Home » Culture » American Idol flashback: 11 auditions that'll make you whoop, weep and go !?

American Idol flashback: 11 auditions that'll make you whoop, weep and go !?

Aleesha Matharu | Updated on: 15 April 2016, 21:23 IST

It might be hard to remember this now, but American Idol had quite an impact on the worldonce upon a time.

One of the things we all loved about Idol besides the drama, the backstories, and the crazy arrangements on popular songs were the auditions, when everyone is full of hope and nerves.

The early audition process was always the favourite part of any given Idol season - whether it's because of the novelty contestants angling for 15 minutes of fame, or the actually genuinely talented contenders.

Also read - American Idol ended after 15 years last week, and no one really noticed

So here's are some of the best auditions of all time, from the wacky and tacky to the truly sublime.

And though it may be of no use for you till the shows creator Simon Fuller comes up with his next venture, here's a a WikiHow guide on How to Audition For American Idol Without Making a Fool of Yourself.

1. Can you believe producers didn't initially show Kelly Clarkson's audition? It's crazy enough that they didn't think Kelly had a chance of making it far on the show. You can also see Idol taking its first baby steps from the scenes from Season 1:

2. Appearing on Idol in 2009, Adam Lambert finished as runner-up to Kris Allen on the show's eighth season. Fast forward to today, and Adam ranks as Idol's most successful contestant when it comes to moolah - he earned over $10 million dollars just last year alone. 

We'll never forget his audition when he sang Bohemian Rhapsody - bet Adam never dreamt he'd ACTUALLY get to tour with Queen!

3. She's a Grammy winner, Broadway star, best-selling writer and many other accolades now, but back then, Season 3 hopeful Fantasia Barrino was a 19-year old with a dream. It was evident from her very first song, Killing Me Softly, that she was a contender, but her Proud Mary sealed the deal, getting high praise from Cowell as the "best" they had ever heard.

4. William Hung's performance of Ricky Martin's She Bangs catapulted Hung to instant fame in Season 3, even though it left Simon wondering "you can't sing, you can't dance. ...What do you want me to say?" 

Hung had the last laugh, however, releasing three albums, including Hung for the Holidays.

5. You want hear something even worse? Check out Season 2's Keith Beukelaer singing Like a Virgin and I Wanna Dance With Somebody only to be called "the worst singer in the world" by Simon (of course):

6. And then there's palm reader and psychic Isadora Furman from Season 6. Once you hear her version of Lady Marmalade, it's impossible to unhear it. To quote Simon Cowell, "It was fantastically terrible."

7. Jarrod Norrell from Season 9 was passionate and unwilling to give up on his dreams, you gotta give him that. When the judges tell him it's a no, he refuses to leave, to the point where security has to come in, handcuff and escort him out.

8. If you want to witness some true crazy, you CANNOT miss foul mouthed Rhonetta Johnson from Season 5. Cringe away:

9. Remember when certain contestants decided to show that they had a spine and lash out at Simon? You won't think you'd watch the whole video, but you probably will. Thank you random YouTube compilation person for this bit of gold!

10. If someone's ever called you a fool with your pants on the ground, you can thank General Lee Platt for that. His original song Pants on the Ground became a viral sensation after his season 9 audition. Watch and enjoy.

11. You simply cannot miss Kanye West's audition from this final season. 

Although Idol winners have combined for a total of 13 Grammys, led by Carrie Underwood's seven, the series hasn't discovered an award winner in nearly a decade. A Kanye victory in Season 15, however, would have ended American Idol's run on a winning note.

First published: 15 April 2016, 21:23 IST
Aleesha Matharu @almatharu

Born in Bihar, raised in Delhi and schooled in Dehradun, Aleesha writes on a range of subjects and worked at The Indian Express before joining Catch as a sub-editor. When not at work you can find her glued to the TV, trying to clear a backlog of shows, or reading her Kindle. Raised on a diet of rock 'n' roll, she's hit occasionally by wanderlust. After an eight-year stint at Welham Girls' School, Delhi University turned out to be an exercise in youthful rebellion before she finally trudged her way to J-school and got the best all-round student award. Now she takes each day as it comes, but isn't an eternal optimist.