The 8 Best Latino ‘American Idol’ Performances of All Time!

There are sure to be some talented Latino singers on the new season of American Idol, premiering tonight at 8/7c on FOX. But while we wait to meet the talent on season 11, here's a look back at the best Latino 'American Idol' performances of all time! (Man, Latinos can REALLY sing!).

1. American Idol: Diana DeGarmo Perf

Diana DeGarmo
Season: 3 
Why we love the performance: There are simply no words to describe the genius that is part-Mexicana Diana DeGarmo’s performance of Melissa Manchester’s “Don’t Cry Out Loud.” Watch it. Marvel at it. Agree with us that is it sublime, magnificent and that this young lady’s voice should be heard much more today than we’re hearing it. That big voice is unmatched by anyone who has ever competed on American Idol, yup, we’re talking to you Carrie Underwood.  

2. American Idol: David Archuleta Perf

David Archuleta
Season: 7 
Why we love the performance: While Archie gave several amazing performances on the American Idol stage (including John Lennon’s “Imagine,” and the Miracles’ “Shop Around”), none of those came close to trumping his classy rendition of Robbie Williams’ “Angels.”  The part-Honduran contestant hit all of the song’s big notes, sending the crowd into a frenzy—but what was really wonderful was the way David took liberties with the arrangement of the music.  Archie even played the piano during the performance, demonstrating his versatility as an artist.

3. American Idol: Alison Iraheta Perf

Alison Iraheta
Season: 8
Why we love the performance: Alison Iraheta rocked out so hard on American Idol when she performed “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt, that we doubt that any salvadorena will ever again be accused of not being rock n’ roll. Iraheta, who was dressed up in rocker chic, busted out her guitar for the rock star performance, which was fantastic thanks to the smoky tone in her voice and her fearlessness on stage. Gwen Stefani, who?

4. American Idol: Syesha Mercado Perf

Syesha Mercado
: 7
Why we love the performance: Part Puerto Rican contestant Syesha Mercado almost went all the way on American Idol season seven, but finished in third place behind fan favorites David Archuleta and David Cook. The thing that got Syesha so far in the competition was her big voice — the girl held notes for so long it felt like we could go to the bathroom and come back and she’d still be belting it out! Syesha truly channeled a young Whitney Houston during her performance of the Dolly Parton song, “I Will Always Love You.” We should also add that she looked breathtakingly beautiful…

5. American Idol: Jason Castro Perf

Jason Castro
Season: 7
Why we love the performance:  How incredible was Colombian AI contestant Jason Castro’s performance of the Leonard Cohen song, “Hallelujah?” The dreadloacked, blue-eyed cutie stole the show. Let’s go back in time to 2008 and ask cranky Brit Simon Cowell: “I thought it was absolutely brilliant what you just did, Jason,” Cowell said at the time, adding, “Arguably one of my favorite performances of the whole night.” See, we told you it was good! 

6. American Idol: Mario Vasquez Perf

Mario Vasquez
Season: 4
Why we love the performance: This Puerto Rican singer from the Bronx (who went on to record the popular club anthem “Gallery”) wowed the judges in his very first audition when he sang a song called “Whatever Happens.” Although Mario withdrew from American Idol due to personal reasons, many believed he had a real shot at the crown in season four and may have beat out eventual winner Carrie Underwood if he’d stuck around. Even Simon Cowell was a fan after his first audition, saying, “In my opinion one of the best we’ve had this competition.”  We agree!

7. American Idol: Karen Rodriguez Perf

Karen Rodriguez
Season: 10
Why we love the performance: As much as we loved Karen’s bilingual versions of Selena’s and Mariah Carey’s hits, we have to admit that our favorite performance from the part Dominican and part Peruvian singer was her soulful performance of Whitney Houston’s “You Give Good Love” during her very first audition in L.A. The performance, which was like a breath of fresh air, was breezy and fun and proved that Karen had the makings of a young R & B superstar.

8. American Idol: Scotty McCreery Perf

Scotty McCreery
: 10
Why we love the performance: Scotty McCreery—who revealed his Puerto Rican roots to us exclusively a few months ago—is a talented country singer. This we know. But when he sang Arthur Crudup’s “That’s All Right,” Scotty showed America that he was more than a country star, he also has some rhythm and according to Jennifer Lopez, some flavor. “Do you watch rap or hip hop?” Lopez asked Scotty in an effort to find out where his dancing talent comes from, to which the proud Boricua responded, “It’s the Puerto Rican blood.” 

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