Whether it’s American Idol, The Voice, The X Factor or America’s Got Talent (or even scripted musical shows like Glee), certain songs seem to pop up quite a bit. And it’s no wonder why: if it’s a popular tune right now or if it’s a classic that everybody knows and loves, it’s bound to surface time and again.
But one thing is for sure, when a song has been performed over and over again, there’s usually one or two that stand out above the rest. And that’s where today’s Battle comes in: “When a Man Loves a Woman” is the song I’m bringing up because it was performed brilliantly during the Top 16 of The X Factor season 3 this week.
Lillie McCloud, who advanced to the Top 12 when all was said and done, took on the Percy Sledge classic and once again provided one of the best performances (if not the best) of the night. For her audition, she took us to church (and still does in every round, for that matter), and continued to step it up in the Four-Chair Challenge, landing on my list of the 10 Best Performances (at number 4) from that new middle round.
When she performed “When a Man Loves a Woman,” she put everything she had out there, while not going overboard; instead, pulling back and showing massive control, while at the same time keeping the power and soul we love so much from her. Put simply, this was a beautiful performance:
But Lillie’s not the only one to take on this song. On American Idol, both Joshua Ledet and Michael Lynche covered it. Josh’s rendition was my runner-up for best performance from season 11. The thing about Joshua is that he puts so much passion and energy and soul and power and strength into each of his performances that he is not only one of the best singers to come out of any of these shows, but one of the best performers as well.
Michael Lynche has a very soothing and smooth voice, so “When a Man Loves a Woman” was a perfect fit for him. (The video doesn’t seem to be available on YouTube, so the following is the studio track.)
The tune has also been covered on both The Voice (by season 3’s Trevin Hunte) and America’s Got Talent (by season 5 winner Michael Grimm), who both provided solid covers. Trevin has quite the range, and I still really like the tone and rasp in Michael’s voice.
To me, Joshua Ledet’s rendition takes the prize, with Lillie McCloud’s just a smidge below him (though I could have easily made it a tie).
Out of these five, do you have a favorite cover of “When a Man Loves a Woman”? Is there one I didn’t include that you think should be in the running? Take the poll below and let us know in the comments.
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(Images courtesy of FOX)