RIP, Leonard Cohen

For more about that “part of our journey,” click on over to these…

This really was the “Hallelujah” TV cover that started it all. In 2008, when Castro performed a vulnerable acoustic version on Idol’s top 16 week, judge Simon Cowell noted that the late Jeff Buckley’s 1994 rendition was one of his favorite recordings of all time. This resulted in a huge sales spike for Buckley’s “Hallelujah,” propelling it to the top spot on the iTunes singles chart. The single was later certified platinum, 14 years after its original release and 11 years after Buckley’s death; at the time, this was the biggest digital sales spike for a song performed by an Idol contestant. Cohen’s original and a version by Rufus Wainwright also received sales boosts, and Castro himself appeared briefly in the top spot on iTunes chart (he was removed due to Idol producers not wanting to favor any one contestant; it was a very different world then). Eight years later, Castro’s “Hallelujah” is still considered one of the greatest performances in American Idol history.

Yahoo Music


“Hallelujah” has also been recorded by Rufus Wainwright, Bob Dylan, k.d. Lang, Bon Jovi, and countless contestants on American Idol (including season seven contestant Jason Castro, who had a minor hit with it and created another moment for Buckley’s version).


In March 2008, after American Idol contestant Jason Castro sang Buckley’s arrangement of “Hallelujah” on Fox’s talent competition, Buckley’s recording shot to #1 on the Top Digital Songs chart.

Yahoo News

In 2008, during the seventh season of American Idol, Jason Castro performed Buckley’s version of the song, which propelled the late singer’s version to the top of download charts



And you definitely want to check out Billboard’s list of 12 Most Memorable Covers of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’, because it wraps up with Leonard Cohen’s own original version.

RIP, Mr. Cohen. The world has lost a poet.

I dunno, I’m not tired of it yet…

There’s this piece in The New York Times: How Pop Culture Wore Out Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’.

“Hallelujah” survived the doctor dramas and the evening-soap finales, but it almost succumbed to reality TV, where unseasoned vocalists repeatedly tried to impress their judges by remaking it with big runs and rococo flourishes. Jason Castro delivered the most celebrated “Idol” performance

So here’s the thing, Mr. Murray–Jason’s performance is the most celebrated because he did the opposite of “remaking it with big runs and rococo flourishes”; he sang as stripped down a version as there can be, and he still does, which is what lets the emotion shine through. And it’s always beautiful.

That is all.

When Idols collide…

Could Madeline look more thrilled? (…That is what is known as a rhetorical question.)

This little girl made us chase @daltonrapattoni around Deep Ellum today. He was such a sweetie to little M!

A photo posted by Jackie Castro (@jackie_castro) on

Ha! What I said.

And from the other side…

Chillen with the Castros today @jasoncastromusic @americanidol

A photo posted by Dalton Rapattoni (@daltonrapattoni) on

And also

How cute was this?

There are lists…

And number 7 of the 10 performances that changed “American Idol” according to the Boston Globe is:

7. Jason Castro, “Hallelujah”

[…] Season 7’s dreadlocked fourth-place finisher Castro turned in a clear-eyed performance that launched Buckley’s version to the top of he Digital Song chart […] and inspired former “Idol” mastermind Simon Cowell to insert it into almost every singing competition in which he had a hand.


To read the full paragraph–and, if you insist, the other nine performances–click on over to The Boston Globe’s article, 10 ‘American Idol’ performances that changed the show.

Look who was at the American Idol taping tonight…

There’s Jason and his daughter Madeline just behind and to the left of Mrs. Rapattoni, and Jackie just behind and to her right.

Screen grab thanks to Gloria

–click the image for a better look


ETA: And to wrap it up, a Facebook post from Jason:

If you watched American Idol tonight, then you saw my daughters heartbreak – It was caught on camera. She was a huge…

Posted by Jason Castro on Wednesday, April 6, 2016

(Gotta love the cameraman’s choice of whom to zoom in on!)

Plus a bonus response from Mrs. Rapattoni:

Here’s another “American Idol” Top Performances list

This one is from Yahoo Music:

11. Jason Castro – “Hallelujah” (Season 7)

Many singing-show contestants have covered this Leonard Cohen classic […], but Jason’s remains the definitive Idol version; the song really should have be retired from reality television after he did it.

(Well, I’d put it higher than #11 but tastes differ, I suppose.)

For the rest of what they say about Jason–and the other 39 performances–click on through.

Buzzfeed reached out to American Idol alums

…to find out what the show meant to them, and got some 58 responses. Here’s a part of Jason’s:

I have been watching this season with my daughter, who is four and a half. […] When I was on there, I was not married, had no kids, and really, as I look around at my family now and the life that I have, it really is all because of American Idol. […] What an incredible opportunity I had to be able to make a great living doing what I love and be able to support my growing family by playing music.

To read the rest of Jason’s answer

(Okay, okay, FINE.)

and the other 57 responses,

(happy now?)

click here.


(Thanks for the find, Jasonized!)

Are you watching American Idol?

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