Light.” 
    I just loved her – exquisite. I will give a very close runner up to Casey James’s “Jealous Guy” – that one hits me right in the gut, it’s beautiful.

    Season 10: Casey Abrams & Haley Reinhart “Moanin'” 
    SO good. Musically, vocally, playfulness… good stuff. 

    Season 11: Joshua Ledet “When a Man Loves a Woman”
    He had me jumping up out of my chair. Was worried about him singing that absolutely exquisite song – one of my favorites EVER – but he blew me away. Very, very close runner up to Elise and “Whole Lotta Love” ’cause that was fierce.

    Thanks, Idol :) So much good stuff and so much good music on my iPod from Idols. Not ashamed of my addiction haha.

  • Anonymous

    You passed on Haley Reinhart one of the best Idols ever, you have no credibility with me. Kelly is great & a few others but please you missed some of the best ones. 

  • Anonymous

    Electrifying – insane – absolutely.  And, yes, that last run – guts and glory.

  • Anonymous

     I’m here thinking that I was alone who LOVE ”Born to be wild”. My favorite AI performance ever!!! Seriously, my mind was blown away because he was jumping and running around but damn, he stayed on perfect pitch and his voice control was out of this world!

    Nothing can top this in my opinion:

  • Loretta

    Season 1. Natural Woman by Kelly Clarkson
    Season 2. Bridge Over Troubled Waters by Clay Aiken
    Season 3. Summertime by Fantasia (The performance that made me a fan of the show)
    Season 4. Dream Bo Bice
    Season 5. Hemmoraghe Daughtry
    Season 6. You Give Love a Bad Name Black Lewis
    Season 7. Billie Jean By David Cook
    Season 8. Mad World Adam Lambert
    Season 9. Jealous Guy By Casey James
    Season 10. House of the Rising Sun By Haley Reinhart
    Season 11. Home Phil Phillips 2nd Master Blaster DeAndre

  • Jenny Mcconville

    I agree with you about Volcano. definitely my fave from this season.

  • Anonymous

    Season 8 (which, frankly, was the only season I ever became invested in) Adam Lambert _ Ring of Fire. That’s when I became invested.

  • Anonymous

    I picked my 3 favorites from each season and picked three different contestants for each season except for Season 1 because I didn’t like any of the other contestants and I can’t really remember any of their performances.

    Season 1. 1. Kelly Clarkson-Stuff Like That There 2. Tamyra Gray-Fool in Love 3. Tamyra Gray-Minnie the MoocherSeason 2. Didn’t Watch
    Season 3. 1. Fantasia -Summertime (First time I was moved by a performance on the show) 2. Latoya London-Someone Saved My Life Tonight 3. Jennifer Hudson-Circle of Life
    Season 4. 1. Nadia Turner-Try a Little Tenderness 2. Bo Bice-Whipping Post, 3. Anthony Fedorov-I Surrender
    Season 5. 1. Elliott Yamin-Trouble 2. Paris Bennett-Work it Out 3. Lisa Tucker-I am Changing.
    Season 6: 1. Jordin Sparks-I Who Have Nothing 2. Melinda Doolittle-I’m a Woman 3. Blake Lewis-Time of the Season
    Season 7: 1. Brooke White-Let it Be 2. Michael Johns-A Day in the Life 3. Jason Castro-Travelin Thru
    Season 8: 1. Kris Allen-Heartless 2. Adam Lambert-Whole Lotta Love 3. Allison Iraheta-I Can’t Make You Love Me
    Season 9: 1. Crystal Bowersox-Me and Bobby McGee 2. Katelyn Epperly-The Scientist 3. Siobhan Magnus-House of the Rising Sun
    Season 10: 1. Pia Toscano-I’ll Stand By You 2. Stefano Langone-I Need You Now, 3. Lauren Alaina-Candle in the Wind
    Season 11: 1. Joshua Ledet-It’s a Man’s World, 2: Phillip Phillips-Home, 3. Skylar Laine-Stay With Me

  • Anonymous

    Season 1-Tamyra-A house is not a home(I’m a big Luthor Vandross fan and Tamyra did a great job with this song.) 
    Season 2-Ruben-Superstar(This song was just perfect for his velvety voice.)Season 3-Fantasia-Summertime was an amazing performance. It was my all time favorite until a certain guy from season 8 stunned me with one perfect performance.Season 4-Bo Bice-The Whipping Post(I loved it because he reminded me of the original and his performance was so heartfelt and honest.)

