Got your lighter at the ready? Tonight is going to be all about the concert sway and the sing-a-long. It's the American Idol 2014 Season 13 finale. FINALE, as in the end, as in no more Idol Season 13, as in we will finally, after nearly half a year of shows have a winner.
So, we ask again, you ready to rumble?
Ryan Seacrest sure is. And we bet judges Harry Connick, Jr., Keith Urban, and Jennifer Lopez aren't too far behind in their finale prep. Tonight's the night Caleb Johnson and Jena Irene Asciutto will go head-to-head to show America one final time why they deserve to be Idol-fied.
It's been a hard-fought season with fan favorite Alex Preston sent home last week so we can only imagine the kind of magic tricks Caleb and Jena both have up their sleeves this week. It's got to be something pretty special to wow the hard-to-wow voters out there. Guess we'll just have to tune in at 8 p.m. tonight to see what's in store.
We here at Wetpaint Entertainment will be documenting every moment of both tonight's one-hour performance episode and tomorrow, Wednesday, May 21's, two-hour grande finale. Check back with us for all the latest details!
Live Recap Starts Here!
This is going to be a nail-biting hour for us (and everyone else who has been sticking around all season), but nowhere near as tense as tomorrow night will be. So let's try to chill out, right? If you need to stress eat, we seriously won't blame you. Plus, that adorable prom sequence calmed our nerves quite a bit, because how cute was that?
As Ryan tells us, we have three rounds: Creator Simon Fuller's choice, then a reprise of the contestant's favorite song from the season, and, finally, the song that the contestants will release post-competition. Let's get this thing started!
Jena Irene Asciutto: "Dog Days Are Over" — Florence + The Machine
Uh, yeah... Jena's in it to win it. Seems like Simon Fuller actually does know what he's doing, because Jena is rocking this song, throwing in her trademark "Let's go!" for good measure. Nice touch! The audience is responding well, and so are the judges. Keith points out a few breath control issues, but overall, he's impressed with her growth this season — as we all are. Awesome start, Jena. We can't wait to see her other performances tonight!
Caleb Johnson: "Dream On" — Aerosmith
Caleb's probably been on vocal rest since last week's performance, because he's sounding a lot less bronchitis-y this time around. J.Lo looks incredibly concerned about something during his performance, though... wonder if we'll find out what that is during the judging? Either way, Caleb pulls off the rock performance amazingly, as usual... although we must note that we don't feel like we want to get up and dance like we did while Jena was singing. Also, he's clearly been working on his falsetto. Way to go, man!
After much applause (like, a lot) from the audience, it's time for the judges to get their say in. I guess we misread J.Lo's worry, because she's super happy about the way Caleb's performance turns out. Harry is all smiles over there in the corner. Careful, man — you're going to break your face if you keep showing emotion like that.
Jena Irene Asciutto: "Can't Help Falling in Love With You" — Elvis Presley
Okay, we are so happy Jena picked this song to reprise. Mostly because if we hear "Creep" one more time, we're going to explode (as good as it is, enough is enough!) and also because we want to see if J.Lo offers up more kisses. If Jena wins, we feel a lot of that win will be attributed to how masterfully she tackles this song, especially for someone so young. Where many would butcher a classic song like this one, dare we say Jena improves upon it? Sorry, Elvis. It's the truth.
No kisses this time, but still, Jena receives rave reviews from all three judges. Harry calls it "absolutely beautiful," while Keith adds that her performance of this song makes her a true artist. And as for Jen, her biggest fan? The goosies are present and accounted for, and Jennifer is downright "overwhelmed" by her talent. So are we!
Caleb Johnson: "Maybe I'm Amazed" — Paul McCartney
We were not such big fans of this song when Caleb performed it the first time, but he sounds a bit better on his second try. It's also a pretty good tactic to choose a song that's way less loud and rocky than his other choice. And J.Lo has a great point when she notes that Caleb could've used a little more heart. And while the judges are collectively giving Caleb the first round, after seeing Caleb's second song, they give the second one to Jena. In the eyes of the judges, the third round will be the tie breaker, but they're not the ones voting!
Jena Irene Asciutto: "We Are One"
For Jena's final performance of the season, she's wearing every pattern. And, oh yeah, she's also giving us a taste of what her album would sound like, should she win tomorrow night. I know we've said it many times this season, but Jena's stage presence has always been the most impressive, and if it's possible, she's gotten better. Not only is this a solid song we can hear playing on the radio (which is essential to any Idol winner's success), but Jena totally owns the stage.
The judges are pressed for time since we're nearing the end of the hour, and each judge gives her very quick, very positive feedback. Way to go!
Caleb Johnson: "As Long As You Love Me"
Nope, Caleb's not covering Justin Bieber... he's performing his winner's single! It's 100 percent exactly what you'd expect from Caleb: Rocky, loud, and everything a signature Caleb Johnson song should be. It's a lot less radio-friendly (well, Top 40 radio) than Jena's proposed single is, but Caleb still manages to knock the performance out of the park.
And now that the final song of the season has officially been sung, what do the judges have to say? They're not willing to make the call on who they think will win, but maintain their opinion that America has a very tough decision to make.
Caleb Johnson, Jena Irene Asciutto, and the rest of the Season 13 Top 13: "Breakaway" — Kelly Clarkson
To close out the show, the Top 13 are back together on stage, paying homage to the very first Idol winner ever, Kelly Clarkson. May the spirit of Kelly compel you, Idols!
It all comes down to tomorrow night, guys. Who's going to win? That's up to you, so go vote! In one of the bajillion ways Ryan Seacrest keeps telling us to.