Jake’s Take’s Best of 2021- Top Reality TV Performances

Here are “Jake’s Take’s” Top Reality TV Performances of 2021! (Bitmoji property of Jacob Elyachar)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

It is hard to believe that we are weeks away from 2021 ending! In this edition of Jake’s Take’s Best of 2021, we are looking back at some of the best moments from Reality TV. The shows that are featured in this countdown are American Idol, America’s Got Talent (AGT), and both The Masked Singer USA Seasons Five and Six! Without further ado, let the Reality TV countdown begin!

#20-Queen of Hearts (Jewel) & Nicole Scherzinger: “Dream On” (The Masked Singer: Season Six) 

The Masked Singer contestants performed duets in season six for the first time in show history. The best collaboration of the season must be Nicole Scherzinger (who has a history of performing duets with previous Reality TV contestants) and Queen of Hearts. These ladies rocked it out with Aerosmith’s “Dream On.” 

#19-Willie Spence & Leona Lewis: “You Are the Reason” (American Idol Season 19 FINALE)

American Idol: Season 19 Runner-Up Willie Spence received the privilege of singing with X Factor UK icon Leona Lewis during the finale. It was a beautiful performance from start to finish!

#18- Seashell Mask (Tamera Mowry-Housley): “I Think We’re Alone Now” (The Masked Singer: Season Five)

Emmy-winning talk show host and actress Tamera Mowry-Housley continues our Reality TV countdown! My heart fluttered with joy as she tackled Tiffany’s iconic song as the superb Seashell Mask. I was so disappointed when she was unmasked after this fabulous performance! Hopefully, she will release this cover onto Apple Music and Spotify into the future.

#17- Pepper Mask (Natasha Bedingfield): “Jealous” (The Masked Singer: Season Six) 

Pepper Mask broke Reality TV fans’ hearts with her beautiful cover of Labrinth’s “Jealous.” It gave me chills when I watched it the first time. Sadly, Pepper Mask was unmasked in the Group A semifinals. However, thank you, Natasha Bedingfield, for delivering such a mesmerizing performance.  

#16-Piglet Mask (Nick Lachey): “Superstition” (The Masked Singer: Season Five WINNER)

The 98 Degrees frontman delivered stellar performances throughout The Masked Singer: Season Five. But, the Reality TV veteran provided an outstanding cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” that won him the show! From the goosebump-inducing opera opening to his skat-singing closing, it was an epic performance! 

#15-JW’s Inspirational Singers of New York City: “Stand Up” (America’s Got Talent: Season 16)

In all honesty, JW’s Inspirational Singers of New York City should have been included in this season. This group of Broadway and TV performers brilliantly interpreted Cynthia Erivo’s “Stand Up” that it gave me a set of goose bumps and that I had to put on this year’s Reality TV countdown. I truly wished that they received the Golden Buzzer over Northwell Health Nurses’ Choir and a spot in the competition over Keith Apicary and Sethward.

#14- Banana Split (David Foster & Katharine McPhee Foster): “A Million Dreams” (The Masked Singer USA: Season Six Group B Finalists) 

I knew that Banana Split was David Foster and Reality TV veteran Katharine McPhee Foster during their performance of P!nk’s cover of “A Million Dreams.” Ice Cream’s vocals gave me chills as I was in awe of Banana’s musicianship and how he commanded the Masked Singer band. 

#13- Cassandra Coleman & Lindsey Buckingham: “Go Your Own Way” (American Idol Season 19 FINALE) 

The best Reality TV duet of 2021 has to go to Cassandra Coleman and Lindsey Buckingham’s rousing version of “Go Your Own Way” was an impeccable Reality TV moment! She perfectly held her own against the rock legend as the “Holiday Road” singer and guitarist stole the show with his iconic solo. 

#12- Bull Mask (Todrick Hall): “Circus” (The Masked Singer USA: Season Six RUNNER-UP)

The Bull Mask made his presence known with his first performance on The Masked Singer: Season Six stage. Accompanied by masked backing dancers, the Bull delivered a fiery performance that included a #FreeBritney shoutout, a split, and superb vocals.

#11-Grace Kinstler: “Into the Unknown” (American Idol Season 19; THIRD PLACE) 

I have heard the Frozen II anthem on several Reality TV competition shows. However, no one could hold a candle to Grace Kinstler. The Chicago native delivered a beautiful interpretation on the show’s Disney Night that I felt reached operatic heights at parts of the performance. 