    Season 5-Chris Daughtry-I walk the Line(Made me a fan for life)

    Season 6-Melinda Doolittle-My Funny Valentine(I love this song and she made me cry with this performance.)

    Season 7-David Cook-Billie Jean(He killed this song, changed it up and made it even better)

    Season 8-Adam Lambert(He had so many terrific performances, that it wasn’t easy choosing, because it came down to Mad World, Track of My Tears and Ring of Fire. But MAD WORLD won by a nose, because it was left me totally awed by it. It was a eerie and very haunting performance and his voice was in the forefront and he just owned the moment. The moment he hit that last note, you knew that you had just seen something really special.

    Season 9-was just a throwaway season. It lacked excitement and star performers. So I give the best performance of season 9 to a guest star, Adam Lambert for WWFM.

    Season 10-none

    Season 11-Elise-Whole Lotta Love(Have to give it to someone who’s willing to go for it and do something unexpected).

  • mchcat

    I only started watching at Season 7 but:
    Season 7 – Hallelullah by Jason Castro
    Season 8 – Mad World – Adam Lambert
    Season 9 – Jealous Guy – Casey James
    Season 10 – Where Were Your When the World Stopped Turning- Scotty McCreery
    Season 11 – Home – Philip Phillips

  • Anonymous

    Sometimes I get the feeling that some Haley Reinhart fans believe that there must be something wrong with anyone who doesn’t appreciate her.  I have tried to see what they see but she alway falls short for me. 

    But the bottom line is we all have our own opinions and nobody’s opinion is inferior to another’s.  An obvious statement, I know, and even though it’s been said before numerous times, I still needed to say it.  The idea of this thread is FUN, right?

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Very interesting to see everyone’s favorite performances.  Here are mine from each season:

    S1: Kelly: “Stuff Like That There/Natural Woman” 
    S2: Ruben “Superstar/A Whole New World”
    S3: Fantasia: “Summertime”
    S4: Bo: “In A Dream”
    S5: Elliott: “A Song for You”
    S6: Melinda: “My Funny Valentine”
    S7: David Cook: “Always Be My Baby” 
    S8: Adam: “A Change is Gonna Come/Born to be Wild”
    S9: Crystal: “People Get Ready”
    S10: Haley: “House of the Rising Sun”
    S11: Jessica: “Dance with My Father”

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “I think all Haley Reinhart fans think that the whole world loves Haley
    and that there must be something wrong with anyone who doesn’t
    appreciate her.”

    Nah, only the rabid fans of any Idol feel that way. You don’t need to make any excuses if you don’t enjoy someone’s music or even “try” to like someone.

  • Anonymous

    I loved that one too, the problem with Adam was that he had so many amazing performances and each stood out for a different reason, it made choosing my favorite really hard. But born to be wild was just crazy and his range was really displayed in this performances. 

  • fuzzywuzzy

    lol I don’t understand anyone telling MJ what HER FAVORITE performances “should be”. 

  • merkureye

    Elise’s “Whole Lotta Love” was epic in S11, end of story.  Definitely up there with Carrie’s “Alone” in S4. 

    Carrie got a lot of praise for Alone but I believe “God Bless the Broken Road” was really the first glimpse of her star power.  That rendition was simply beautiful (as was Carrie).  Rascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus commented on CMT’s Backstory that their popularity spiked after Underwood covered GBTBR on AI.

  • Anonymous

    Kris Allen “Heartless” Season 8 is the best performance ever for me. 
    P2 “Home” from Season 11 is growing on me.

  • Damien Roberts

    S1-Tamyra Gray: A House is Not a Home

    S2-Ruben Studdard: Superstar

    S3-Fantasia: Summertime 

    S4-Carrie Underwood: Cryin’

    S5-Elliott Yamin: A Song for You

    S6-Jordin Sparks: Walk Alone

    S7-Brooke White: Let it Be

    S8-Kris Allen: Falling Slowly/Adam Lambert: Mad World

    S9-Michael Lynch: This Womans Work

    S10-Haley Reinhart: House of the Rising Sun

    S11-Joshua Ledet: Mans Mans Mans World

  • supersonic

    Season 1: Didn’t watch

    Season 2: Didn’t really watch this season, either, but I was a Ruben fan so his stuff.

