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The Daily Dish

5 Epic Singing Competition Auditions We'll Never Forget

From Carrie Underwood to Susan Boyle, these performances will always astound us.

By Laura Rosenfeld

One of the reasons why we love TV singing competitions so much is because they have this magical ability to transform regular people into superstars. 

And that's also one of the reasons why the upcoming movie Sing will delight you this holiday season. In the movie, suave koala Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) organizes a singing competition in an effort to save his once-prestigious theater. Animals of all kinds and sizes do their best to wow the judges and make it into this contest. As Buster says, "Everyone in this city gets a shot at being a star on my stage." Along the way, you'll hear the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Seth MacFarlane, Tori Kelly, and Taron Egerton lend their voices to Sing's all-star cast. 

Watching the trailer for Sing, we can already tell that this film is going to be jam-packed with amazing performances, just like the ones our favorite TV singing competitions have served up over the years. Here are the ones we're still thinking about today and will never forget.

1. Carrie Underwood on American Idol

Before Carrie Underwood auditioned and eventually won Season 4 of American Idol way back in 2005, she was just living the farm life in Oklahoma. When she walked in to sing for judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson, Carrie seemed like the sweetest girl-next-door we ever did see. However, when she opened her mouth to belt a lovely version of Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me," she transformed into a superstar right before our very eyes. Oh, and then she ended the audition by showing off her spot-on chicken impression. Priceless.

2. Leona Lewis on The X-Factor (U.K.)

When Leona Lewis auditioned for the U.K. version of The X-Factor in 2006, we wondered where she had been all of our lives. Her silky-smooth and powerful rendition of "Over the Rainbow" gave us instant chills. It's no wonder she would go on to win Season 3 of the singing competition and become a huge music star today.

3. Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent

Susan Boyle's audition in Season 3 of Britain's Got Talent was so inspiring, the news of it quickly traveled beyond the borders of the U.K. Neither the judges nor the audience seemed to expect much from Susan as she walked onto the stage, but once she started singing "I Dreamed a Dream" from the musical Les Miserables, no one could believe their ears. Susan had the voice of someone who belonged on a Broadway stage. By the end of the audition, Susan had the judges and the crowd on their feet (and in shock). She would go on to become the runner-up of that season of Britain's Got Talent, which was followed by a successful music career. But more importantly than that, she exemplified the power of singing competitions to make dreams come true.

4. Sawyer Fredericks on The Voice

It's not often that contestants on The Voice impress the judges during the blind auditions with just the first few bars of their songs, but that's exactly what Sawyer Fredericks did with the beginning of his rendition of "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" in Season 8. Sawyer immediately won over judges Adam Levine, Pharrell Williams, and Christina Aguilera, and soon enough, Blake Shelton, too. Sawyer continued to show that heart and soul throughout the season, eventually earning the title of The Voice champ. 

5. Jayna Brown on America's Got Talent

Singing in front of judges like Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howie Mandel is hard enough, but trying to do so when your celebrity crush, One Direction's Louis Tomlinson, is serving as a guest judge is a whole other story. Well, that's exactly what Jayna Brown experienced when she auditioned for Season 11 of America's Got Talent. The 14-year-old (yes, you read that right) could be seen visibly shaking, but she didn't seem nervous at all when she started singing Andra Day's "Rise Up." Let's just say that Jayna definitely rose to the occasion, earning the coveted Golden Buzzer from Louis. She seemed pretty excited to hug him, too. 

For more musical magnificence, check out Sing when it hits theaters December 21.

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