Jake’s Take’s Best of the 2010s: Top 30 Reality TV Performances

Jake’s Take celebrates the end of the 2010s by revealing the Top 30 performances from Reality TV. (Bitmoji property of Jake’s Take)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

December 31, 2019, will mark the end of the 2010s. Throughout this decade, there were impeccable moments throughout performance-based competition shows. I have picked out performances from eight different seasons on four continents.  Here are my Top 30 performances that happened during this decade.

(Editor’s Note: Earlier this summer, I revealed my Top 20 ‘America’s Got Talent’ performances from the decade. Click on the link to find out which performances made the cut!)

Jeff Gutt celebrated an end of his two-year X Factor USA journey with an electric cover of “Dream On.” (Video property of FOX, FremantleMedia North America & Syco Entertainment)

#30: “Dream On” by Jeff Gutt (The X Factor USA: Season Three; FOX; 2013)

Stone Temple Pilots frontman Jeff Gutt kicks off our Top 30 countdown. Before he joined the band, Jeff appeared on two seasons of the defuncted FOX singing competition. While he was eliminated during Hollywood Week in the show’s sophomore season, Jeff returned with a vengeance in 2013 and made it to the Season Three finale. He brilliantly covered “Dream On” for one of his final X Factor USA performances, and it was amazing to see his mentor, Kelly Rowland, rock out at the panel.

Cassadee Pope secured the Voice: Season Three crown with an emotional performance of Faith Hill’s “Cry.” (Video property of NBC, MGM Television, Talpa Media & Warner Horizon Television)

#29: “Cry” by Cassadee Pope (The Voice USA: Season Three; NBC; 2012)

The former Hey Monday! Frontwoman won NBC’s singing competition’s third season with her impeccable cover of Faith Hill’s “Cry.” Seven years later and this Team Blake alum’s superb vocals still give me chills.

Billy Gilman’s “I Surrender” was a highlight during The Voice: Season 11 (Audio property of Universal Music Group)

#28: “I Surrender” by Billy Gilman (The Voice USA: Season 11; NBC; 2016)

In all honesty, I was a little too harsh with my judgment on Billy Gilman’s cover of Celine Dion’s “I Surrender.” The reason why was because Kelly Clarkson’s star-making performance of the song was still fresh in my mind. Three years later, Billy proved me wrong, and his impressive vocal range helped him crack a spot on this countdown.

Ada Vox’s “Circle of Life” stole the show during American Idol’s first Disney Night. (Video property of ABC, FremantleMedia North America & 19 Entertainment)

#27: “Circle of Life” by Ada Vox (American Idol: Season 16; ABC; 2018)

Ada Vox made history as she became the first drag performer to make it to the American Idol live shows. During the ABC reboot’s first Disney night, Ava took the Idol stage by storm with her powerhouse interpretation of “Circle of Life.” Ava earned rave feedback from judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan.

Clark Beckham commanded the American Idol stage during the Season 14 finale. (Video property of FOX, FremantleMedia North America & 19 Entertainment)

#26: “Georgia On My Mind” by Clark Beckham (American Idol: Season 14; FOX; 2015)

It is a crime that Jake’s Take friend Clark Beckham did not win his season of American Idol. He was a true virtuoso who has mastered a variety of music genres and combines that with his impeccable showmanship makes Clark one of Idol’s most talented alums. “Georgia On My Mind” is a masterclass example on how to excel in a music-based Reality TV competition. 

Sheldon Riley returned to The Voice: Australia with a phenomenal cover of Madonna’s “Frozen.” (Video property of Nine Network, Talpa Media Group & iTV Studios Australia)

#25: “Frozen” by Sheldon Riley (The Voice Australia: Season Eight; Nine Network; 2019)

One year after making it to The Voice Australia: Season Seven finale with on Team Boy George, Sheldon Riley returned for a second chance to be mentored. Sheldon delivered a masterful performance of Madonna’s “Frozen” that his “Karma Chameleon” coach recognized from the first few notes. After giving a hug and a blessing to his former student, Sheldon enlisted with Delta Goodrem’s team.

The Collaborative Orchestra & Singers’ cover of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” showcased Britain’s Got Talent fans the power of music. (Video property of iTV, Fremantle, Syco Television & Thames)

#24: “Don’t Stop Me Now” by The Collaborative Orchestra & Singers; (Britain’s Got Talent: Series 10; iTV; 2016)

The Collaborative Orchestra and Singers’ flash mob audition remains one of the greatest Judges Auditions in Got Talent franchise history. This fabulous group of musicians and vocalists gave viewers around the world chills with their fabulous cover of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now.”

