It's no secret that American Idol's Season 9 contenders, when compared to those of past seasons, are a little weak. And while I know that Idol isn’t really known for cranking out totally original artists, now that we’re down to Lee, Crystal, and Casey (my bet is on Lee 'cause Crystal always looks so sleepy), I have to say that not one of them really stands out as a unique performer. That sad truth was all too clear on Wednesday, when Season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino returned to the Idol stage; I couldn’t help but reminisce over the incredible performances she gave way back when Idol was still exciting. She is, to this day and season, the only Idol contestant who's ever given me chills. And at the risk of sounding totally cheesy, she was a winner the second she stepped into the spotlight—with her original voice, hot dance moves, and power to emote like nobody’s business.
So let's take a short trip down memory lane and go back to a time when American Idol wasn’t quite so bland:
Here's Fantasia performing in the Season 3 semifinals:
Here she is doing more than just justice to Tina Turner’s "A Fool In Love":
And what? Fantasia took on the great Barbra Streisand? Yes, yes she did. And she even made Paula cry.
She also channeled Whitney on "The Greatest Love of All":
And finally, her incredible performance of Porgy and Bess’ "Summertime":
Who's with me? Can Lee, Crystal, and Casey ever live up to some of the previous seasons' winners?