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'American Idol': The 16 Best Performances Ever

As season 8 begins, we revisit the great performances newcomers will try to measure up to -- see how many of your favorites make the cut

16. JASON CASTRO, ''Hallelujah'' (Season 7)
Whether you loved or hated season 7's most polarizing contestant, it was hard not to be moved by his gorgeous, heartfelt semifinal cover of Leonard Cohen's ''Hallelujah.'' True, the performance was marked by a couple of vocal glitches — Jason admitted as much by offering a goofy hint of a smile as he botched the closing note — but with his gentle wisp of a voice, the dreadlocked dude presented a radical alternative to the howling bombast that had been the hallmark of Fox's reality juggernaut for six previous seasons, and in less than two minutes, changed the Idol game forever.

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