Amanda Brown’s “Dream On” elevated the art of performing on The Voice. (Video property of NBC, MGM Television, Talpa Media Group & Warner Horizon Television)

#23: “Dream On” by Amanda Brown (The Voice USA: Season Three; NBC; 2012) 

Amanda Brown set Season Three ablaze with her fantastic vocals. During the show’s Live Playoffs, Amanda successfully tackled Aerosmith’s signature song, including her on-pitch version of Steven Tyler’s scream. The performance also showcased her coach, Adam Levine, rock out for the first time on the singing competition.

Jesse Kinch showcased the power of old school blues-rock when he performed on Rising Star. (Video property of ABC & Keshet Broadcasting)

#22: “I’ve Put A Spell on You” by Jesse Kinch (Rising Star USA; ABC; 2014) 

In all honesty, Jesse Kinch was the only performer worthy of winning ABC’s defunct singing competition. His raw blues-rock vocals tore through his competition and gave the audience chills. My favorite cover that Jesse did on the show was “I’ve Put A Spell on You,” and five years later, it is still worthy of a spot in this countdown. 

Alisan Porter’s “Somewhere” helped her win The Voice: Season 10. (Video property of NBC, MGM Television, Talpa Media Group & Warner Horizon Television)

#21: “Somewhere” by Alisan Porter (The Voice USA: Season 10; NBC; 2016)

“Somewhere” has been sung on almost every significant singing competition. However, Alisan Porter’s version of the West Side Story anthem still gives me chills. Not only did she make her coach, Christina Aguilera, proud, but this vocal performance helped her win Season 10!

Chris Mann’s “You Raise Me Up” not only moved his mentor, Christina Aguilera, to tears but also became one of the best vocal performances in Voice history. (Video property of NBC, MGM Television, Talpa Media Group & Warner Horizon Television)

#20: “You Raise Me Up” by Chris Mann (The Voice USA: Season Two; NBC; 2012)

While it has been seven years since Chris Mann competed on The Voice, The Phantom of the Opera star delivered a spectacular vocal of Josh Groban’s signature song that set the standard for future artists. My fellow Kansan’s flawless vocal made his coach, the legendary Christina Aguilera, weep openly and inspired many viewers.

Diamond White delivered probably one of the series’ best performances with her interpretation of “Because You Loved Me.” (Video property of FOX, FremantleMedia North America & Syco Entertainment)

#19: “Because You Loved Me” by Diamond White (The X Factor USA: Season Two; FOX; 2012) 

Diamond White was probably one of the best performers that X Factor USA discovered in its three-season run. Every time she took the stage, Diamond brilliantly interpreted some of the biggest superstar’s hits such as Beyonce’s “I Was Here” and Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” However, it was her cover of Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me” that cemented her future in the entertainment industry.

Jonathan & Charlotte’s “The Prayer” is a must-see performance for any Got Talent fan. (Video property of iTV, Fremantle, Syco Television & Thames)

#18: “The Prayer” by Jonathan & Charlotte (Britain’s Got Talent: Series Seven; iTV; 2012) 

Jonathan and Charlotte’s “The Prayer” remains one of the best popera performances in Got Talent franchise history. The former duo’s Judges’ Auditions received over 121 million YouTube views, while Simon encouraged Jonathan to dump Charlotte, he decided to go against the Got Talent creator’s advice and the duo made it to the Series Seven final. Their harmonies and Jonathan’s omnipotent vocals gave viewers chills.

Jack Vidgen made his triumphant return to Australian Reality TV with his cover of Adele’s “Hello.” (Video property of Nine Network, Talpa Media Group, Shine Australia & iTV Studios)

#17: “Hello” by Jack Vidgen (The Voice Australia: Season Eight; Nine Network; 2019)

Earlier this decade, a 14-year-old named Jack Vidgen took the world by storm when he won Australia’s Got Talent in 2011 with his dynamic vocals. However, he spent the past several years MIA. Earlier this year, a 22-year-old Jack returned to Australian television with his bombastic rendition of Adele’s “Hello” that received praise from fellow Australian superstars Delta Goodrem and Guy Sebastian. This performance was the first time in five years that Jack sang live and it was definitely one of the best moments in international Voice history.

Kyla Jade delivered a fiery cover of “With A Little Help From My Friends” that shook The Voice soundstage. (Video property of NBC, MGM Television, Talpa Media Group & Warner Horizon Television)

#16: “With A Little Help From My Friends” by Kyla Jade (The Voice USA: Season 14; NBC; 2018)

In all honesty, I stopped watching The Voice before Kelly Clarkson joined. My fellow Kansas native, Kyla Jade, was able to pull me back in with her remarkable performances. However, the Team Blake soul superstar delivered a powerhouse vocal when she tackled Joe Cocker’s rendition of “With A Little Help From My Friends.”

