Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Top 10 American Idol Performances of All-Time. Where Does Crystal Bowersox Fit In?

I came across this article, written before American Idol Season 9 began. It lists the Top 10 American Idol performances - through the end of Season 8. Here are Crystal's videos for "Me & Bobby McGee", "People Get Ready" and "Up To the Mountain," my favorite Crystal Bowersox performances. How do you think they stack up to this Top 10?

Me & Bobby McGee

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People Get Ready

Up To the Mountain

And, the article...
The Very Best Individual Moments
By Bill Lamb, About.com Guide

Eight seasons of American Idol, the world's biggest talent show, have produced such top pop stars as Kelly Clarkson, Chris Daughtry, and David Cook. It has also generated amazing individual performances that will be remembered whether the singer ultimately won the contest or not. These 10 American Idol moments are a combination of tremendous talent, showmanship and creativity.

10. Adam Lambert - "Mad World"
It was already well established that Adam Lambert knew his way around a flamboyant high energy performance in season eight when he changed things around. Tears for Fears' classic "Mad World" was the vehicle for dropping the tempo while not losing an ounce of drama. This was one of the most outstanding examples of an American Idol contestant proving their range to any skeptics at home.

9. Tamyra Gray - "A House Is Not a Home"
This interpretation of a classic Burt Bacharach song earned season one 4th place finisher Tamyra Gray a stellar tribute from Simon Cowell referring to it as "one of the best performances on television" he had ever seen.

8. David Cook - "Billie Jean"
David Cook, ultimate winner of American Idol's season seven, was definitely a major contender all along the way, but it was his performance of Michael Jackson's classic "Billie Jean" that marks the moment Cook stepped away from the pack. The inspiration for this version of the song was a recording by former Soundgarden leader Chris Cornell. (Note - this is best version I could find. Sorry!)

7. Clay Aiken - "Bridge Over Troubled Water"
It still seems a wonder of nature that such a voice comes out of the wispy body of Clay Aiken. In an interview with People magazine, season two runner-up Aiken said "I looked like Opie." This performance of the Simon & Garfunkel classic "Bridge Over Troubled Water" proves looks can indeed be deceiving.

6. Kelly Clarkson - "Stuff Like That There"
During season one we knew that Kelly Clarkson could deliver soul. She had performed multiple Aretha Franklin classics. Then she took the stage in a black and white polka dot dress and delivered this big band tune that gave us a good long look at the versatile artist we would all soon get to know a lot better.

5. Constantine Maroulis - "Bohemian Rhapsody"
Constantine Maroulis, along with Bo Bice, was one of season four's two rockers among the finalists. While he ultimately only finished sixth, this performance of Queen's classic "Bohemian Rhapsody" connected instantly with the audiences and judges alike. This performance can still produce chills.

4. Jennifer Hudson - "Weekend In New England"
With hindsight, it seems unbelievable that Academy Award and Grammy Award winner Jennifer Hudson only finished seventh in American Idol's third season. This performance is the one that ultimately resulted in Hudson's elimination. However, it is a re-interpretation of the Barry Manilow classic that finds a soulfulness missing in the original hit recording. Jennifer Hudson performed it with Barry Manilow himself at this year's pre-Grammy party honoring Clive Davis.

3. Chris Daughtry - "Walk the Line"
Before putting together his multi-platinum group Daughtry, Chris Daughtry finished in fourth place during season five of American Idol. He stunned the judges and viewers with this dark, somber rendition of Johnny Cash's classic "Walk the Line." Later revelations that his interpretation was taken from an earlier recording by the rock group Live did not diminish the long-term impact of this performance giving us a glimpse of the future star Chris Daughtry would become.

2. Elliott Yamin - "A Song For You"
Elliott Yamin seemed one of the most unlikely of American Idol contenders. However, on the night he performed Donny Hathaway's signature song "A Song For You," Yamin proved he could hold his own with any American Idol contestants past, present, or future. Simon Cowell referred to the performance as a "vocal masterclass."

1. Fantasia Barrino - "Summertime"
Fantasia Barrino's performance of "Summertime" from George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess during season three of American Idol is still in a class by itself. Fantasia's involvement with the song left her literally in tears. Ultimately, she won the competition and this performance proved American Idol could produce riveting television.

So, Crystal Bowersox Fans, what do you think of the Top 10 list, and where do you think Crystal belongs on it? Leave a comment and let us know!

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  1. I am surprised that Lakisha's "You Better Love Me" wasn't in that list. Before Crystal's finale performance, I always thought that was the best. Of course, Crystal knocked it out of the park with the mountain song.

  2. @Amanda ~ Thank you! As I was putting this post together, I had that amazing performance going through my mind, but I just could not remember who sang it...it was driving me nuts!

  3. With due respect, Crystal needs to sing more from her diaphram, as constructively, I find her vocal lacks the body and depth (low energy)and quite mono(a bit flat and sharp) not stereo and not controlled, compared to the rest. She needs to train her quality of vocal to not sing from the throat. I am no expect but hearing by ear.Hope she is able to put out an album.

