Here are 13 of my favorite American Idol 10 performances, with video, in no particular order except how each of the contestants left the competition.
These are some of my favs…what are yours?
Pia Toscano – “I’ll Stand by You” – (Top 12 Girls) – Pia came out of nowhere during the semi-finals with her powerful “I’ll Stand By You” which is at this point, her signature song. Unfortunately, an inability to stray from her big ballad comfort zone is what eventually did her in 5 weeks later.
Paul MacDonald – Blackbird with Kendra Chantelle – (Las Vegas Round) – Oh, the promise Paul showed in this performance, with the exquisite (and totally robbed) Kendra. His Top 40 solo performance of his original song, American Dreams was also a highlight. Vocal issues and an inability to warm up to cover songs led to Paul leaving in 8th place.
Stefano Langone – “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars – (Top 12 Boys) – Stefano who seemed like the second coming of Bruno Mars at the beginning of the competition, fizzled out in 7th place. But this performance showed the Seattle native had soul and could tackle relevant material. (Bum note aside!)
Casey Abrams – “Your Song” by Elton John – (Top 11 Redux) – Casey was amusing as hell during the competition, but there was a talented musician behind his antics, as his best performances revealed. His take on Elton John’s “Your Song” is gorgeous in it’s simplicity and emotional depth. One of my favorite performances of the entire season.
Casey Abrams & Haley Reinhart – – “Moanin” by Charles Mingus (Top 8 Results) – This duet completely blew my mind. SO GOOD were these two wailing away on Mingus. Casey and Haley showed off their musicality in this performance. And the fact that it was a results night meant NO PRESSURE. Fabulous.
Jacob Lusk – “A House is Not a Home” – (Top 24 Boys) – I didn’t like most of Jacob’s over-the-top performances at all. But this make or break performance during the semi-finals showed Jacob could emote without losing himself to the music. Unfortunately, he only rarely managed this kind of restraint during the rest of his run. This one was definitely a keeper.
James Durbin – “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” by Carole King – (Top 6) – I loved James sweet and strummy take on the Carole King classic–another season favorite for me.
James Durbin – “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCarney – (Top 13 Performance) – James powerful, heartfelt performance of this McCartney classic got my attention.
Haley Reinhart – “What Is and What Should Never Be” by Led Zepplin – (Top 3) – If Haley’s strong, bluesy and risky performance of this Led Zepplin gem had been her 3rd song rather than her last, I think she would have made the finals. Her Dad on guitar? Epic.
Naima Adedapo – “Dancing in the Streets” by Martha and the Vandellas – (Top 11 performance) – When Naima busted out in an African dance at the end of this number, I said “more please” while knowing a contestant as quirky and off-the-wall as Naima would not last long in the competition.
Lauren Alaina – “Candle in the Wind” by Elton John – (Top 11 Redux) – Early in the competition, before Lauren completely crawled into her shell, she delivered this truly emotional and touching performance. It was not a surprise when Lauren revealed that she was a fan of the talented but tragic Marilyn Monroe.
Scotty McCreery – “You’ve Got a Friend” by Carole King – (Top 6) – Scotty was at his heartfelt best delivering King’s ode to friendship.
Scotty McCreery – “Are You Going to Kiss Me or Not” by Thompson Square – (Top 3) – This was the moment, for me, that Scotty proved he could be a viable contemporary country artist. Scotty is a good storyteller, but he also has fun-loving and irreverent side which this pick from Jimmy Iovine illustrated beautifully.