I picked 15 of my favorite performances from Season 7, listed in the order I heard them. These aren’t my absolute favorite 15–the list would have been a little lopsided. I tried to spread the love around a little. Still, I’ll probably get a bunch of NO CARLY!!???! NO SYESHA!?! posts. Sigh. Not in love with the belters. Sorry.
Four of the performances were from the first Beatles week. In my opinion, the best week of the competition. I enjoyed the competition less as the season wore on–only two of the performances are from the last 5 weeks.
So there you have it. What were your favorite performances and why?
Check mine out after the JUMP…
David Cook ‘ …Happy Together – Top 12 Guys – I gushed on the blog about this performance only to discover…not many agreed with me. I felt so lonely! The Cook train wouldn’t be empty for long, however. David’s performance skills, and his excellent phrasing caught my attention. I said, “I think I’m officially on the David Cook bandwagon.”
Jason Castro ‘ …Daydream – Top 12 Guys – I was so curious to finally hear the dreadlocked one sing. When I finally did, what an awesome surprise it was. Early in the competition, Jason was a natural, full of easy confidence and charisma. This was my favorite performance of the night.
Ramiele Malubay ‘ …You Dont Have to Say You Love Me – Top 12 Girls – Ramiele’s emotional yet restrained performance was a show stopper. At this point, she looked like she could go deep into the competition, but nerves and inexperience finally got to her.
Jason Castro ‘ …Hallelujah – Top 8 guys – One of the great “moments” of the entire competition. The week before, the judges challenged Jason to perform without his guitar. Boy did he ever. Jason delivered a raw, intimate, unforgettable performance.
Brooke White ‘ …Love is a Battlefield – Top 8 girls – An early gem from Brooke. She took this big 80’s power number and scaled it down, turning it into an intimate love song. Beautiful.
Chikezie ‘ …She a Woman – Top12 – Chikezie gets the WTF? moment of the season. And I mean that in a good way. Chikezie, who never got credit for this audacious and risky arrangement, throws in everything but the kitchen sink. A banjo and fiddle start him off acoustic blues style, before he moves into an all out balls-to-the-walls rock/soul/funk rave up. Totally awesome.
Brooke White ‘ …Let it Be – Top 12 – Brooke White nearly levitated off her piano stool during this powerful performance. Gorgeous, simple, heartfelt–one of the few times in the competition I was nearly brought to tears.
Amanda Overmyer ‘ …You Cant Do That – Top 12 – This obscure but soulful early Beatles tune was perfect for Amanda’s blues/rock vibe. One of Lennon’s typically cynical takes on romance (pre-Ono, of course) Amanda spits out the words, without changing the gender. That night, Amanda totally took the stage, and took no prisoners.
Michael Johns ‘ …Across the Universe – Top 12 – This song gets the underrated performance of Season 7 award. I was left scratching my head as the judges dismissed Michael’s plaintive and moving performance. No fancy bells and whistles, just pure love from Michael. The iTunes recording is even better.
David Archuleta – “You’re the Voice” – Top 10 – I know this is a weird pick. But for once, I appreciated David’s earnest appeal. Simon accused David of not picking the song, but listening to him sing, it’s obvious he’s completely connected to the message. Really an underrated performance. If the judges had been familiar with the song, they would have given it higher marks, I think.
Michael Johns ‘ …It All Wrong, but It Alright – Top 9 – I consider this Michael’s swan song, even though he wasn’t actually eliminated until the following week. With this sexy, soulful performance, Michael hit his stride. If he’d stuck with the retro blues, he would have gone much deeper into the competition.
Jason Castro – “Over the Rainbow” – Top 8 – Just when the judges had given up on Jason, he pulls out a perfect, beautiful vocal for this performance inspired by the Hawaiian folk singer, Israel Kamakawiwo. Emotionally connected, intimate, lovely phrasing–this is Jason at his best.
David Cook ‘ …Always Be My Baby – Top 7 – David’s emo treatment of this bouncy Mariah Carey pop tune managed to dig deep, giving the song new meaning. His performance, seemingly fueled by his very ill brother Adam’s presence in the audience is powerful and gut wrenching. His tears afterward seal the deal. Not only is this a great performance, but a great TV moment. Absolutely my favorite by Cook.
David Archuleta ‘ …Stand By Me – Top 4 – Archie had the best performance of rock night. Yeah, I could hardly believe it myself!. Restrained and heartfelt–this was a perfect song choice for David, and one of his best of the season, I think.
David Cook ‘ …The World I Know – Top 2 – I’d love to say that David’s last song on the Idol stage won him the competition. It was the wrong song to sing, but frankly, David had so much momentum coming into the final, he could have performed “Ode to a Fart” in 3 parts, and it wouldn’t have changed the outcome. Still, the judges blew it when they dismissed this performance. Gorgeous, simple, and beautifully phrased, David outdid himself here. This acoustic gem was a fitting end to David’s long Idol road.
ETA: I’m going to tack on Syesha’ Mercado’s “Thank the Lord for the Night Time” from the Top 5. I thought the Amy Winehouse-style arrangement was fabulous.