By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
American Idol XIII returns with a two-night premiere on January 15 and 16.
Joining returning judge Keith Urban on the Judging panel will be newcomer Harry Connick, Jr. and Idol veteran Jennifer Lopez!
But, before the trio begins their search for the next big superstar, Jake’s Take is celebrating the past 12 seasons of Idol by celebrating the elite singers that have hit the Idol stage.
To kick things off, we are celebrating the Idol ladies!
Idol’s original leading lady was actually the underdog during the Bootcamp Rounds. But it was not until her performances of “Natural Woman,” “Stuff Like That There” and “I Surrender” that propelled her to the first season finale and where America voted her to become the inaugural winner.
The show’s First Lady of Soul was a force to reckon with during her season. I was blown away with her renditions of Roberta Black’s “Killing Me Softly” and Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” and masterfully infused her astonishing vocals with every single song that she touched. Some of her best included “Signed, Sealed and Delivered,” “Summertime” and “Dreams.”
Along with Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson remains one of the most memorable contestants from the third season of the show. While Ms. Hudson had some rough weeks on the Live Shows, she soared to the top with her show-stopping performances of “Circle of Life” & “I Have Nothing.” Even though she was eliminated during the show’s Top Seven Week, Hudson remains one of the most decorated alumni with a Grammy, a BAFTA, Golden Globe and an Oscar.
I strongly believe that Carrie Underwood could give both Clarkson and Hudson as the most successful American Idol alumni. Underwood showed both the judges and fans week-in and week-out that she would be the global superstar that Simon predicted after she tackled Heart’s “Alone.” Check out her other Idol hits including “Love is a Battlefield” & “Angels Brought Me Here.”
Before she was the co-host of Reality Check and Idology, Melinda Doolittle was the reigning queen (and rightful winner) of American Idol: Season Six. Every guest mentor from Diana Ross to Jon Bon Jovi stated that Melinda was a dynamite singer! Her performances of “Home,” “There Will Come A Day” and “Have A Nice Day” will always be my favorite performances from any Reality TV singing competition show.
The final female singer that rocked the Cowell era of Idol was Crystal Bowersox. In a weak season filled of karaoke pretenders, Bowersox inserted her Indie folk vibe into some of music’s most memorable hits such as “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Maybe I’m Amazed” and “Black Velvet” and introduced them to a new generation of fans.
While the judges (especially Randy and Jennifer) were always talking about Pia Toscano or Lauren Alaina’s amazing vocals, Haley Reinhart became a fan-favorite contestant. Her bluesy vocals brought the house down every time and impressed some of the biggest names in music including Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Sheryl Crow and Led Zeppelin. Haley’s greatest Idol hits include: “Bennie and the Jets,” “House of the Rising Sun” and “I Who Have Nothing.”
Before Jessica Sanchez first sang in front of Randy, Jennifer and Steven, I had been watching Reality TV competition shows for 10 years. The last time, I saw a young singer impress me was America’s Got Talent ‘s Jackie Evancho. Week-after-week, she tackled some of the most monstrous songs in music history and I knew that no matter what happened she would have a future in this industry. To see what I am talking about, watch her covers of “I Will Always Love You,” “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” and “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing.”
The Season 12 winner’s Idol journey has been longer than most. After being rejected in Season Nine and Season 11, Candice returned to the show with a vengeance and conquered the competition with her superior vocal performances that received standing ovation after ovation from the bickering judges. Highlights from Candice’s run include: “Love Song,” “When You Believe” and “(I) Who Have Nothing.”
All clips that are incorporated in this blog post do not belong to me! They belong to FOX, FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment.