Jake’s Take’s Best of 2022: Reality TV Performances

Jake’s Take’s Best of 2022 Reality TV Performances feature performers from AGT, American Song Contest, Britain’s Got Talent, Canada’s Got Talent & The Masked Singer. (Logos property of NBC, CityTV, iTV & FOX)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

2022 was an incredible year for Reality TV talent competition – thanks to American Song Contest, The Masked Singer USA, and the Got Talent franchise!

There were some incredible musical performances this year. For the first time, there are multiple performers whose whole Reality TV runs dominated the countdown. There are also performances from three different countries (Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States).

Without further ado, here are Jake’s Take’s Best Reality TV Performances of 2022!

#24- Ben Waites: “True Colors” (America’s Got Talent: Season 17) 

The 32-year-old Nashville transplant stole the Season 17 auditions with his powerful rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.” Ben’s cover left Sofia Vergara in tears and gave me chills. I believe Ben would have been one of the best performers in the Season 17 live shows. I hope he auditions for AGT: Season 18! 

#23- London Community Gospel Choir: “Love Train”/”Anytime You Need a Friend” (Britain’s Got Talent: Series 15) 

The London Community Gospel Choir helped Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) return in style with their medley of The O’Jay’s “Love Train,” and Mariah Carey’s “Anytime You Need a Friend.” Their excellent harmonies were off the charts, and they gave me chills. It was one of the top highlights during the Judges’ Auditions.

#22- Mermaid (Gloria Gaynor) and Robo-Girl (Kat Graham): “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” (The Masked Singer USA: Season Eight) 

The Battle Royale was one of The Masked Singer: Season Eight’s best features. It allowed the Top Two to sing for the King or Queen in the competition while showcasing their legendary vocal styles. During Andrew Lloyd Webber night, Mermaid and Robo-Girl delivered their unique interpretations of Evita’s “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.” Mermaid gave me chilis with her haunting cover, while Robo-Girl channeled Madonna in her version. 

#21- Michael Bolton: “Beautiful World” (American Song Contest FINALIST

Music legend Michael Bolton represented his home state of Connecticut during the American Song Contest. When the “When a Man Loves a Woman” singer performed “Beautiful World,” a song that he co-wrote with Justin Jesso, it was a true highlight of the competition; thankfully, voters voted him into the Top 10. 

#20- John Morgan: “Right in the Middle” (American Song Contest SEMIFINALIST

What I loved about American Song Contest is that the show was able to introduce us to artists that we would not have discovered. One artist was singer-songwriter, John Morgan. Hearing “Right in the Middle” gave me chills, and I declared that John was one of the future voices of country music. 

#19- Cyclops Mask (Jorge Garcia): “Flashdance (What a Feeling)” (The Masked Singer: Season Seven)

In all honesty, Cyclops Mask deserved to be in the final over Firefly. The Team Bad member did the impossible and transformed one of the cinema’s cheesiest songs, Flashdance’s title track, and breathed new life into it. Jorge Garcia is a phenomenal vocalist, and I would stream his version of Flashdance all day long. 

#18- Travis Japan: “My Dreamy Hollywood” (America’s Got Talent: Season 17 SEMIFINALISTS

J-Pop boyband Travis Japan made their American television debut this year on AGT. Their audition song, “My Dreamy Hollywood,” featured a powerful A cappella opening and superb choreography. Despite not making it to the Season 17 finale, Capitol Records signed Travis Japan, and they set the standard for other J-Pop groups to audition for Reality TV shows. 

#17- Karelia Costales: “One Night Only” (Canada’s Got Talent: Season Two) 

Singer Karelia Costales was one of the highlights of Canada’s Got Talent: Season Two Judges’ Auditions. She delivered a spectacular rendition of the Dreamgirls anthem: “One Night Only,” which received a standing ovation from judge Lilly Singh. I truly wish that Karelia made it to the Season Two live shows. Hopefully, she is auditioning for Canada’s Got Talent: Season Three. 

#16- Maxwell Thorpe’s Full Run (Britain’s Got Talent: Series 15 FOURTH PLACE FINALIST

When he auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent’s fifteenth-anniversary series, opera singer Maxwell Thorpe captured the world’s attention. His cover of “Caruso” was on par with BGT legends Paul Potts and Jonathan Antione’s versions, but he soared during the semifinals with a rousing rendition of “Now We Are Free.” His encore performance of “Caruso” during the Series 15 Final put him into the BGT pantheon. 