    Season 3: “Summertime” – Fantasia.  She cried at the end and so did I.

    Season 4: “In A Dream” – Bo Bice.  The first time I ever voted was after this performance.  I was also wondering that someone would do an acapella performance during the competition and Bo delivered.

    Season 5: Don’t really have a favorite performance from this season.

    Season 6: Barely watched this season.

    Season 7: “She’s A Woman” – Chikezie.  From the beginning when it was all bluegrassy, I was into it.  Then, he just lost his mind and it was awesome.  Even Seacrest tried to get some of the awesome by touching him.  Too bad Chikezie didn’t hang around long after that.  I know he had some other stuff up his sleeve.  Too bad.

    Season 8: “Heartless” – Kris Allen.  Didn’t know he had that in him.  Made me sit up and take notice.  That was the performance that got him the competition.

    Season 9: “People Get Ready” – Crystal Bowersox.  She got emotional and broke down and could barely finish the song.  When people cry, I end up crying.  So, I was in tears after that.  She felt it.  She felt everything she did that season.  She should’ve won.

    Season 10: Don’t really have a favorite.

    Season 11: Can I say anything by Joshua Ledet?  Well, I’ll just single out “When A Man Loves A Woman” (made me sit up and take notice; he also lost his mind toward the end of the song); “Ready for Love”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, “Runaway Baby”, “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me” (his duet with Jessica) and “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”.

  • Whiskey

    Wow, So many great performances from the early years. My standout favorites

    S1:  Kelly Clarkson, A Natural Woman, Tamayra Gray, A House Is Not A Home
    S2:  Ruben Studdard, Superstar, Clay Aiken, Bridge Over Trouble Water (Best Final Two Ever)
    S3:  Fantasia, Summertime, I Believe
    S4:  Bo Bice, In A Dream, Whipping Post,  Nadia Turner,Try a Little Tenderness (The Fiercest Female Idol Ever)
    S5:  Daughtry, Hemmorage, I Walk The Line,  Elliott Yamin, A Song For You, (Best All Around Season)
    S6:  Jordin Sparks, “I Who Have Nothing” “Broken Wing”, Melinda Doolittle, My     Funny Valentine, Blake, You Give Love A Bad Name.
    S7:  Didn’t watch it much
    S8:  Adam Lambert, ALL OF HIS PERFORMANCES- Ring Of Fire O_O (My first thought- Am I watching Idol? Kris Allen- Ain’t No Sunshine
    S9: Adam mentor episodes, WWFM result Show. Didn’t watch much else.
    S10:Casey Abrams & Haley Reinhart “Moanin'”
    S11: Jessica Sanchez, And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going, Joshua- When A Man Loves A Woman

  • Anonymous

    I’m a little late but lists like this are fun! Great idea MJ! 

    Season 1: Tamyra Gray “A House Is Not A Home” (The first indication that this show could be great)

    Season 2: Clay Aiken “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (This swayed my vote in the finale)

    Season 3: Jennifer Hudson “Circle Of Life” (Elton was mentoring, blew him away)

    Season 4: Bo Bice “In A Dream” (Another turning point for the show)

    Season 5: Taylor Hicks “Try A Little Tenderness” (Taylor was, and still is, an electrifying performer)

    Season 6: Blake Lewis “You Give Love A Bad Name” (An artist in his element)

    Season 7: David Cook “Billie Jean” 

    Season 8: Kris Allen “Heartless” (Most creative rework of a song and actual improvement on the original)

    Season 9: Crystal Bowersox “Black Velvet”

    Season 10: (Drawing a blank)

    Season 11: Joshua Ledet “It’s a Man’s World”

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t watched Idol consistently, but my favorites for the seasons I payed attention to are:

    S5: Chris Daughtry – Hemorrhage
    S8: Adam Lambert – Ring of Fire (close call with Black or White/Born to be Wild). Also LOVED Allison’s Time after Time (w. Cyndi Lauper) 
    S10: Haley Rienhart–House of the Rising Sun
    S11: Hollie Cavanagh- Bleeding Love.  I really enjoyed most of Skyler’s performences even though she’s so far from what I usually like

  • Anonymous

    I loved Adam’s “Black and White”. He made me love that song.

