gannsyes.gifAfter reading MSN’s Top 10 American Idol performances of all time, Cathy and I got to talking about our Top 10 favorite American Idol performances.

She’s making her list, and I’ve made mine. See how different my choices are from MSN’s.

Oh, and feel free to post some of your favorite AI moments directly in the Comments, or leave a link to your blog where you posted it. 🙂

10. Tamyra Gray, A House is Not a Home. I personally think season one fourth placer Tamyra Gray deserved to go into the Final Three over Nikki McKibbin, but let’s let bygones be bygones. All said and done, Tamyra’s version of this popular chestnut is so heartachingly sung, so originally done, and so flawlessly performed that one would be crazy not to notice.

9. Fantasia, Fool in Love. Fantasia scored the #1 American Idol performance on MSN with her performance of Gershwin’s Summertime, but I will always remember Fantasia for this performance. Her originality came out bright and shining with this incredible track, and absolutely blew everyone out of the water. That night, people only remembered Fantasia Barrino.

8. Blake Lewis, You Give Love A Bad Name. Season 6’s runner-up scored a major coup with an exciting and original reworking of the original Bon Jovi nugget You Give Love A Bad Name. Lewis’ take took America completely by storm, landing the beatboxer a slot in the Final 2 and earning him the grudging respect of rockers everywhere who didn’t think he could pull it off.

7. George Huff, Take Me To the Pilot. Season Three’s fourth placer delivered an absolutely stunning version of Elton John’s long-forgotten pop anthem. Infusing a gospel, R&B-flavored touch to the track, fitting in his trademark George Huff bounce, and sealing it with a flawless vocal run at the end, George Huff easily made a mark as one of American Idol’s most enjoyable performers.

6. Melinda Doolittle, My Funny Valentine. Season Six hasn’t ended, but I would say contestant Melinda Doolittle has certainly established hersef as a front-runner. Her version of the ancient My Funny Valentine breathed new life into the song, infusing it with a charm and vocal prowess that makes Constantine Maroulis sound like Tweety Bird. Absolutely spectacular.

5. Constantine Maroulis, I Can’t Make You Love Me. Of course, Constantine also had his own shining moment. The former Pray for the Soul of Betty lead singer wanted to promote himself as a rocker, but the goo-goo eyed crooner made his mark with an absolutely stunning version of the Bonnie Raitt original – tweaking the version of George Michael, and delivering a heartfelt performance that did not need any vocal histrionics to make his mark.

4. Mandisa, I Don’t Hurt Anymore. Season Five’s second most underrated singer- after Melissa McGhee – was eliminated waaaaaay early in the competition, ending up ninth after a limp performance of Shania Twain’s Any Man of Mine. To her credit, however, she chose to perform a Dinah Washington song early in the competition, and blew the competition away to smithereens. The Christian singer delivered the track teasingly and coyly, with a blow-the-speakers-away powerful note at the end. Classic! Simon said it was sexy, “it’s a great stripper song. I loved it!”

3. Carrie Underwood, Alone. Season Four’s runaway winner (never a bottom three finish) is reaping the awards now for her country music, but Carrie made her mark with a stunning rendition of the Heart original. Underwood blasted away at the 80s chestnut, delivering an unforgettable performance – with matching 80s hair – that firmly established her as the singer to beat. No one did, and now Underwood’s got that Grammy New Artist plum.

2. Elliott Yamin, A Song for You. Season Five’s ‘little train that could,’ Elliott Yamin was an underrated singer who no one thought would advance to the next round. But with a humble demeanor, crooked teeth, and, most importantly, a flawless set of pipes that is arguably the greatest male voice the competition has ever heard, Yamin sang his way to a Final Two finish. On the way, he delivered some truly amazing performances, including Moody’s Mood for Love, It Had to Be You, and Trouble. His best performance, though, was this track, giving his flawless vocal so much heart, it reduced Paula Abdul to tears.

1. Jennifer Hudson, Weekend in New England. Ironically, Jennifer Hudson’s version of this Barry Manilow track was the one song that got this Chicago native booted out of the competition. Hudson’s personality and powerful pipes got her into the Final 12, and despite delivering vocally pleasing performances week after week, never truly met the judges’ approval until she began to belt the ballads out – I Have Nothing, Circle of Life, and this chilling performance, which was emotional, absolutely flawless, and perfect down to the last note. Despite being kicked out seventh, Hudson overcame the odds and scored the role of Effie White in Dreamgirls. The rest, as they say, is history.

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