By: Jacob Elyachar
American Idol will premiere its 12th season on FOX with new judges Keith Urban, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj and a whole new crop of undiscovered talent.
This year’s new batch of singers has a whole lot to expectations to live up to especially the guys.
For the past five seasons, the guys have received the crown and I have a strong feeling that the guys want to continue to keep holding on to that winning streak.
In order for the guys to reach their goals, they need to watch these 10 Idol Hall of Fame performances, so they can learn from the best and how they can build a fan base to not only prepare them for the competition but for the post-Idol world.
Justin Guarini (Season One): “Get Here”
During the show’s first Final Four week, the Columbus, Georgia native delivered a passionate cover of Oleta Adams’ “Get Here.” Justin showed incredible vocal gymnastics, which helped him gain enough momentum to deliver him to the show’s first finale.
Clay Aiken (Season Two): “Bridge Over Troubled Water”
Many longtime American Idol fans call the Season Two Runner-Up’s cover of the Simon and Garfunkel classic: the defining performance of the entire series. This moment was pure gold because it showed off Clay’s vocal range, personality and most importantly, his connection with the audience.
Bo Bice (Season Four): “In A Dream”
If you want to go onto the finale, you have to be bold. Bo’s decision to perform Badlands’ “In A Dream” a cappella remains one of the gutsiest moves in Idol history. This performance was full of excellent vocal phrasing and not only impressed music legend Clive Davis but still remains Idol’s first legendary rocker.
Constantine Maroulis (Season Four): “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Bo’s fellow rocker and early frontrunner Constantine Maroulis delivered one of the best covers of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” during the fourth season. This performance not only showed fans that Constantine could rock out but he was the first Idol rocker to infuse theatricality into his performance.
Elliott Yamin (Season Five): “A Song for You”
Listening to the Idol guest mentors can definitely pay off. One example of this lesson was when Elliott Yamin delivered the performance of Season Five when he tackled Leon Russell’s “A Song for You.” Thanks to the suggestions made by David Foster, Elliott delivered a master class vocal performance that made then judge Paula Abdul weep and inserted his place in Idol history.
Chris Daughtry (Season Five): “I Walk the Line”
Chris Daughtry was the first artist to bring the Alternative Rock scene to the show. When Chris performed Live’s cover of Johnny Cash’s hit: “I Walk the Line,” he took Idol viewers on a wild ride. This performance not only cemented Chris’ place as a frontrunner for his season but also on a path that lead him to become the top-selling male alum from Idol.
David Archuleta (Season Seven): “Imagine”
David Archuleta’s stripped down cover of John Lennon’s legendary anthem during the show’s Top 20. His cover of “Imagine” remains one of the show’s best performances because of his amazing vocal range and his ability to keep the song simple under his allotted 90 seconds.
David Cook (Season Seven): “Billie Jean”
David Cook won his season of American Idol not only because he produced great moments like “Billie Jean,” but also, he successfully harnessed two playbooks of past Idol rockers. Like Bo, he took risks with his song selection and he also chose covers from not as known artists (Chris Cornell, Switchfoot) like Chris Daughtry.
Adam Lambert (Season Eight): “Mad World”
The Season Eight standout delivered an astonishing cover of Tears for Fears’ “Mad World.” He showed so much emotion during this song that he was only contestant to receive a standing ovation from all four judges from Birth Year week, but it was sign that he was a future superstar in the making.
Joshua Ledet (Season 11): “It’s A Man’s World”
In all honesty, a majority of the guy contestants in the post Cowell and Abdul era of Idol have been either average or abysmal. The only guy contestant that is worthy to be on this list is Joshua Ledet. His cover of “It’s A Man’s World” was not only out of this world but was the best male vocal of the season.