15. Haley Reinhart | Rhiannon
The first of many Haley performances to make the list. If you can get past the classic Stevie Nicks fan blowing in her hair and weird witchy hand movements, the first half of this performances is stunning and goose bump inducing.
14. Lauren Alaina | If I Die Young
She got a lot of flack for missing her mark toward the end, but I thought it was a surprising heartfelt moment that totally worked for her. Her voice worked beautifully with this contemporary country song.
13. Scotty McCreery | Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not
Up until this point, we hadn’t really heard too many non stereotypical contemporary country songs from Scotty. But Jimmy’s choice for him during the top 3 performance week made us seriously realize, if he could have a record filled with songs like this, he could be huge.
12. Lauren Alaina | Anyway
One of the closest performances Lauren came to having a moment is during the 1:15 mark of this one. I don’t know what to call it, but her voice gets higher and higher in what feels like a musical loop. It’s genius.
11. Haley Reinhart | Rolling In The Deep
After the judges kept giving her a hard time that she wasn’t ‘connecting,’ she decided to literally just place herself into the audience. Dare I say it, but I, along with many others I’ve spoken to, have come to love this version more than Adele’s. (Gasp)
10. Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery | I Told You So
Simply because the honesty and clarity in their voices is great and had never really been more apparent. They sound wonderful together here.
9. Haley Reinhart and Lauren Alaina | Gunpowder and Lead
They don’t really sound good together at all, but separately, Lauren has never sounded better. It was the only time during the entire competition I felt Lauren actually give us a great performance without any qualms or insecurities. Not to give Haley the credit, but I do think having a girl on stage with Lauren who was already confident boosted the confidence level.
8. Haley Reinhart | You and I
The judges ripped her a new one, but this performance of an unreleased Gaga track was one the ballsiest of the season. Who else would ever do this? When she’s doing the ‘you and I’ back and forth with the backup singers, it’s a true moment.
7. Pia Toscano | I’ll Stand By You
Almost everyone watching had no idea Pia had this in her. But in the top 24 performance week, she pulled out all the stops and gave us a great vocal. The first standing ovation of the season.
6. Casey Abrams | Your Song
Most would likely pick Nature Boy, but I much prefer Your Song. His vocals are on point and there’s something about Casey singing “my gift is my song” at the 58 second mark that make us totally believe him. This may be the most honest performance of the season. Plus he’s just adorable singing this.
5. Thia Megia | Daniel
You wont find this on anybody else’s best performance list. But this under-rated and nearly disappearing performance is, quite simply, haunting. The 15 year old Thia showed a voice well beyond her years.
4. Haley Reinhart | What Is and What Should Never Be
Who else would do Led Zeppelin this season and sound so great doing it? Watching this performance is the very reason why Haley was leaps and bounds above everyone else. There is nobody else this season that could take such a hard song, with so many fast lyrics and riffs and never get out of breath. Lauren tried doing it over and over again, but she never could.
3. Pia Toscano | All In Love Is Fair
The girl who left entirely too soon showcased her best vocal of the season.
2. Haley Reinhart | Benny and the Jets
Up to this point, Haley was flying under the radar. But after this performance we totally fell in love for the first time. I don’t think anyone knew how good she was until Elton week. The look on JLo’s face says it all.
1. Haley Reinhart | House of the Rising Sun
After slamming Haley’s first performance of the night, Haley used that anger, which showed all over her face, and came back to get a standing ovation from all three judges. House of the Rising Sun is, frankly, the best performance in ten years of this show.