Collabro’s haunting cover of “Who Wants to Live Forever” made Collaborators around the world proud. (Video property of iTV, Fremantle, Syco Television & Thames)

#15: “Who Wants to Live Forever” by Collabro (Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions; ITV; 2019)

Longtime Jake’s Take friends Collabro returned to Britain’s Got Talent to compete in its spin-off: Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions. The quartet (Thomas Redgrave, Jamie Lambert, Matt Pagan, and Michael Auger) delivered a stunning cover of Queen’s “Who Wants to Live Forever” that gave viewers and the Wembley Arena audience chills.

Haley Reinhart proved why she was American Idol: Season 10’s best singer with her dramatic performance of “I Who Have Nothing.” (Video property of FOX, FremantleMedia North America & 19 Entertainment)

#14: “I Who Have Nothing” by Haley Reinhart (American Idol-Season 10; FOX; 2011) 

For eight years, I scratched my head and could not comprehend why Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson made Haley Reinhart’s journey hell while giving a free pass to Season 10’s abysmal final two. However, Haley delivered the ultimate middle finger to them when she sang a dramatic cover of Dame Shirley Bassey’s “I Who Have Nothing,” which cemented her bright future in the entertainment industry.

Jai McDowall delivered a powerful cover of “I’ll Never Love Again” that gave Got Talent fans chills and earned an apology from Simon Cowell. (Video property of iTV, Fremantle, Syco Television & Thames)

#13: “I’ll Never Love Again” by Jai McDowall (Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions; ITV; 2019)

For years, many Got Talent fans were outraged by Simon Cowell and Sony Music executives’ alleged mistreatment of Series Five winner Jai McDowall. However, the West End superstar returned to prove a point to Simon when he sang Lady Gaga’s “I’ll Never Love Again” on Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.  Not only did he deliver an outstanding performance, but the Got Talent creator apologized to Jai and gave him a long-overdue standing ovation. 

Candice Glover’s “When You Believe” cemented her win during the show’s twelfth season. (Video property of FOX, FremantleMedia North America & 19 Entertainment)

#12: “When You Believe” by Candice Glover (American Idol-Season 12; FOX; 2013) 

Candice Glover paid homage to two legendary R&B vocalists during Season 12’s Top Five week. She covered Whitney Houston and then-judge Mariah Carey’s “When You Believe.” Not only it was a vocal masterclass, but the performance saw something that made fans smile with delight: a beaming Mariah Carey.

Leroy Bell’s cover of “Angel” gave X Factor USA fans chills from start to finish. (Video property of FOX, FremantleMedia North America & Syco Entertainment)

#11: “Angel” by LeRoy Bell (The X Factor USA-Season One; FOX; 2011) 

LeRoy Bell blended rock and soul during his time on X Factor USA. However, his cover of Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” during the first season’s Giving Thanks week elevated the song to another level of excellence.

Cor Glanaethwy’s “Hallelujah” is the best Britain’s Got Talent performance of the decade. (Video property of iTV, Fremantle, Syco Television & Thames)

#10: “Hallelujah” by Cor Glanaethwy (Britain’s Got Talent-Series Nine; ITV; 2015) 

The 165-piece Welsh choir kicks off our Top 10! Cor Glanaethwy beautifully transformed Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” into an impeccable choral number that gave viewers around the world chills as they sang it in Welsh. I hope that Cor Glanaethwy has the chance to perform on a Champions edition of  America’s Got Talent or Britain’s Got Talent in the future.

Rachael Leahcar’s “La Vie En Rose” still remains the gold standard for The Voice Australia performers. (Video property of Nine Network, Talpa Media Group, Shine Australia & iTV Studios)

#9: “La Vie en Rose” by Rachael Leahcar (The Voice Australia-Season One; Nine Network; 2012) 

Sometimes singers do not need bombastic voices to win over audiences. During The Voice Australia’s first season, Rachael Leahcar made both the audience and coaches (Joel Madden, Keith Urban, Seal, and Delta Goodrem) weep when she tackled Edith Piaf’s immortal love song.

Sisaundra Lewis commanded The Voice soundstage with her electrifying cover of “Oh Sherrie.” (Video property of NBC, MGM Television, Talpa Media Group & Warner Horizon Television)

#8: “Oh Sherrie” by Sisaundra Lewis (The Voice USA-Season Six; NBC; 2014) 

Sisaundra Lewis should have won The Voice’s sixth season! Celine Dion’s former vocal director delivered game-changing vocals each week. At first, I was a bit skeptical when she chose Steve Perry’s “Oh Sherrie” during Top 10 week. However, Sisaundra’s dynamite voice transformed the cheesy 80s rock song into an arena rock anthem that blew the roof off of the Universal Studios Hollywood soundstage.

