Anybody else feeling faint? Here we are at the Season 13 Top 3 of American Idol. How did we get here so quickly?! Back when Season 13 started in January it seemed like we had oceans of time before we'd be down to such few contestants. How the time does fly when you're admiring Harry Connick Jr.'s dimples.
Tonight the remaining three — that be Alex Preston, Jena Irene Asciutto, and Caleb Johnson, in case you somehow forgot — will compete for those two spots in next week's finale all under the watchful eyes of HCJ, Keith Urban, and Jennifer Lopez.
Oh, you didn't realize next week is the grand finale? We can't believe it either but buckle up because Ryan Seacrest will be crowning a winner on America's behalf over a two-part extravaganza. The fun kicks off on Tuesday (yep, Tuesday), May 20, from 8 to 9 p.m. and then over the course of two hours on Wednesday, May 21, we'll finally learn who won the whole darn show. That very important episode will air 8 to 10 p.m., all on Fox.
But of course before we get to the end we have a couple more hurdles to clear. Tune in tonight at 8 p.m. sharp for the two-hour episode. We get to see the contestants's hometowns!
Live Recap Starts Here!
That stage looks so empty with only three contestants left! Unfortunately, one of our three isn't doing so well. Caleb Johnson is dealing with bronchitis and a few vocal chord issues (unsurprising when you consider the way he's been belting it out week after week), but his doctor says he should definitely be able to perform. It should be interesting to see how this affects his performance.
Tonight's going to go a little differently than what we're used to. Each contestant will perform three songs: Mentor Randy Jackson's choosing one, the judges are choosing one, and each performer's Hometown will choose their third. Let's do this thing!
Caleb Johnson: "Never Tear Us Apart" — INXS
We haven't heard Caleb talk yet, but we're about to hear him perform Randy's pick. Here's hoping Randy's choice wasn't also the jacket he's wearing, or Caleb is going to suffer from his lack of good judgment tonight. Yikes.
From the way Caleb sounds, we would seriously have no idea he was sick and having vocal issues if we hadn't been previously warned. How is it possible that a hemorrhaged vocal chord doesn't alter his voice at all?! Based on that alone, we give him two thumbs up. And Randy was right — this song is an awesome pick for him. A little slower than what we're used to with a bit more depth, but plenty of that rocky feel that Caleb is so great at creating. "You on your worst night is better than some people's best night," J.Lo comments.
Alex Preston: "Pompeii" — Bastille
It's Blazer Nation on Idol tonight now that Alex is jumping on the bandwagon with a way less colorful version of Randy's outfit. And we're super stoked to hear his performance of "Pompeii," a song he should have no problem rocking. And he does, save for a few mic audio issues. If the way the audience and their many Alex-themed posters are any indication of how America will vote tonight, he may have a chance at the Top 2.
"It was a different Alex," J.Lo says, after noticing how he's stepped up his stage presence after taking the judges' advice. Harry's pretty thrilled with what he saw, too, especially since it makes him very radio-friendly. Go Alex!
Jena Irene Asciutto: "Titanium" — David Guetta feat. Sia
EDM: Totally in Jena's wheelhouse, as J.Lo would say. Jena surprisingly starts off a little shaky, but pulls through in the end, especially when it comes to those high notes. Harry is incredibly pleased with the way the song turned out, though, which is the important thing since he's such a hard dude to please. J.Lo mentioned the stiff parts of her performance, and got explosive booing from the audience. Don't worry, Jena. America is behind you!
Caleb Johnson: "Demons" — Imagine Dragons
The judges' pick, "Demons," gives us a different side of Caleb, and we can tell he's trying hard to hold back from going all-out rock this time around. His vocal problems are a little more evident in this performance, but we'll give him this one. Bronchitis is no joke!
The judges notice he's struggling, too, but they're still totally behind his performance. "You're doing such a great job at working through that," Keith says, and J.Lo points out that the extra emotion he finally put into the lyrics helped back him up a bit.
Alex Preston: "Stay" — Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko
Alex's pick from the judges is in, and OMG, it's perfect. Actually, after hearing Alex's rendition of "Stay," we would like to personally invite him to record an entire album of music traditionally recorded by women so we can listen to it as we sip a Frappucino and get all introspective about our lives.
J.Lo agrees with us, and the judges all three say that the song is definitely Alex's own. We want an album!
Aaaand now we interrupt our Idol viewing for several big announcements straight from Ryan Seacrest — and the rest of the Idols from Season 13 who are here tonight! During the big finale, we'll get to see CJ Harris, Dexter Roberts, and Darius Rucker all perform together, and Jess Meuse will sing with Jennifer Nettles! Malaya Watson will be paired up with John Legend, Sam Woolf will be singing with Phillip Phillips, with lots more to come!
Jena Irene Asciutto: "Heart Attack" — Demi Lovato
Oh, if only the judges could have chosen the songs for the contestants all season long, but we're glad that they're getting a crack at it tonight. So far, it's resulting in some crazy awesome performances, and Jena taking on Demi Lovato is one of them. Weak performance of "Titanium?" Totally forgotten.
And Demi herself will be joining us during the finale to perform with all of the girls of Idol. We are so ready!
Caleb Johnson: "Dazed and Confused" — Led Zeppelin
J.Lo's incredibly awkward dancing aside, Caleb absolutely murders the first hometown pick of the night. Do the people of Asheville, NC know what they're talking about, or what? Caleb gets a standing ovation from two out of three judges (guess who was sitting down...) and the audience sounds pretty pleased with what they heard as well.
"If ever there was a complete moment of miraculous healing, that would have been it," Keith tells him. "I wanna throw stuff. Let's throw stuff!"
That's the first kind of that reaction we've seen. Good job, Caleb!
Alex Preston: "Story of My Life" — One Direction
Here we are, singing "Story of My Life" again, thanks to Alex's hometown pick. Alex isn't doing anything quite so revolutionary as he did with Rihanna's "Stay" earlier in the night, but he still makes the song sound good with that famous Alex twist.
"It was another classic Alex performance," Harry says. "I think it was very strong. Nice job."
Jena Irene Asciutto: "Creep" — Radiohead
Jena's back with her hometown pick, a second rendition of one of our favorite performances this season. She sings the song so beautifully (while playing the piano), and our fingers are crossed she's still with us next week. Her voice is in full force with all its power. What a way to close out the night! But how are we ever going to choose a Top 2?
"For the voters at home, I really don't envy the job you have at hand," Harry says, taking the words right out of our mouths.
Tomorrow night. Down to 2. See you then!