#10-1aChord: “Every Breath You Take” (America’s Got Talent: Season 16 SEMIFINALISTS)

In seven months, 1aChord (Tavis, Christoff, and Julian) went from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro students to America’s Got Talent frontrunnersTheir phenomenal harmonies always made me smile at every stage of the competition. However, it was their final performance on the Dolby Theatre stage that they truly stole the show with their gospel-infused cover of The Police’s “Every Breath You Take.” 

#9-The Curtis Family C-Notes: “I Was Made to Love Her” (America’s Got Talent: Season 16 QUARTERFINALISTS

San Francisco family band, The Curtis Family C-Notes, had one of the best AGT auditions of Season 16! They made Stevie Wonder proud with their outstanding interpretation of the music legend’s classic anthem: “I Was Made to Love Her.” I genuinely believe the Curtis Family C-Notes raised the bar for family bands that will audition for future seasons. 

#8-Yeti Mask (Omarion): “Bless the Broken Road” (The Masked Singer USA: Season Five; FOURTH PLACE

The Masked Singer USA’s best male vocal of 2021 belongs to the Yeti! Season Five’s last Wild Card performer standing delivered a haunting cover of Rascal Flatts’ “Blessed the Broken Road.” Sadly, the Yeti was unmasked one week before the Season Five finale. R&B singer Omarion was revealed to be Yeti Mask. 

#7-Queen of Hearts Mask (Jewel): “River” (The Masked Singer USA: Season Six WINNER) 

The best Masked Singer performance of 2021 belongs to the talented Queen of Hearts Mask also known as Jewel! From the A cappella opening to the end of the performance, it was not only the PERFECT vocal of Season Six but one of the best performances in franchise history! 

#6-Storm Large: “Take on Me” (America’s Got Talent: Season 16; QUARTERFINALIST)

Reality TV veteran Storm Large was a fan favorite for transforming classic songs into torch song anthems during AGT: Season 16. I was thoroughly impressed with her spectacular interpretation of a-ha’s “Take on Me.” The performance gave me chills!

#5-Nightbirde: “It’s Ok” (America’s Got Talent: Season 16; Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer Act) 

A couple of months ago, AGT introduced us to Zanesville, Ohio native Jane Marczewski, who goes by Nightbirde. During her audition, she sang an original song called “It’s Ok,” which talked about her ongoing battle with cancer. Nightbirde’s performance moved the audience to tears and received the Got Talent creator’s Golden Buzzer. While Nightbirde was forced to leave the season due to health issues, she inspired the world. 

#4-Tory Vagasy: “Heart of Stone” (America’s Got Talent: Season 16; SEMIFINALIST) 

Vocalist Tory Vagasy’s AGT journey was full of ups and downs thanks to a disapproving Howie Mandel. However, Tory proved him wrong with a beautiful cover of Six the Musical’s “Heart of Stone” in the show-stopping second quarterfinals. 

#3-Willie Spence: “Stand Up” (American Idol: Season 19; RUNNER-UP)

Willie Spence blew the American Idol fanbase away every time he took the stage on the veteran singing competition. However, his best performance happened during Top 10 night as he delivered a show-stopping cover of Cynthia Erivo’s “Stand Up” that gave me a strong case of goosebumps.

#2-Brooke Simpson’s America’s Got Talent Run (FOURTH PLACE FINALIST)  

I first heard of Brooke Simpson when she made a deep run on The Voice: Season 13 (Fall 2017) and made it to the finals representing Team Miley Cyrus. Four years later, Brooke Simpson returned stronger vocally as she auditioned for America’s Got Talent. From Lizzo’s “Cuz I Luv You” to Ed Sheeran’s “Bad Habits,” Brooke took the AGT audience on a wild ride! I cannot wait to see what she does next.

#1- Jimmie Herrod’s America’s Got Talent Run! (Sofia Vergara’s Golden Buzzer Act; FINALIST) 

Jake’s Take wants to congratulate one of our favorite podcast guests, Jimmie Herrod, as his entire AGT journey gets 2021’s top spot. I have never seen a singer so captivating as Jimmie Herrod in all my years covering talent shows! From the moment that he proved Simon Cowell wrong with Annie’s “Tomorrow” and received Sofia Vergara’s Golden Buzzer, Jimmie was the season’s best vocalist. 

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar