Monday, January 31, 2011

AMERICAN IDOL COUNTDOWN: 20 Best 'Idol' Auditions

Four episodes down - two more by the end of this week - and we're more or less half way done with the auditions for Season 10. Yes, that was incredibly fast!

But before everything comes to a blur again, why not relive the 20 Best 'Idol' Auditions EVER! To some, sure, this is possibly the less exciting part of the competition because more often than not the show tends to focus on the awful and embarrassing auditions. But, I have to say that there's always a good mix of good, undiscovered talents. Seriously.

Now, this list is a bit biased, because, well, it's mine. Now, my methods aren't scientific, but I do take things like voice, personality and maybe over-cuteness and gorgeousness into account. Ha! Extra points were also given arbitrarily, based on things like song choices and other abilities. So, forgive me if you believe my reasons are trivial.

20. Kady Malloy
Season 7
True, her Unchained Melody audition wasn't all that, but her spot-on impersonation of Britney Spears were all sorts of awesomeness right there. Oh, and she unknowingly "copied" Carrie Underwood's tone and voice when she sang her crossover hit Before He Cheats. So, anyone who can imitate a wide variety of people from Spears to Underwood is good in my book.

19. Josiah Leming
Season 7
No doubt about it, this kid has talent. Yes, his vocals weren’t Idol material by any stretch, but they were compelling, to say the least. I really think he had something rare and special. Too bad, he got cut just before the Final 24 that season.

18. Taylor Hicks
Season 5
He was a beath of fresh air during the auditions of Season 5. As common as he appeared, his 'presence' demanded attention. It was stated that Idol never had any other contestant like Taylor Hicks and they were right! Taylor, undeniably, had his own style that's already noticeable since his audition.

17. Jordin Sparks
Season 6
Her audition was very good. Great control. Amazing range. Bubly Personality. Jordin showing off a monster of a voice for a 16-year old was pretty impressive.

16. David Archuleta
Season 7
During the audition, his big backstory was that he had vocal paralysis a few years ago. But really, he didn't need any of that because his version of Waiting On The World To Change was great - compelete with that distinct tone. Plus, he looked uber cute with that general perkiness.

15. Adam Lambert
Season 8
His clear and pleasing take on ''Bohemian Rhapsody'' drew one of Simon's oldest and most dreaded critiques - ''theatrical.'' Which I wondered, aren't most Queen songs theatrical? But that's beside the point, I thought Adam out-sang and out-charmed possibly half of the Idol hopefuls that season. And aside from the fact that he had some serious mad vocal range and a penchant for theatrics, I knew - based from his audition - that he's a very polished and well-formed performer.

14. Frenchie David
Season 2
The judges said that for the second season, they’d like to have some great voices who did not fit the pop star image, and she gave that to them with this powerhouse performance.

13. Angela Martin
Season 9
This girl just couldn't catch a break. I've got to admit the heartaches she recounted - her daughter's struggle with Rett Syndrome; the death of her father a week before her season 7 Hollywood Week run; the fact that after cracking the season 8 top 50, she had to drop out due to a traffic warrant; and her mother went missing right after Christmas of 2009 - added extra poignancy to her powerfully-sung rendition of Mary J. Blige's Just Fine. It wasn't immensely original but she showcase a good sense of vocal control and an undeniable determination to make it big.

08. Danny Noriega
Season 7
Sue me! Haha. I have to say, his rendition of the saucy Proud Mary was a tad theatrical but her voice blew me away. Sue me! Haha. I thought he has an interesting tone and a good control. Plus, he's very flambuoyant - a rarity on the show.

12. Jennifer Hudson
Season 3
Jennifer Hudson's melisma-tastic rendition of Aretha Franklin's ''Share Your Love With Me'' was phenomenal. Enough said.

11. Fantasia Barrino
Season 3
To this day, I still remember Fantasia Barrino's audition when she sang Tina Turner's Proud Mary! Truly, she just sang it with soul and the rawness of her voice stood out. Plus, an upbeat audition piece isn't entirely an easy thing to pull off because, yes, it's pretty hard on stay on key.

09. Andrew Garcia
Season 9
Seriously? His version of Sunday Morning had, arguably, a good amount of soulfulness that even exceeded Adam Levine's original. I thought his take was effortless backed up with that very smooth voice. By this time, I really thought he was the one to beat. Or maybe not.

05. Scott Savol
Season 4
Talk about a package that's a little mismatched. Haha. True, I ended up hating the guy, but Scott Savol's audition was, arguably, unforgettable. I was seriously prepared for some tuneless garbage, but once he opened his mouth and that angelic voice came out of that body.. it was one of the most rare goosebump-inducing moments for me.

11. Kelly Clarkson
Season 1
I loved her audition just because of how it went down and how she interacted well with the judges. I mean, yeah, her voice was amazing, but all the shenanagins just make it more amazing and you could tell that she was ready to be a superstar. Great!

06. Carrie Underwood
Season 4
. Carrie has since proven an adept vocalist, but her audition rendition was passable, and not really much else. It just stood there, emotionally.
When she walked in, I already found her to be quite adorable! But when she opened her mouth to sing, I was blown away!! Not because her voice was "out-of-the-world".. But because I wasn't expecting her to have that big voice..She had that soaring voice that is really her strongest suit on her country ballads on her albums, especially on Jesus Take the Wheel and Just a Dream.

12. Mario Vasquez
Season 4
After his audition, I have to admit that he had what it takes to win more than anyone else - yes, even more than Carrie Underwood. He was oozing with charisma with incredible vocal technique and a palpable sense of musicality. I swear, he probably could've beat Carrie if he hadn't quit. Just saying.

04. Leneshe Young
Season 8
Up until this very moment, I still can't believe how this girl didn't make the Top 36 of Season 8 and have, say, Arianna Afsar, Casey Carlson or Jeanine Vailes in it. Sure, I kind of flinched when she announced she was going to be ''completely original'' and sing a self-penned ditty called ''Natty', but seriously, her songwriting skills proved to be as sweet and contemporary as her vocals. Plus, she has a natureal charisma and stage presence to boot. I was impressed.

02. Melinda Doolittle
Season 6
This shy, former backup singer came into the audition room with little confidence, and then exploded, turning in a dominant performance Stevie Wonder's "For Once in My Life". Melinda had, easily, the best female voice in all of the auditions. If she can gain some confidence, she could make it far in the competition.

Melinda Doolittle was undoubtedly right at the top. The judges looked stunned as she belted out ''For Once in My Life,'' and were speechless for a moment when she finished. Simon called her a ''brilliant singer,'' and repeated himself in case we misunderstood the first time.

03. Katharine McPhee
Season 5
Her rendition of ''God Bless the Child'' still gives me goosebumps up until now. Seriously. Her voice was just pure and beautiful. She sang this incredibly hard song to sing flawlessly, her inflections were spot on, and the liberty she took with the melody were brilliant. Five years later, I still remember this audition vividly.

01. Paris Bennett
Season 5
I was completely in awe. Chills. Goosebumps. This to me is still, by far, my favorite audition on American Idol. I mean, her transition alone from country to jazz was strangely effortless and undeniably soul-stirring already. Plus, she got a winning personality to go along with her abundance of talent.


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