Joshua Ledet’s “It’s A Man’s World” is the best male vocal performance of the decade. (Video property of FOX, FremantleMedia North America & 19 Entertainment)

#7: “It’s A Man’s World” by Joshua Ledet (American Idol-Season 11; FOX; 2012) 

James Brown’s legendary hit has been sung on so many talent competition shows over the years that I lost count. However, once Joshua Ledet sang the song, it became his! Joshua sang with so much fire, passion, and soul that he took the audience to church while receiving high praise from legendary rocker Steven Tyler.

Many American Idol fans believed that Jessica Sanchez should have won her season after his show-stopping performance. (Video property of FOX, FremantleMedia North America & 19 Entertainment)

#6: “And I Am Telling You” by Jessica Sanchez (American Idol-Season 11; FOX; 2012) 

Throughout Season 11, Jessica Sanchez delivered outstanding performances week after week. However, Jessica became an Idol legend after she sang a fiery cover of Jennifer Holliday’s “And I Am Telling You” that made the judges stand up and made jaws drop in astonishment.

Jordan Smith’s “Somebody to Love” cemented not only his win but also a career in the music industry. Video property of NBC, MGM Television, Talpa Media Group & Warner Horizon Television)

5: “Somebody to Love” by Jordan Smith (The Voice USA-Season Nine; NBC; 2015) 

If any male singer makes it to The Voice’s Live Rounds, I would highly recommend that they would watch Jordan Smith’s cover of Queen’s “Somebody to Love.” Jordan’s performance not only cemented Adam Levine’s final win as a coach, but it also remains the best male vocal from any season of The Voice USA. 

Gerphil-Geraldine Flores’ octave-leaping cover of “The Impossible Dream” is the best Got Talent performance of the decade. (Video property of AXN Asia, FremantleMedia Asia, Syco Entertainment & Sony Pictures Television Networks)

#4: “The Impossible Dream” by Gerphil-Geraldine Flores (Asia’s Got Talent-Season One; AXN Asia; 2015) 

Our final overseas trip takes us to the Marina Sands Resort in Singapore, where David Foster’s Golden Buzzer act, opera singer Gerphil-Geraldine Flores, made Got Talent history. Gerphil’s omnipotent voice elevated the Man of La Mancha’s signature ballad to new operatic heights!

In my opinion, Stacy Francis’ “Purple Rain” is the best performance of the decade from the X Factor franchise. (Video property of FOX, FremantleMedia North America & Syco Entertainment)

#3: “Purple Rain” by Stacy Francis (The X Factor USA-Season One; FOX; 2011) 

While it has been six years since the American version of The X Factor aired its last episode, there have been performances that proved why this program should be on another network. When Stacy Francis sang “Purple Rain” during the show’s inaugural season, she set the standard for not only future contestants but also other singers to correctly interpret a Prince song.

Seven American Idol winners returned to the show to say farewell to Simon Cowell, who left the singing competition after nine seasons. (Video property of FOX, FremantleMedia North America & 19 Entertainment)

#2: “Together We Are One” (American Idol-Season Nine; FOX; 2010) 

2010 marked the end of an era for American Idol. After nine seasons of giving out harsh criticism and occasional praise, Simon Cowell left the FOX singing competition. Seven former American Idol winners (Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, and Kris Allen) returned to commemorate the occasion. They joined the Season Nine Top 12 and other legendary alums such as Justin Guarini, Constantine Maroulis, Melinda Doolittle, and David Archuleta to pay homage to the man who helped them become household names.

Countless American Idol alumni returned to help say goodbye to the series when it left FOX airwaves in 2016. Video property of FOX, FremantleMedia North America & 19 Entertainment)

#1: “One Voice” (American Idol-Season 15; FOX; 2016) 

The number one spot goes to American Idol’s final FOX episode’s opening number. Over 40 singers that ranged from winners to the Top 12 participated in the performance. It showcased the legendary competition’s legacy as fans got goosebumps as they delivered an impeccable cover of Barry Manilow’s “One Voice.”

I do not own any of the clips that are featured in this article. They belong to the following broadcasting companies:

a. American Idol: FOX, 19 Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America,  & ABC

b. Asia’s Got Talent: AXN Asia, Fremantle Asia, Syco Entertainment & Sony Pictures Television Networks. 

c. Britain’s Got Talent & Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions: iTV, Fremantle, Syco Entertainment & Thames.

d. Rising Star: ABC & Keshet Broadcasting.

e. The Voice Australia: Nine Network, Talpa Media Group, Shine Australia & ITV Studios Australia.

f. The Voice USA: NBC, MGM Television, Talpa Media & Warner Horizon Television.

g. X Factor USA: FOX, FremantleMedia North America & Syco Entertainment. 

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar