Examples of memorable performances from American Idol, Shark Tank, etc.?
July 1, 2014 5:25 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to put together a set of performances from various reality/contest shows (e.g., American Idol, Shark Tank) that provide good examples of the following four scenarios: 1. Contestant appears very confident/proud, performs very well. 2. Contestant appears very confident/proud, performs very poorly. 3. Contestant appears very nervous/embarrassed, performs very well. 4. Contestant appears very nervous/embarrassed, performs very poorly. I'm very grateful for any and all suggestions. Thanks!
posted by ChopperDave to Society & Culture (16 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The one that immediately comes to mind is Bo Bice on American Idol 4, doing Whipping Post.

He OWNS that performance.

Disclosure: I don't like Bo Bice, I wouldn't buy his album, I mostly watch American Idol to mock it (and I don't even do that anymore because it got old). But it really sticks out in my mind as one of those things that just got NAILED.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:37 AM on July 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Clay Aiken's first performance in the tryouts was pretty shocking. He was this goofy, awkward kid, and pretty nervous. None of the judges were taking him seriously. Then he started singing and blew everyone away.
posted by backwards compatible at 5:40 AM on July 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: From Shark Tank:

For confident and good performance:
IWantToDrawACatForYou - Episode 307
Scrub Daddy - Episode 403

For amazingly nervous, but good performance:
Tree-T-Pee For Trees - Episode 501
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 5:42 AM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

In all seriousness I'd call this the reality contest show trope. Watch every weeks episode of America's got talent and they nail these 4 perfectly. That show has the formula dialed in perfectly.
posted by chasles at 5:50 AM on July 1, 2014

Best answer: I think the definitive example of #3 would be Susan Boyle.
posted by jbickers at 6:10 AM on July 1, 2014 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Another example of #3 - Paul Potts' audition for Britain's Got Talent.
posted by humph at 6:16 AM on July 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Shiane Hawke example of # 3 from Australian X Factor.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 6:25 AM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: For Example #2, the first cooking challenge (where they bring their "signature dishes") on any season of Hell's Kitchen would fit the bill. They're all confident, and their dishes all are horrible.
posted by xingcat at 6:48 AM on July 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: And for example 3, Derek Hough's "Futuristic Paso Doble" from Dancing with the Stars is my go-to. He's a super-confident dancer, his costar (I can't remember her name) was very nervous, but they nailed the crap out of that one.
posted by xingcat at 6:50 AM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Charlotte and Jonathan on Britain's Got Talent and Cher Lloyd on The X Factor UK are other examples of #3.
posted by neushoorn at 7:09 AM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: #2 should be easy. David Kenneth "Sex" Soller from So You Think You Can Dance might be trolling, but he's so annoyingly awful that he can't be topped.

#1 I'm calling Bryan Gaynor the best So You Think example of a surprise good audition ever. Who would ever think that this guy is so amazing. An absolute treat. He knows he's good without ever bragging.

#3 Heidi brings it even though she is so nervous and stressed leading up to the dance. It's amazing the emotion and movement she brings even though she doesn't have the background that Travis has.
posted by GilvearSt at 7:31 AM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Can't tell from your question if Survivor fits the bill, but for #2, in the China season James was in the final 5 with two immunity idols, but felt so confident and cock-sure of his place in the tribe that he didn't bother playing them. He got voted out. He probably would have won the season if he had used an idol. Dumbass.

And then for #4, in the first Fans vs Favorites season, a group of women who were all returning players bamboozled this timid, indecisive kid Eric into giving them his immunity idol. Then they voted him out.

#1 is Colby in basically every immunity challenge in season 2.

#3 is basically exactly how Cochran played the game during his season.

I've watched a lot of Survivor.
posted by phunniemee at 7:33 AM on July 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: For #1: Adam Lambert from American Idol 8 - either Feelin' Good, or Mad World. He brought the house down with both of those. He got a standing ovation from Simon for Mad World. And after his entry/descent for Feelin' Good, Simon told Ryan Seacrest he could never walk down those stairs again. :)

Arguably also Ring of Fire, but that one is love it or hate it. The audience seemed to love it - the judges not so much. I thought it was fantastic.
posted by kythuen at 8:19 AM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: #3 - I have to second the Shark Tank episode with the Tree-T-P. The guy is awesome. BF and I have watched several episodes of ST and we both agree that that one is/was the best one we've seen.

#1 - I really liked Brooke White's version of Jolene on AI (of course, I would probably love it regardless of who sang it!)

#2 - not sure if this is a stretch, but Mike "The Situation" Sorrento trying to roast Donald Trump. OMG. Definitely cringe worthy.
posted by foxhat10 at 8:25 AM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: For #2, the episode of Shark Tank where they have Copa di Vino sticks out in my mind. He was overly confident and cocky, yet performed poorly, and then started acting like a sore loser.

Wikipedia tells me this was episode 205.
posted by tckma at 9:28 AM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

From American Idol, examples of #1:

Carrie Underwood - "Alone" (and her initial audition would be a good example of #3)
Frenchie Davis & Kimberley Locke - "Band of Gold"
Kelly Clarkson - "Stuff Like That There"
posted by SisterHavana at 10:29 PM on July 2, 2014

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