  • Anonymous

    I’m in complete agreement with MJ on Seasons 1 and 4. All the others seasons for me are totally different. Some seasons, I can NOT pick just one. Season 3, nothing stood out to me at all. 

    S5-Black Horse–Kat; Walk The Line–Chris; Try A Little Tenderness, Levon, Trouble–Taylor; I Believe to My Soul–Elliott (this list could go on and on)

    S6-My Funny Valentine–Melinda; You Give Love a Bad Name–Blake; I Who Have Nothing–Jordin

    S7-It’s All Wrong But It’s All Right–Michael hands down no question (but there are eleventy others I love from that season by Michael, Brooke, the Davids, chikezie etc. I won’t list them all.)

    S8-PYT–Danny; Heartless, Falling Slowly, Ain’t No Sunshine–Kris; Let’s Get It On–Matt

    S9-The Boxer, Beast Of Burden, That’s Life, Treat Her Like A Lady, Simple Man, Everybody Hurts, Hey Jude–Lee; Me and Bobby McGee, Up to the Mountain–Crystal

    S10-Maggie May, Folsom Prison Blues–Paul McDonald; Nature Boy, A Little Help From My Friends–Casey

    S11-Hard To Handle, Volcano, Fat Bottomed Girls, Home, Still Rainin, The Stone, Time of The Season, Superstition, Movin Out, U Got It Bad, Beggin–Phil (yes, I really love them all. He’s been my soundtrack for weeks now); Bleeding Love and The Climb–Hollie; Vienna and Whole Lotta Love–Elise; Runaway Baby–Josh

    Yeah, I can’t pick just one for most seasons. 5, 7 and 11 are my favorite seasons by far.

  • sdmama

    It is fun visiting the memory lane, reading everybody’s favorites. I forgot about Blake Lewis. He did have a moment! Thanks for reminding me.  Many of your favorites are mine, too.

    On the other hand, I realize that I was not paying attention to season 1, 3, 4, and 6, because I can’t remember any performance from that season (except for the Blake’s Give Love a Bad Name). I guess I need to find somebody to really like to pay attention. For that, I thank Clay, Daughtry and Taylor, David and David, Adam and Kris,  and Phillip. I have favorites from all of these guys. Oh, eek, no girls. This is embarrassing.  I can’t remember Kelly because I was not really watching the first season,  and I am not a country or gospel/urban music.  My girl favorites like Karen and Alexis tend to get eliminated early. I wonder what that means.     

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t watch Season 1 or 2 at all, and only watched the others intermittently until season 7, but these performances stick in my mind.
    Bo Bice-In A Dream, Melinda Dolittle-My Funny Valentine,
    Season 7 had so many great performances but Carly Smithson -Jesus Christ Superstar and Brooke White–Let It Be were memorable.
    David Cook- Billie Jean and The World I Know were incredible (and just about everything else he sang).
    Season 8 is my absolute favorite due to Kris, Adam and Allison’s great performances. Kris-Ain’t No Sunshine and Heartless (won him the competition), Adam-Mad World and Whole Lotta Love and Allison-Cry Baby, Someone to Watch Over Me and the Slow Ride Duet. I didn’t include Kris’ Falling Slowly because I don’t think vocally that was a great performance, but it remains my favorite studio recording ever.
    Season 9 is a black hole for me.
    Season 10-Haley Rolling In the Deep because that was the first time I thought she could and should win the whole thing.
    Season 11- Hollie-Bleeding Love, Colton- Love the Way You Lie. I enjoyed Skylar but I don’t remember any of her performances.

