American Idol’s brand new season kicks off tomorrow with its tradition of presenting the best and worst singers aspiring to be on the idol stage, where some of the music industry’s big and not-so-big names started. Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are without a doubt, the biggest artists AI has ever produced in terms of album sales, pop culture influence and critical recognition. Jennifer Hudson, on the other hand, is AI’s crowned bi-media queen if only for her grammy and oscar victories. Clay Aiken, Chris Daughtry, and Jordin Sparks likewise have notable album and single sales, enough for a “successful AI alumna/alumnus” tag. (Click: AI Album Sales and AI Single Sales)
Before I turn this supposedly quick and straightforward entry into an AI wikipedia-ish page, allow me to stop and deliver it straight. As the title says, this is a list of AI’s best auditions based on personal taste. I may share same thoughts with the judges at times, but their opinion really didn’t matter when I made this list. Without further ado, I present to you my top 10 American Idol auditions! 🙂
10. Camile Velasco- Ready Or Not (Season 3)
Jasmine Trias may have stayed longer, but Camille Velasco is still the Asian idol alumna to beat. This girl could have been the new generation’s Lauryn Hill.
(Looks like Camile’s audition video is no longer on youtube. Good thing I found it on myspace):
9. David Cook- Living On A Prayer (Season 7)
I was not a fan of Cook during his idol stint, but this audition is just pitch-perfect. The guy in this video is the musician, the contemporary artist, the David Cook that we saw throughout the competition.
8. Leneshe Young- with her own composition (Season 8 )
The first time I saw this audition, I thought this girl would at least reach top 12, so I was surprised when she got the boot before the semifinals. Let’s see if she gives her idol career another shot this season.
7. Elliott Yamin- A Song For You (Season 5)
This rendition is not perfect, but Elliott’s tone is magical. This song, which was included in his debut album, and Moody’s Mood For Love became Elliott’s signature songs. And FYI, I am a certified Yaminian!
6. Carrie Underwood- I Can’t Make You Love Me (Season 4)
Carrie is currently the biggest-selling idol, and from this audition, you will see where the massive potential was first witnessed.
5. Josiah Leming (own composition and Chasing Cars (Season 7)
Oh man, this boy is a genius. I still couldn’t believe that he didn’t get the chance to join the live performances. Josiah will always be a favorite. Watch Josiah’s Grace Kelly performance during season 7’s Hollywood round and see his great sense of musicality.
4. Andrew Garcia- Sunday Morning (Season 9)
This audition made Andrew Garcia the early favorite and front runner of AI’s latest season, and there’s no question about it, because this is just amazing.
3. Katherine McPhee- God Bless The Child (Season 5)
Kath McPhee had season 5 in the bag if only for this audition. She had everything going on for her here: looks, personality, voice, and charisma.
2. Megan Joy Corkrey- Can’t Help Loving That Man (Season 8 )
The lovable and charming Megan Joy was the judges’ favorite female contestant at the start of season 8, and if you have seen this audition, you should know why. Megan could have been one of idol’s biggest babies if she was given the break that she deserved, but I’m praying that it’s not too late.
1. Paris Bennett- Cowboy Take Me Away and Take Five (Season 5)
Hands down, Paris’s second song is AI’s best audition ever! Just watch and be amazed!