  4. I miss hearing u sing crystal,Can't wait for your album..

  5. I think Crystal is the best singer that has ever been on American Idol. Ever. Her songs can take up the whole Top 10.

  6. For me, Crystal's "Up to the Mountain" should be in the top 10 AI performances. It was simply spectacular.

  7. I cried and got goose bumps when CRYSTAL did "PEOPLE GET READY"
    I loved all her performances!

  8. Crystal IS on the list....we all know that. I want to know where Malinda Doolittle is because she deserves a spot at the top too.

  9. My top 10:

    10. Jordin Sparks- I Who Have Nothing
    9. Clay Aiken- Solitaire
    8. Katherine McPhee- Somewhere Over the Rainbow
    7. Tamyra Grey- A House is Not a Home
    6. Adam Lambert- Mad World
    5. Crystal Bowersox- People Get Ready
    4. Latoya London- All By Myself
    3. Kelly Clarkson- Natural Woman
    2. Carrie Underwood- Alone
    1. Fantasia Barrino- Summertime

    Honorable mentions:

    Vonzell Soloman- Best of My Love, Bo Bice- In a Dream, Chris Daughtry- I Walk the Line, Carly Smithson- Come Together, Diana Degarmo- Don't Cry Out Loud, Jennifer Hudson- Circle of Life, Jason Castro- Hallelujah, David Cook- Billie Jean, Melinda Doolittle- Home, Siobhan Magnus- Paint it Black

  10. Crystal's version of Black Velvet definitely belongs on the top 10. It brought tears to my eyes.

  11. What about Bo Bice's "In a Dream?" I'd put Crystal's "People Get Ready" right up there.

  12. You watch and see how Crystal Bowersox effects far more millions than even voted, live in other parts of the world, have not even been born yet and have not even begun to hear the best she can bring forth. She has the power of God with her. She is "Destined" and surely in a special class of her own :) yet made flexable to flow with the voice of others.
    Without question she will blossom in ways we have not understand sound to be perceived.
    Get ready people :)
    Number one of the ten for sure.
    Bless you Crystal...(Sapphire, my further emails I sent to nickie C)

  13. All three songs can take up the Top 3.

  14. crystal is awesome...........

  15. Different season, different talent. It's easily apples and oranges if one is not careful! Having said that, it's clear that Crystal is great fit in that group, but Lee ...not so much ;-(

    The other night I thought, OK, I got caught up in the frenzy or the magic of the moment, so I listened to all of her performances again and still got all misty and a lump in my throat to boot.

    No denying the top ten you mentioned were fantastic! But that' the whole point, Crystal has been fantastic and is really for many of us, a breath of fresh air! Her style brings power and fun and melody and message and very grounded sound that we have dearly missed.

    Lee, not so much.

  16. Thank you for those videos. As I live in Finland, I haven't seen all the seasons from TV here, so it was nice to watch some great singers perform so well.

    However, my favourite performance was not in that list and that is Lakisha Jones: And I am telling. Just fantastic vocals and interpretation!

    The only thing that can compete with that in my opinion is Crystal's Piece of My Heart that is on YouTube. Me and Bobby McGee would be after those two (yes I know Crystal didn't performance Piece of My Heart in AI).

    For me the best singers from American Idol are Lakisha Jones, Katharine McGee, Bo Bice, Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert, Paris Bennett, Melinda Doolittle and Clay Aiken, but the absolut number one is CRYSTAL. :)

    PS. Since Finnish Adam-fans are called Finnberts, I guess I would be Finnsox? :D

  17. I always laugh when I see someone describe Clay as "wispy". He's 6'2" and 185 lbs, he only looks wispy because Ruben was 6'5" and 450 pounds. LOL

  18. Sorry, I meant Katharine McPhee. :)

    - Finnsox

  19. Other than Kelly Clarkson, I have all her music, and a couple of Carrie Underwood songs, I have none of these artists music in my collection. I think what that means is we all have different tastes in music.
    As for Crystal, I have purchased the AI songs and videos and downloaded those that were free of Crystal's original music. I will purchase all her records when they come out. She touches the inner me like no other artist I have ever heard and I am 70 years young and a music freak.
    As for the list and again we all have different tastes in music, I would put Crystal ahead of all those performances. Andddddd why doesn't anyone mention "Black Velvet", still brings goose bumps to my body and after all the song was about Elvis. Personally I would put 4 of her performances as 1,2,3 and 4. But again like I said before we all have different tastes in music. But I must say Adam's "Mad World" interpretation is impressive. And I had forgotten How comfortable on stage Kelly Clarkson was with "Stuff Like That", another great performance.
    Don't throw stones at me, I'm not as young as I once was and don't dodge very well.

  20. I did forget to mention Daughtry's "I walk the line", best male performance ever.