#15- The Lambs (Wilson Phillips)’s Full Run (The Masked Singer: Season Eight RUNNERS-UP) 

The Lambs became the first-ever group act to make Masked Singer USA history by making it to the Top Two! While the trio’s debut performance of “Hot N’ Cold” was okay, the trio sold me with their robust cover of Blondie’s “Call Me,” which featured an A cappella ending. The trio’s fantastic harmonies on “Ironic,” “What is Love,” “Need You Now,” and “I Want to Know What Love Is” will be talked about for seasons to come! Well done, Wilson Phillips! 

#14- Christian Pagán: “LOKO” (American Song Contest SEMIFINALIST)

Christian Pagán represented Puerto Rico with his original song: “LOKO.” The Idols Puerto Rico champion co-wrote the track with songwriters such as  Fais, Jodi Marr, and the legendary Desmond Child. Christian performing “LOKO” was a true highlight of the competition as he delivered not just a phenomenal vocal performance, but it transported the audience to Puerto Rico.

#13- Simone Soman: “Angel” (Canada’s Got Talent: Season Two) 

Simone Soman was another singer that blew me away during Canada’s Got Talent: Season Two Judges’ Auditions. Her interpretation of Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” gave me goosebumps and the way she commanded the room with just her voice and a grand piano was mesmerizing and deserving of a standing ovation.

#12- Prince (Cheyenne Jackson):  “La Copa De La Vida” (The Masked Singer: Season Seven THIRD PLACE FINALIST)

Broadway superstar and 30 Rock veteran Cheyenne Jackson delivered an impressive run during The Masked Singer: Season Seven. His best performance was his outstanding take on Ricky Martin’s “La Copa De La Vida.” It featured spectacular dancing and superb vocals that brought the party to the FOX celebrity singing competition.

#11- Welsh of the West End: “From Now On” (Britain’s Got Talent: Series 15 SEMIFINALISTS)

Welsh of the West End’s Britain’s Got Talent audition made me weep. This group of Welsh musical theatre actors took The Greatest Showman’s final song and transformed it into a powerful anthem that gave the judges and audiences hope and the strongest case of goosebumps.

#10- Avery Dixon’s Journey (America’s Got Talent: Season 17 Finalist – Terry Crews’ Golden Buzzer) 

AGT’s seventeenth season featured several potential household names in the music category. Saxophonist Avery Dixon is part of this illustrious group. His moving rendition of Otis Redding’s “Try a Little Tenderness” got Howie, the ladies, and the Pasadena Civic Center audience dancing, but he received Terry Crews’ Golden Buzzer. Avery continued to showcase his musicianship in the Semifinals and Finals, where he breathed new life into Stevie Wonder’s iconic “Higher Ground” and Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody.” He commanded the stage and showcased his potential to be a superb bandleader and one of his generation’s top musicians. 

#9- Queen Cobras (En Vogue): “I Say A Little Prayer” (The Masked Singer: Season Seven) 

The Masked Singer’s seventh season’s format made me mad as we lost another fantastic set of performers before the finale. The Queen Cobras, Team Bad’s final members, standing, delivered an outstanding cover of Aretha Franklin’s “I Say a Little Prayer” that included a stunning A cappella conclusion that cemented the performance as one of The Masked Singer’s best performances in the show’s history! Way to go, En Vogue! 

#8-Loren Allred’s Journey (Britain’s Got Talent: Series 15 FINALIST; Amanda Holden’s Golden Buzzer)

Many Reality TV superfans recognized Loren Allred when she walked onto the BGT stage during the Series 15 Judges’ Auditions. The Brooklyn, New York native, made her debut on The Voice USA: Season Three. While she could not advance further on the NBC singing competition than the Live Playoffs, Loren eventually became a household name for singing “Never Enough” from The Greatest Showman. She performed her signature song on BGT and received Amanda Holden’s Golden Buzzer. Loren’s powerful vocals gave the audience chills when she sang “You Say” and “Last Thing I’ll Ever Need.” The Voice’s loss will always be BGT’s gain! I cannot wait to see what she does next. 

#7- Chapel Hart’s Journey (America’s Got Talent: Season 17 GRAND FINALISTS – Group Golden Buzzer) 

Country music group Chapel Hart set a new standard for musical groups to appear on the Got Talent franchise. Their original song, “You Can Have Him Jolene,” brought the Pasadena Civic Center audience to their feet. They became the second act in the main series’ history to receive the Group Golden Buzzer. Not only did they receive praise from Darius Rucker, Dolly Parton, and Tanya Tucker, but they delivered award-show-esque performances that cemented their place in Nashville and Got Talent history. 

#6- Tom Ball’s Journey (Britain’s Got Talent: Series 15 Third Place FINALIST) 

School teacher Tom Ball became an international sensation when he sang Sam Smith’s Oscar-winning song: “Writing’s on the Wall,” on BGT’s fifteenth anniversary season. His vocals tugged on my heartstrings and the audience’s. Thanks to his powerhouse covers of “Rise Like a Phoenix” and “I Have Nothing,” Tom made his students proud. By the end of the season, Tom cemented his place alongside Paul Potts, Jai McDowall, Jonathan Antione, the Collabro men, Gruffydd Wyn, and fellow Series 15 finalist Maxwell Thorpe in the BGT pantheon of male singers. 

#5- Jordan Smith: “Sparrow” (American Song Contest Third Place FINALIST) 

Jordan Smith is one of the best male vocalists to have come out of The Voice USA. Seven years after winning the show, the former Team Adam alum returned to Reality TV to represent his home state of Kentucky in the American Song Contest. His song, “Sparrow,” which he co-wrote with Andreas Carlsson and Jake’s Take with Jacob Elyachar Podcast guest Desmond Child, was filled with vocal acrobatics and brought Jordan back into the public eye. 

#4 – Drake Milligan’s Journey (America’s Got Talent: Season 17 Third Place FINALIST) 

Country music singer Drake Milligan made a massive impression on AGT fans when he auditioned for the NBC talent competition. When he performed “Sounds Like Something I’d Do” with his band, Drake became a fan-favorite amongst Reality TV fans thanks to his phenomenal showmanship and fantastic original music. Despite taking third place on the show, Drake and his band have a chance to dominate Nashville and become one of AGT’s breakout stars that we will be hearing about for years to come.

#3 – Miss Teddy (Jennifer Holliday): “Tell Me You Love Me” (The Masked Singer: Season Seven) 

In all honesty, The Masked Singer: Season Seven’s format robbed Jennifer Holliday of a Golden Mask. As Miss Teddy, the Grammy and Tony-winning performer delivered a definitive version of Demi Lovato’s “Tell Me You Love Me,” which gave me the chills and set the standard for future vocalists to compete on the FOX celebrity singing competition. 

2 – Harp (Amber Riley)’s Full Run (The Masked Singer: Season Eight WINNER) 

Amber Riley is the only celebrity that surpassed the original Dreamgirl’s excellence this year. I knew that the Glee and The Wiz Live actress and singer was the Harp when she sang P!nk’s “Perfect” on the season eight premiere. Week after week, Amber’s powerhouse vocals blew away the Masked Singer: Season Eight audience and panel. Her phenomenal covers of “Perfect,” “I Have Nothing,” “Born to Be Wild,” “Everywhere You Look,” and “The Edge of Glory” will be spoken about for seasons to come. Also, she is the first celebrity to win both Dancing with the Stars and The Masked Singer. 

#1- Jeanick Fournier (Canada’s Got Talent: Season Two WINNER – Lindsey Ell’s Golden Buzzer) 

Jake’s Take with Jacob Elyachar Podcast guest and Canada’s Got Talent: Season Two Winner, singer Jeanick Fournier, takes home the top spot in this year’s countdown! My jaw dropped when I heard her sing Celine Dion’s “I Surrender,” Jeanick’s voice sent me to the heavens, and I was so happy when host Lindsey Ell gave her the Golden Buzzer. She cemented her win thanks to her great covers of “Never Enough” and “The Show Must Go On,” which impressed Got Talent creator Simon Cowell. I am excited to learn she will perform on America’s Got Talent: All-Stars because America will fall in love with her. 

What were some of your favorite music performances from Reality TV this year?

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar