American Idol 2023 decided to end its auditions with a grand finale of amazing performances. Sunday’s American Idol 21 episode gave us plenty of incredible vocalists that we can’t wait to see perform again. It was a night full of future stars. The first night of auditions raised the bar, then we had a little bit of a slump, and now the final two nights of auditions have been fantastic.
There are so many good ones that judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan are definitely going to struggle to pick the top 24. Let’s discuss some of our favorites from the last night of American Idol 2023 auditions.
Cam Amen “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen
“Hallelujah” is another one of those all-time great songs that can really showcase whoever sings it. If you can deliver a great performance of that song, then you can really deliver expert vocals. Not only did Cam Amen do the song justice but his vocal interpretation stood out. He didn’t pour his everything into the song like some people would, full of pain and desperation. He sang it gently in a way that was so effortlessly beautiful.
It made this compelling song even greater. It’s one of the American Idol auditions from this season that I wanted a recording of because it was that good. I also didn’t want it to end. You feel it in your soul.
Oliver Steele “Change the World” by Eric Clapton
I am a sucker for a voice with a rasp in it. The best thing about Oliver Steele‘s voice is that it has rasp and smoothness. He can flip back and forth from his dueling vocal tones with ease. I was completely captivated by his performance of “Change the World.” He gave it so much soul and technique. It was outstanding.
It’s not a big ballad but felt like it for the way he handled it. Just an all-around great rendition of this song. The performance is so incredible in a way that’s understated.
Elise Kristine “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman)” by Aretha Franklin
“(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” is one of the greatest songs of all time. It’s not only powerful for the beats and just inspiring nature of it, but also because of the extremely riveting vocals by Aretha Franklin. You can’t sing this song unless you plan to give it all you got. Elise Kristine gives the vocals her all.
She comes off a bit nervous at some moments in the song, but overall, she gives the song her full heart. Elise also has a really interesting twang to her voice that gives the song character. It’s strong but not in the same soulful way that you may come to expect. She puts her own stamp on this classic.
Mikenley Brown “Love on the Brain” by Rihanna
Mikenley Brown has a voice and singing style that it makes it seem like she’s a 45-year-old who has dealt with a lot of crap. She has a maturity to her singing that gives it some rawness and grit. She rushes through her performance a little, but if she slowed it down, it would have been even better.
Something about Mikenley’s voice and style just works. It feels seasoned but also like it can only strengthen with time, practice, and growth.