Throwback Thursday: The 15 Gems from Reality TV

Viewers saw Nicholas McDonald mature on the tenth season of "X Factor UK" and his cover of "Superman" cemented his place in the recording industry. (Photo property of ITV & SYCO TV)

Viewers saw Nicholas McDonald mature on the tenth season of “X Factor UK” and his cover of “Superman” cemented his place in the recording industry. (Photo property of ITV & SYCO TV)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Earlier this year, I released one of the highest viewed articles of 2014: Jake’s Take: The 15 Greatest Reality TV Performances of All-Time!

I received numerous comments on my blog and social media stating that I missed several crucial performances.

That is why I dug deep into the vaults of American Idol, AGT, The X Factor UK, The X Factor USA & The Voice to find the most memorable and talked about performances from the past 10 years!

Nicholas McDonald: “Superman” (The X Factor UK: Season 10)

While he may have lost the title to Sam Bailey, the Scottish powerhouse delivered a show-stopping cover of Five for Fighting’s “Superman.” With the help of the Wembley Arena audience, Nicholas gave a stunning visual performance that showcased his strong vocals and cemented his place in the recording industry.

Melinda Doolittle's cover of "Home" gave Diana Ross goose bumps and made Paula Abdul weep. (Photo property of 19 Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America & FOX)

Melinda Doolittle’s cover of “Home” gave Diana Ross goose bumps and made Paula Abdul weep. (Photo property of 19 Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America & FOX)

Melinda Doolittle: “Home(American Idol: Season Six)

Melinda Doolittle remains one of the most remarkable singers that have ever performed on the show! Her interpretation of Miss Diana Ross’s most iconic ballads transported audience members away from the Idol stage and into the Dolby Theatre. Melinda’s performance was filled with so much conviction that it gave the Supremes leader goose bumps and made then-judge Paula Abdul cry.

LeRoy Bell: “Angel(The X Factor USA: Season One)

Blues-soul singer LeRoy Bell remains the most incomparable artist that has ever appeared on the American version of the British TV juggernaut. LeRoy’s cover of Sarah McLachlan’s beautiful ballad oozed so much raw soul that it even satisfied the show’s most grumpiest judge: Simon Cowell!

 

Classical crossover singer Branden James stole America's hearts when he appeared on "America's Got Talent" earlier this year. (Photo property of NBC's Virginia Sherwood)

Classical crossover singer Branden James stole American hearts when he sang “You Raise Me Up” in 2013. (Photo property of NBC’s Virginia Sherwood)

Branden James: “Hallelujah(America’s Got Talent: Season Eight)

Classical crossover singer Branden James took Leonard Cohen’s timeless classic to operatic heights during the AGT: Season Eight Top 12. His interpretation of “Hallelujah” not only made my arm hairs stand, but also made the audience think about the bigger picture known as life.

Amber Carrington: “Skyfall(The Voice: Season Four)

Every time audiences watched Amber Carrington perform on The Voice USA’s fourth season, she would deliver knockout performance after knockout performance. However, she solidified her place in Voice history as the first artist to successfully cover an Adele song!

Paul Akister: “Ghost(The X Factor UK: Season 11)

For two years, X Factor UK fans followed Paul Akister’s journey that began at the tenth season’s Rooms Auditions and unfortunately ended at Louis Walsh’s house! When new mentor Mel B invited Paul to the Live Shows, fans finally got to see the 25-year-old shine on celebrated TV stage. He gave Ella Henderson’s “Ghost” a much-needed R&B/Soul makeover that received a standing ovation from his proud mentor!

 

Andrew De Leon Regresa A Mi

Andrew De Leon’s return to “America’s Got Talent” charmed the audience and the judges. (Photo property of SYCOTV & NBC)

Andrew De Leon: “Regresa A Mi(America’s Got Talent: Season Seven)

Andrew De Leon has one of the best fanbases in America’s Got Talent history. Once, the opera singer was cut in during Vegas Callbacks…they rallied on social media to have him reinstated as a Wild Card. Veteran judge Howie Mandel read all the tweets and invited him back as his Wild Card pick! His cover of Il Divo’s “Regresa A Mi” not only redeemed himself, but also brought the entire New Jersey Performing Arts Center audience to its feet.

Bo Bice: “In A Dream(American Idol: Season Four)

Nine years ago, Bo Bice made an uncanny and bold decision during American Idol: Season Four’s Top Three week…he decided to perform a track a cappella. Bo’s powerful rock vocals hushed the CBS Television Studio and hypnotized the Idol audience. This performance helped him land a spot in the American Idol: Season Four finale.

Emil & Dariel: “I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing(America’s Got Talent: Season Nine)

“I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing” is a staple to Reality TV singing competitions. While singers can always deliver intriguing covers of the Aerosmith smash hit, cello virtuosos Emil & Dariel gave viewers chills and hope for the future of classical music with this epic performance.

Judith Hill stole the Blind Auditions round with her impressive cover of Christina Aguilera's "What A Girl Wants." (Photo property of NBC)

Judith Hill stole the Blind Auditions round with her impressive cover of Christina Aguilera’s “What A Girl Wants.” (Photo property of NBC)

Judith Hill: “What A Girl Wants(The Voice: Season Four)

I always look forward to The Voice’s Blind Auditions! It amazing to hear the talent that comes through and watch the coaches catch future superstars in the making! When Judith Hill tore through coach Christina Aguilera’s “What A Girl Wants” in the show’s fourth cycle, I knew that the former Michael Jackson background singer was going to be one of the season’s standout stars! A year later, she remains one of the show’s most active alums!

Elliott Yamin: “A Song For You(American Idol: Season Five)

Elliott Yamin set the standards for future male vocalists to appear on Reality TV singing competitions. He put everything into his cover of Donny Hathaway’s signature track: “A Song For You” which made viewers smile, Paula Abdul cry and received one of Simon’s greatest quotes: “tonight, it (your performance) was like a vocal master class! It was superb.”

Amanda Brown: “Dream On(The Voice: Season Three)

Ever since Adam Lambert’s appearance on American Idol, rock vanquished from viewers’ attention! Three years later, Amanda Brown kindled the fires of classic rock with her performance of Aerosmith’s iconic hit! She charged the stage with her high octave vocals and showmanship, which remains the best female vocal in Voice history!

 

Emily West AGT

Emily West’s haunting cover of Sia’s “Chandelier” wowed the “AGT” audience. (Photo property of NBC)

Emily West: “Chandelier(America’s Got Talent: Season Nine)

The moment I fell in love with Emily West when she gave her take on Sia’s “Chandelier “ on the Radio City Music Hall stage. She beautifully transported the audience to the Hollywood Bowl in a performance where her goose bump inducing vocals soared! It was a magical moment.

 

Joshua Ledet blew everyone away with his cover of James Brown's "It's A Man's World."  (Photo property of 19 Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America & FOX)

Joshua Ledet blew everyone away with his cover of James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s World.” (Photo property of 19 Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America & FOX)

Joshua Ledet: “It’s A Man’s World(American Idol: Season 11)

Once Simon Cowell left American Idol, I thought that the show would never find a great male vocalist to join Aiken, Bice, Yamin, Cook, Archuleta and Lambert in the Idol pantheon. However, once Joshua Ledet auditioned in front of Randy, Jennifer and Steven, we all knew that he was destined for greatness! The crescendo of his Idol journey was his tour-de-force performance of James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s World!”

Sam Bailey: “Skyscraper(The X Factor UK: Season 10)

When I first saw Sam Bailey’s room audition, I knew that she was going to walk away with the X Factor UK: Season 10 crown! In her coronation song, Sam showcased her entire velvet vocal range to the Wembley Arena audience. Her rendition of Demi Lovato’s perfectly capped her X Factor arc and showcased her future in the recording industry.

I do not own any of the clips that are featured in this article! They belong to the shows and their respective TV networks!

 

Comments

  1. Hola! I’ve been following your site for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a
    shout out from Houston Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the excellent work!

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