  • Anonymous

    Listen up, everybody! In honor of “American Idol’s” 10th birthday, here is a list of all the seasons, ranked in order of power based on how many contestants from each season charted on Billboard. I have already posted a similar list before, but this has been updated to yesterday. (I posted this in another comment section, but nobody noticed it; I guess that thread is dead.)
    1st place: Season 5 (nine charting finalists)
    2nd place: Season 3 (eight charting finalists)
    3rd place: Seasons 6, 7, and 10 (tie; seven charting finalists each)
    4th place: Season 8 (six charting finalists)
    5th place: Seasons 1 and 2 (tie; five charting finalists each)
    6th place: Season 9 (four charting finalists)
    7th place: Season 4 (three charting finalists; four if you count Mario Vasquez, who was voted into the Top 12 but then dropped out)
    8th place: Season 11 (two charting finalists, but I have a feeling there will be plenty of other success stories from this season)
    They say winning isn’t everything, but it sure helps. Every single winner and runner-up in the show’s history has made the Billboard chart.
    Also, fronting a band can be a good move sometimes: three Idol alums charted with bands (Chris Daughtry with Daughtry, Carly Smithson with We Are The Fallen, and Paul McDonald with The Grand Magnolias).

  • Anonymous

    Also, for anyone who’s curious, here’s the list of specifically who charted from those seasons (in order of power):
    Season 5: Taylor Hicks, Katharine McPhee, Elliot Yamin, Chris Daughtry, Paris Bennett, Kellie Pickler, Ace Young, Bucky Covington, Mandisa
    Season 3: Fantasia, Diana DeGarmo, Jasmine Trias, LaToya London, George Huff, John Stevens, Jennifer Hudson, Leah LaBelle
    Season 6: Jordin Sparks, Blake Lewis, Melinda Doolittle, LaKisha Jones, Chris Richardson, Phil Stacey, Chris Sligh
    Season 7: David Cook, David Archuleta, Jason Castro, Brooke White, Carly Smithson, Kristy Lee Cook, Michael Johns
    Season 10: Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, Haley Reinhart, James Durbin, Casey Abrams, Paul McDonald, Pia Toscano
    Season 8: Kris Allen, Adam Lambert, Danny Gokey, Allison Iraheta, Matt Giraud, Michael Sarver
    Season 1: Kelly Clarkson, Justin Guarini, Tamyra Gray, RJ Helton, Jim Verraros
    Season 2: Ruben Studdard, Clay Aiken, Kimberly Locke, Josh Gracin, Kimberly Caldwell
    Season 9: Lee DeWyze, Crystal Bowersox, Casey James, Michael Lynche
    Season 4: Carrie Underwood, Bo Bice, Constantine Maroulis, (Mario Vasquez)
    Season 11: Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez
    Surprised by anybody? Shocked not to see someone?

  • John Williams

    ….well, I guess it’s good it’s apparently limited to Haley fans. I’m guilty of being a Haley fan….and sorta guilty of thinking there must be something wrong with anyone who doesn’t appreicate her.

    Sorry about that guys.

  • Anonymous

    I am not a big fan of Adam, but one of my faves of all seasons is his take on Whole Lotta Love.
    Daughtry’s Hemorrhage was pretty fantastic too.

  • Anonymous

    haha. well at least you admit it.  :D

  • Reflects On Life

    I’ll go by “which are the videos I still watch on YT”

    1. Christina Christian – Ain’t No Sunshine (Idols most underrated artist, her Sade-like sultriness remains unmatched), Tamyra – House is Not a Home, Kelly – Natural Woman. 

    2. Clay – Solitaire.  I thought Clay was “coming out” with that song – moved me to tears. 

    3. The 4 divas was truly fantastic. Fantasia – I Believe (while everyone else breaks down trying to sing after having won, Fanny channeled that emotion into a grammy-worthy performance).  Latoya – Don’t Rain on My Parade, JHud – Circle of Life, Diane – Don’t Cry Out Loud.

    4. zip

    5. Elliot – Moody’s Mood for Love

    6. Melinda – My Funny Valentine

    7. Brooke – Let it Be, Yellow

    8. Kris – She Works Hard For the Money (Idol’s most musically inventive rearrangement ever proved why Kris is Idol’s most musically intelligent artist ever), Adam – TOMT, Alison – Alone, Anoop – Always on My Mind (ties with Solitaire as Idol’s most moving Idol performance ever, felt like he was singing it to his murdered friend).

    9. Idol’s most maligned season held so much promise, so many good performances.  Crystal – Give me one reason (one of 2 songs on Idol that were “pure sex”, like she was in heat for her lover – this is arguably my fav idol solo performance ever), Siobhan – Paint it Black, HOTRS, Wicked Games. Didi – Terrified, Rhiannon, Play with Fire, Lucy – The Story, Lily – Lullaby of Birdland, Katelyn – The Scientist, Casey – Jealous Guy (the goat vibrato really worked in this song), Mike – Womans Work, Ready for Love.  Loved Crystal’s whole run.

    10. Haley & Casey – Moanin’ (my fav idol performance ever), Haley – IWHN (musically giving the judges the finger), Scotty – Gone, Lauren – Anyway, James – the acapella part of WYSLMT. Actually, Haleys entire run, esp the ones the judges gave her flack for – Earth Song, You & I.

    11. Too soon to tell. I could easily list 11 or more favs.  Elise WLL will go down in history as a most perfect blend of vocals, emotion, performance/showmanship, creativity, production/camera-work, and out-of-left-field surprise.  Elise – Vienna (vocal masterclass). Jessica – Stuttering (wish her whole run on AI was more like this.)  Joshua – WAMLAW (the other “pure sex” song – coupled with the poignant vocals, the dropping of the coat was a “panty-dropping” moment).

  • judes

    I’ve only watched from Season 7 – but I’d have 2 categories for each year- defining moments -& personal favourites [sometimes they are the same ]

    Season 7 – My favourite performance- Michael Johns singing Dolly Parton’s Its All Wrong but its Alright- taking a country song & making it his
                 – defining performance- David Cook -Billie Jean [although he really surprised me when he sang the Andrew Lloyd Webber song]

    Season 8 – Favourite -Kris Allen -Falling Slowly [although I did also like Adam’s Mad World]
                 – Defining – Kris Allen Heartless- the moment which made everyone stand up & take notice of him as an artist & I believe helped him win the competition 

    Season 9- Favourite – Casey James -Jealous Guy -his voice & guitar were in good balance here
                – Defining -not sure there was one in Season 9 but I do agree Crystal’s Top 2 single was great & having this be Simon’s last critique for AI- could be a defining moment!!

    Season 10 – Favourite – James Durbin-Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow-as it was such a contrast to what he does well – screaming rock!!
                  – Defining moment- the first time I heard Scotty’s voice -I knew he would win!!

    Season 11 – Favourite – Colton singing Lifehouses- Everything as it defines so much who he is[ Although I also liked Elise singing WLL -she made me actually like the song!!]
                   – Defining – when Phillip kept going through with performances that were below his standard. I knew then that he had a very strong voting audience & would win. His single Home was also a defining moment for me as it proved that with the right song he can win over ones like me who were not a fan during the season .

  • Anonymous

    1 – Kelly Clarkson – Stuff Like That There (soo flawless!)
    2 – Didn’t watch
    3 – Jasmine Trias – Inseparable (too bad it was downhill from there)
    4 – Vonzell Solomon – Chain of Fools, Best of My Love (Vonz was so fun to watch)
    5 – Katharine McPhee – Someone to Watch Over Me (understated and lovely), Elliott Yamin – A Song For You
    6 – Jordin Sparks – I Who Have Nothing, Blake Lewis – You Give Love a Bad Name
    7 – David Cook – Billie Jean, Carly Smithson – Come Together
    8 – Ehh no one.
    9 – Crystal Bowersox <3 <3 <3- Long As I Can See The Light (chills), Up To The Mountain (even more chills), Give Me One Reason (absolute pro, showed a lot of sides to her voice), Bobby McGee (even her post-Idol versions are better),  I'm Alright (dang cool change up and tingly Joplin wail), People Get Ready (soft, sublime acapella intro), Saved (effortless bluesy wailing), Natural Woman (breathtaking falsetto), You Cant Always Get What You Want (from pretty, soft down to rocking, growly) ALL OF THEM (Crystal fan, can't you tell? LOL)
    Siobhan Magnus – House of The Rising Sun
    10 – Naima Adedapo – Dancing In The Streets, Jacob Lusk – You're All I Need to Get By, Thia Megia – Daniel, Casey Abrams – Your Song, Lauren Alaina – Candle In The Wind
    11 – Elise Testone – Vienna, One and Only; Hollie Cavanagh – Rolling in the Deep; Skylar Laine – Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You?; Erika Van Pelt – New York State of Mind; Jessica Sanchez – And I Am Telling You